Getting Around: Tips for navigating NYC

New York prides itself on its amazing transportation system and it is only getting better, although more expensive, every year. When traveling with children, especially with a stroller, things can be a bit tricky but New Yorkers, contrary to popular belief, always help out when it comes to kids. I have seen strangers sprint to hold a door open and someone will always magically appear to help you carry a stroller up or down stairs. We still have a long way to go in terms of making transportation more accessible but it’s slowly getting there.

Subway — The subway is by far the fastest and most efficient method for getting around town. Unfortunately, it’s not great if you are travelling with small children because 1) there are a lot of stairs to navigate 2) it’s loud, 3) unless you travel during off-peak hours it will be packed. Your best bet with kids is to travel after 10am and before 4:30pm and take a local train to your destination — you will have the best chance of getting a seat and enjoying the ride. Useful Tip: Make every attempt to perfect your Metrocard “swipe” technique. If you don’t want to look like a tourist you need to get the movement down pat. It is a quick swipe, not a slow drag. Once you hear a “beep” you must move through the turnstile swiftly, like your life depends on it.

Bus — The Bus is great but it is SLOW. My mom LOVES the bus. She is 71 years old. It is certainly a cleaner and more sedated way to get around the city and is far more kid friendly, but depending on the time of day it can take a while. The system tends to be a bit more confusing then the subway but you can find a bus stop every few blocks among main avenues and larger crosstown streets. Again — best at off-peak hours. You will need to fold a stroller but people always give up seats when they see children in tow. (more…)