Essential Tips and Tricks for Big City Travel
So you’re a college student and you find yourself in a big city. The city may be the home of your college or university, or perhaps you’re simply visiting with a group from your school. After a recent trip to New York City with my school, I feel like I learned some pointers during the three day trip that are worthy enough to be passed on.
Cup of Joe
Most important of any trip to a big city, and especially if you won’t be there long, is that caffeine will be your best friend! So make sure to load up your Starbucks gift cards before the trip or, perhaps if you are feeling adventurous, do some research to find the best local coffee shops. While I was in New York, coffee was the only way I could remotely function. We left for the Big Apple at 10:00PM on Thursday and drove through the night, so while we did sleep, it was by no means comfortable. Upon our 9:30AM arrival, we had to attack the city with a gung ho mentality. I needed a large coffee just to wake up and get the stiffness out of my neck.
About 56 hours, two Broadway shows, two art museums and approximately nine Starbucks trips later, once I boarded the bus to come home to Columbus I simply crashed the moment I sat down in my seat. I slept on and off from for the eleven hour bus ride and then didn’t manage to get out of my bed until well into the afternoon the next day. Sure, I felt miserable and sleep-deprived but I wouldn’t change anything if I could do it again. Waking up around 8:30 each morning and getting back to the hostel room well into the wee hours of the morning, there is no doubt coffee helped me enjoy the Big Apple to its fullest potential.
Next, if you’re unfamiliar with the city, always travel with others. There is nothing wrong with forming a temporary wolf pack for the weekend; and, hey, you might even make some new friends in the process. However, the main reason I strongly encourage is that there are some weird things in a big city. For example, my wolf pack and I were waiting for a subway to take us from the Brooklyn Bridge to the upper West Side at 3:30 in the morning. Suddenly we hear shouting and look outside to see a group of people shouting. It was easy to discern that the one individual doing most of the shouting was very intoxicated, or on something. It was also clear that his friends just cared about getting him home safely, but their concern came across as screams and anger. Then, right before our eyes, the intoxicated man jumped on the subway tracks. Let me repeat: HE JUMPED ON THE SUBWAY TRACKS!
It was one of those things where we were delirious from lack of sleep, stressed at one another from all the activity, and just all looked at each other with complete ‘WTF’ expressions. He eventually did get out of subway tracks, so I suppose it’s something I can look back on and laugh about.
However, not all late night happenings can be this comical. Big cities can be dangerous, but I feel that there’s nothing to worry about if you travel in groups and…
Are aware of your surroundings! This sounds simple but it is very important to make mental notes constantly about your surroundings. Just be aware of who is around you, if anything seems suspicious, or if you should simply avoid them.
In conclusion, big cities are a blast! I’d much rather live in Times Square than on a farm on the countryside (personal preference.) So the next time you visit a big city, have at it!