If you’re in the middle of planning a summer trip to NYC, there are tons of articles and blog posts devoted to the “do’s and dont’s” of visiting the city that never sleeps. Before you get too worried about your visit, keep in mind that whatever you decide to do, you’re going to have a trip of a lifetime (and will likely plan a return trip). 

Summer in NYC is a special time of year. Is it hot? You can almost count on it, but there’s something about the hustle and bustle of the crowds and the seemingly thousands of things to do, that the heat may be the last thing on your mind. 

Consider the following when planning your summertime trip to NYC:

Dress Comfortably and Wear the Right Shoes

Everyone wants to look cool when they’re visiting The Big Apple. Don’t be afraid to abandon some of your “best looks” for comfort, especially if you’re going to be walking around the city most days.

Wear breathable clothes that don’t wrinkle easily and wear comfortable shoes. Even if you see hundreds of others wearing heels and flip flops, your feet will thank you if you wear something more sensible.

Don’t forget to put on a layer of sunscreen and carry a water bottle. Even if the temps are pleasant, the heart of the city heats up.

Be an Attentive Pedestrian

There seem to be a lot of “rules” for pedestrians in NYC. Some of them may be helpful, while others just seem like another New Yorker’s opinion. The crowded sidewalks can feel a little overwhelming. Don’t feel like you need to keep up with the foot traffic (because you’re likely to miss out on some great sightseeing) but if you choose your own pace, stick to the right lane much like the “rules of the road.”

It’s also important to pay attention to the intersections and crosswalks. Even if you have the right of way, pedestrians are injured in accidents every year because drivers run red lights or simply don’t see a pedestrian. Make eye contact with motorists before you step off the curb and stay off your phone while walking across the phone (in general, this is a good rule to consider when walking).

Don’t Try to Over-stuff Your Itinerary

With hundreds of things to do, particularly during nice weather, it can be a little overwhelming to create an itinerary. While some people love (and need) to have a travel itinerary, try to free your schedule up a bit and be spontaneous. 

There’s a good chance that you won’t be able to do everything you want to do during one trip, which is one of the many reasons why many people revisit NYC annually. While iconic landmarks are a “must” on nearly everyone’s list, don’t be afraid to take your time and browse the neighborhoods and local hotspots.

Use Common Sense When Navigating the City

While some parts of NYC may be unsafe than other parts of the city, it’s not necessarily more dangerous than other cities in the U.S. Do the activities that make you feel comfortable and if something doesn’t feel right, rely on your intuition.

Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or help and if you feel like you’re in danger, remember that 911 is just a phone tap away.

This is a guest post.