Monthly Archives: November 2015

7 driving tips nyc

7 Helpful New York City Driving Tips

Driving in a big city is decidedly different than maneuvering around town, but navigating the Big Apple is a whole different animal. It’s a little more complicated, a little more expensive and a lot more crowded than just about any other place in America. Given the choice, it’s usually preferable to rely on other means of travel, but if you’re out of options, take the stress out of your day with these seven tips for driving in New York City.

 

Share the Road

The city is always teeming with life, meaning streets and sidewalks are constantly packed with people. Like in most cities, pedestrians don’t always stay within the painted lines when they need to cross, so keep a sharp eye out for jaywalkers in addition to law-abiding crosswalk users, bicyclists and others on the street.

 

Right and Wrong Turns

In most of the United States, drivers are permitted to make right turns at red lights unless otherwise noted. New York plays by a different set of rules though, so remember that it’s illegal to turn right on red without a sign stating otherwise.

 

Pay the Piper

It’s a reality: there are very few places you’ll be able to park in the city without kicking over a few bucks (unless you like walking). Buying your way into a commercial garage or filling the meter is worth it, though—the potential expenses of tickets and towing will very quickly outweigh the cost of just about any paid parking option.

 

Stay Realistic

Remember the advice your parents gave you about deals that seem too good to be true? It’s usually pretty accurate. Many parking garages lure drivers in with attractive rates—and then you read the fine print. Likewise, if you come upon wide-open rows of available street parking, look a little closer. Signs will advise of loading zones, scheduled cleaning and other official needs which limit or eliminate the possibility of street parking in certain areas.

 

Know the Hour

Your dashboard clock will never come in handier than when driving in the big city, as many seemingly legal left turns are off-limits during more heavily-trafficked hours. Make sure to pay extra-close attention to road signs when getting around NYC, or face the prospect of a hefty ticket.

 

Don’t Get Caught Snoozing

NYC is active at all hours, and so is the city’s parking enforcement. The little infractions you can sometimes get away with elsewhere late at night will almost certainly be noticed—and ticketed accordingly—in the Big Apple. Save yourself a little cash and frustration by sticking to the rules, no matter what the hour is.

 

Make a Note

It might sound silly to make notes about where you parked your car, but think of how difficult it can be to find one’s vehicle even after a few hours in your local shopping mall. Multiply that confusion times a very large number and you have a potential reality that’s best to avoid. Use your phone or write it on your hand, but don’t lose track of where you left your wheels.

 

Driving in New York City is manageable for anyone—millions do it every day. Perform a little research in advance to make parking and navigation a little easier and you’ll be sure to enjoy your travels throughout the city that never sleeps.

The 5 Biggest Myths of Thanksgiving Travel

The 5 Biggest Myths of Thanksgiving Travel

It’s true that the holidays are among the busiest traveling periods of the year, but there are several misconceptions associated with the season. Common wisdom has lodged certain ideas into the public’s collective consciousness, but in reality many are exaggerated—or simply not true. Here are five myths about Thanksgiving travel, debunked and demystified once and for all.

Myth #1: Gas Prices Go Through the Roof

Notwithstanding uncontrollable global and geopolitical factors, the price of gasoline does not typically increase near Thanksgiving. In fact, the demand for gas usually drops enough throughout the month of November that prices are rarely lower at any point during the year. Of course, you can also choose to share ride expenses by carpooling when possible—which is a bonus for the environment, too.

Myth #2: Airport Delays Are at Their Worst

Experiencing a delayed flight can be brutal; there’s nothing quite like being stuck in an airport with hundreds of other put-out holiday fliers. Contrary to popular belief, however, Thanksgiving does not produce the most air travel delays—inclement summer and winter weather are responsible for grounding more airplanes than anything else. On average, flights in November experience delays about three percent less often than those which depart in the first eight months of the year.

Myth #3: The Day Before Thanksgiving is the Worst Day to Travel

Whether it’s the worst travel day is still up for debate—but it’s definitely not the busiest day to be on the road. It’s certainly true that the volume of travelers increases substantially around the holidays, but the Wednesday before Turkey Day is only among the ten most busy each year. In reality, peak summer traveling days (namely Fridays) put the most cars on the road during any 24-hour period.

The trick to avoiding the pain of Thanksgiving gridlock is to steer clear of peak hours; try to stay off the road between 3 and 5 p.m. for best results.

Myth #4: Frequent-Flyer Miles Are No Good

Even as blackout dates have started to disappear from frequent-flyer programs, restrictions still remain in place to limit travelers during peak seasons. In most cases, your air miles cannot be redeemed for tickets on sold-out flights, so the trick is simply to schedule your trip around the crowds. If you’re willing to leave a day or two earlier than the masses, you’re much more likely to score a good deal when redeeming your rewards.

Even if economy seating prices aren’t looking too savory, don’t forget to check on business and first-class tickets. There are often deals to be found that many people have overlooked.

Myth #5: Alcohol’s Off the Menu

The holidays tend to inspire celebratory moods, and so many adults will be inclined to enjoy a drink or two with dinner. For most people, this means drawing straws to decide who’s going to play the role of designated driver. You do have options, though—share a ride with family or friends headed the same direction, or even consider a hired car service if you’ve got a whole group going to and from the same locations. Get your plan in place well in advance to make sure you’re not left out in the cold—or worse yet, forced to play DD.