1. Don't rent a car, use taxis and public transport instead
Traffic in and around New York is horrendously busy. Trying to find your way through an unfamiliar city, driving on the opposite side of the road, getting caught in traffic jams and trying to avoiding traffic incidents is not a fun way to spend your holiday. Plus, parking is difficult to find and expensive. New York can best be seen on foot, but as it's a large area, you will want to take some form of motorised transport at times. Buses and subway trains run 24 hours a day in New York and are remarkably economical and may suit if you're travelling with easy to handle luggage such as an Away Suitcase. However, if you have a lot of luggage, you may prefer to use a taxi. Check out the ground transportation desk at the airport for more information.
2. Don't rely entirely on your credit card, carry cash as well
Although it may be tempting to rely on your credit card, carrying a small amount of cash is essential in New York. Taxi fares are cash only, there are numerous Mom and Pop shops which only take cash, street performers can be rewarded with cash payments, and it's essential for paying tips - which are expected.
3. Don't eat in chain restaurants, go to Katz's Delicatessen instead
New York has a full range of eateries, from luxury restaurants to family-run delicatessens. Katz's Delicatessen has been operating since 1888 and serves huge hot and cold sandwiches in addition to its other offerings. Run by a Jewish family, it is somewhat reminiscent of Seinfeld. Even if this isn't to your taste, you'll be sure to find plenty of food options that are.
4. Don't go to Central Park at night, go during the day
Central Park is located in the middle of Manhattan - over 800 acres of parkland with lush grass, forests, flowerbeds, as well as a lake and a reservoir. It's a wonderful oasis of nature in the midst of the busy city. The park is open from 6 am till 1 am daily and entry is free. Unfortunately, some of the grim stories regarding the park during night hours are true, so unless you are going on an organised night tour, it's best to visit during the day.
5. Don't pay for a ferry ride, take a free ride on the Staten Island ferry instead
The Statue of Liberty is a must-see if you're visiting New York. If you want to access the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you will need to book a ticket well in advance. However, the Staten Island ferry operates regularly at half-hourly intervals and more frequently during peak times. It will allow you to view the Statue (and take photographs) and it's free.
6. Don't forget to explore all the boroughs, visit them all - Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island
Manhattan is big and busy and it would be easy to spend all your time there. However, each of the boroughs has its own unique character and history. Staten Island can be visited by taking advantage of the free ferry service, and all the boroughs are connected by New York's public transport network.
7. Don't stand in the middle of the sidewalk, step to the right
In the US, they drive on the right, and the same rules apply in New York on sidewalks and even escalators. People in New York are busy, while you'll be finding your way about and looking at the sights. So step to the right and let those who are in a hurry overtake to the left.
8. Don't wear toe-pinching or heel-blistering shoes, wear comfy footwear
You'll probably be doing a fair bit of walking while visiting New York. It's the best way to get around, and most New Yorkers walk a fair distance each day. Although New York is synonymous with fashion, you'll still need to be comfortable, so try to combine the two. You will probably want a comfortable way to carry your essential supplies as well, a Hershel Backpack is ideal.
9. Don't pay a fortune or stand around in queues, get at NYC pass
A New York City pass will give you access to six major sight-seeing attractions in New York. Three are standard: the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the remaining three, you can choose between two options for each, based on your preferences.
10. Broadway, or not to Broadway
Okay, so this is not so much a don't and do. Broadway has some great shows and is definitely a go-to place in New York, but there are numerous shows 'not on Broadway' that are still worth seeing in New York. Just make sure you go through a reliable ticket vendor to buy your tickets to avoid scalpers and fakes.
11. Don't hold back, do some shopping
This is where I tell you to splurge. There are just so many shops in New York - from designer chic all the way to totally out-there. You don't have to spend up big, but surely, in this majestic city of business, culture and materialism, it's worth window shopping at least.