Even though summer is halfway over, it’s not too late to plan a quick weekend getaway or week-long trip with friends or family. New York State is a popular destination year-round. Whether you enjoy the cool shade of Central Park with thousands of other tourists on a hot day or head to Long Island for some time at the beach, there’s always something fun to do and a reason to celebrate. 

Planning on hanging out in the heart of the Manhattan or relaxing Upstate? Here are some traveling tips to consider when visiting “The Empire State.”

Safety in The Big Apple

New York City is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations and millions of people from all over the global head to the Big Apple every year. NYC is a unique place to visit, and in every corner of the city, something is going on. 

While NYC often gets a bad rep for being a dangerous place to live and visit, it’s not as dangerous as it was decades ago. As when traveling to any place that’s big and new, it’s smart always to be aware of your surroundings. You don’t want to stick out like a tourist, but you don’t want to play it “too cool.” 

If you need to use an ATM, use one in a well-lit area. Avoid people hustling you for money in Times Square and other tourist “hot spots.” Always keep important contact information in your hotel room, such as your passport. It’s all about being “street smart” and a little bit guarded. Make sure that you’re having a little bit of fun, too.

Celebrate Responsibly

Most everyone likes to “kick back” and enjoy a couple of cold drinks when on vacation. Whether you’re hanging out in Long Island or sipping a cocktail at one of the trendiest bars in Brooklyn, it’s important to celebrate responsibly.

Even if you aren’t driving, there are thousands of other motorists who get behind the wheel of their car while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. According to the NHTSA, Suffolk County (part of Long Island) had 87 alcohol-related crashes between 2011 and 2016. 

It’s important to know about the most dangerous times to be on the road and making a commitment to staying sober while behind the wheel, even when you’re on vacation.

Plan, But Be Spontaneous

Every great vacation should have a little bit of planning, but an even better one involves some spontaneity. As your planning your trip to New York State, consider taking in some of the tourist “must sees,” (and check out the official websites for NYC and other cities within the state) but also plan to do some searching on your own or stop into an independent business and chat with the locals about some things to see and do.

As long as you consider your safety and be a responsible tourist, you can also afford to be a little spontaneous while visiting the unique state of New York. 

Published by Peter Garlow