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Are you planning for your first time in the Big Apple? If you’re not sure of the best places to go or what you need to take, don’t worry. These top 10 tips are the perfect primer for your big vacation.

  1. Get a Travel Guide – When you arrive, you’ll immediately experience the hustle and bustle of this thriving city. It’s exhilarating but also potentially overwhelming. Before you go, get a good New York travel guide and prepare yourself by learning the lay of the land and finding a few choice attractions you want to visit.
  2. Explore

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    New York City is the safest big city in the United States, so don’t be afraid to pull on a pair of comfortable shoes and take to the streets. Search out those little cafes and bars that make your vacation a personal and rewarding experience.

  3. Make Reservations for Dinner

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    New York City has countless hip and trendy destinations for foodies to savor, but they tend to fill up, especially between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Consider booking early to avoid disappointment, or grab dinner a little earlier in the day before the crowds arrive.

  4. Budget for Shopping

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    No trip to New York City is complete without stopping at some of the incredible stores on Fifth Avenue. Fashionistas should visit Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch while tech fans are sure to get a kick out of Apple’s flagship store.

  5. Keep Fit

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    If you’re going to be in the city during the weekend, put on your sneakers and head to Central Park. The area is closed to traffic, making it like a huge running track. Work up a sweat, and then head to your favorite watering hole for a cool drink and a chance to relax.

  6. Use Your Feet

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    As you would expect, traffic is always heavy in the heart of the city. Don’t consider driving unless you want to spend most of your vacation going nowhere. Besides, there are so many things to do in New York and so many beautiful districts to explore, why wouldn’t you want to walk?

  7. Go on a Culinary Adventure

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    Don’t wolf down fast food at a chain restaurant. Grab a takeout slice at Prince Street Pizza, get a legendary pastrami on rye from Katz’s Delicatessen or sample some authentic Italian fare in Greenwich Village.

  8. Dress Appropriately

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    You’re going to cover a lot of miles on your city adventure, and you’re going to be out in the elements most of the time. For hot days, ensure you have your sunscreen and sunglasses. If you’re visiting in the winter, bring your big coat and boots to combat the cold.

  9. Use Online Sources

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    Anything and everything you want to visit can be found online. Use your smartphone for guidance about costs, dress and location.

  10. Keep Up the Pace

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    New Yorkers are always hustling. They walk fast, talk fast and don’t seem to stop for anything. Try to learn where you are going ahead of time to keep pace. When attempting something new, like walking through a subway turnstile watch how others do things or ask for assistance.