For those planning a solo trip to New York for the first time, figuring out how to travel to New York and things to do in NYC alone can be overwhelming. With many must-see attractions in New York City, accommodations, and logistics to consider, booking a solo NYC trip is daunting!
Those traveling solo may be hesitant to plan a trip to New York alone, but these NYC travel tips will help you have an unforgettable vacation. If you feel “extra,” book a private jet charter to travel to New York. The price tag is hefty, but private jet travel provides unparalleled convenience, comfort, and a sense of security if you can afford it. It’s the perfect way to kick off your solo New York trip!
This solo trip to NYC travel tips list has everything you need for a stress-free New York solo trip.
Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress.
Best NYC Tours: Click here to check out the top NYC tours
Best NYC Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in NYC
Best NYC Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in NYC
Solo Trip to NYC Travel Tips: Things to Do Alone in NYC
1. What to Know About Travel to New York
Before booking you plan a trip to New York, I recommend applying for your U.S. visa. While the visa process is pretty simple, use the official website. Many fraudulent websites masquerade as the U.S. ESTA website. These companies are trying to rip you off, so steer clear.
To make sure you’re on the official website, apply here.
American citizens planning a solo trip to New York don’t need to worry about visas. However, you might be curious about the best way to travel to New York from wherever you are in the country. I’m a big fan of the Omio app and website—use it to search for the best travel options, from buses and trains to air travel. Sometimes, I’ll take a 6-hour bus journey over a one-and-a-half-hour flight as going through security, waiting around, and dealing with luggage restrictions give me a headache! Omio.com lets you view all the options, including prices and travel times, to make the best decision as you plan a trip to New York.
For your solo New York Trip, I recommend arriving at your destination before 5:00 p.m. so you aren’t trying to navigate a new city/country in the dark.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
2. Subway Pass
Unless you can afford to pay for taxis during your solo NYC trip, I suggest purchasing a subway pass—the cheapest and easiest way to get around. These days, many of the subways will let you tap your debit card if you have a contactless payment method. There are several options, and if you’re in town for more than a few days, get a weekly pass for extra savings.
3. NYC Pass
An NYC Pass is the perfect way to experience the best things to do in NYC alone. The pass lets you visit multiple attractions at a reduced cost rather than buying tickets individually. The pass includes big hitters like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Rockefeller Center. There are also unexpected activities, such as river cruises and museums like Madame Tussauds. When you purchase the pass, you decide the number of things to do alone in NYC and only pay for what you’re interested in.
4. Pack Accordingly
One of the top NYC travel tips is to pack for all weather conditions, regardless of the time of year. The weather can be unpredictable during your NYC solo trip. Temperatures can dip below zero in winter, so bring thermals to stay warm. Summer, on the other hand, can be sweltering and humid, with frequent rainstorms. Pack rain gear, clothes for layering, and a bathing suit to comfortably enjoy the best hot tub boat tours NYC offers.
5. Big Apple Greeter Programme
Many people who plan a trip to New York alone are apprehensive about exploring solo, which is why the Big Apple Greeter Programme was created. In 1992, founder Lynn Brooks was traveling around the world. She discovered that while many people she met desired to travel to New York, they were afraid to plan a New York solo trip.
Lynn decided this had to change, so she launched her initiative to introduce people to the city when they arrive for their solo New York trip. Today, her program has over 300 volunteers who assist 7,000 annual New York visitors. Contact the Big Apple Greeter Programme if you’re planning a solo trip to New York, and they’ll help you hit the ground running when you touch down in the Big Apple.
6. Stay at Hostels
While some people are perfectly content with their own company, many experience loneliness during solo trips. Staying in a hotel in New York City during your solo trip to New York can cause feelings of segregation, especially if there are no communal areas or bars to mingle and socialize with other guests. I advise people who travel to New York alone and are interested in meeting other travelers to stay in hostels, where there’s a strong emphasis on bringing guests together.
It’s easy to make new friends at hostels with the selection of games, activities, and social areas. Most NYC hostels are spotless, with strict rules to ensure all guests can enjoy a comfortable stay. Check out HostelWorld for a complete list of properties in New York, and choose one that suits your NYC solo trip needs.
Those not keen on hostels can stay at one of the many 4-star hotels in Manhattan that won’t break the bank.
7. Use Meet-Up Apps/Websites
Another way to combat loneliness during a solo trip to NYC is by using meet-up apps and websites. Many help you connect with other solo travelers. Create an account, search your location, and you’ll get in touch with people in no time. The beauty is you can discuss your plans for things to do alone in NYC and see if they’re interested in joining!
My personal favorite is meetup.com, which connects you with groups who share the same interests. Exercise caution when meeting strangers online, and opt for a public place if you hang out in person.
NYC Travel Guide Planning
🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in NYC?
I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.
🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in NYC?
👩⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?
I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here
✈️ Any flight recommendations?
📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?
I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.
With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.
🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?
🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?
NYC Travel Tips for a Solo Trip to New York: Final Thoughts
With my top NYC travel tips, you’ll have an unforgettable, stress-free solo trip to NYC! There are many fun things to do in NYC alone—you’ll never run out of activities and sights. Save this guide to help you plan a trip to New York and prepare for a fantastic NYC solo trip.