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By urban living | ESSENTIALS | 19 Sep 2014

7 Things You Need to Know Before Your Next NYC Getaway

1) The tip: it’s customary to leave at least 15%, and it is best if it is 20%. Waiters have a low base pay ($4.60 gross per hour), and thus much of their salary is what they earn with tips. The tip should be left to all those who provide any type of service for you (not only waiters but also taxi drivers, beauticians, hairdressers and so on).

2) Taxes: Almost all the prices you’ll see are before taxes. Every purchase (as well as every dish at the restaurant) cost that plus whatever the  8.875% New York State tax amounts to (fees vary from state to state in America). At the restaurant, be careful not to confuse the tax with the tip.

3) Taxi: There’s no need to shout, just raise your hand and the drivers will stop for you. Always look  at the sign on top of the roof on the cabs. If it’s lit it means that they are free, if it’s off then they are busy, and it says “off duty” they have finished their shift and are returning home. Moving around in Manhattan via taxi is very easy, you just have to know the name of the intersection of the roads to know where to go. When you take the taxi, you should always remember to give this intersection to the driver instead of saying just the street number. For instance, if you would like to go to Kesté to eat pizza at 271 Bleecker Street, you would tell the taxi driver to take you to “Bleecker, between Cornelia and Jones”.

4) MetroCard: make sure to opt for the card that best fits your trip (daily, weekly, or monthly) and enjoy public transport to move around the city. If you’re only staying for a few days, perhaps consider buying the prepaid cards with more rides. Remember, with the MetroCard, you can use the subway, bus, and ferry.

5) Bus: If you decide not to buy a MetroCard, know that you can pay a bus fare using coins instead. The single ride costs $2.75, and you have to insert the exact amount upon boarding.

6) Depending on where you’re visiting from, the electrical sockets/plugs might be different. Be sure to check ahead of time!

7) Drinking and going to nightclubs always requires a proof of age through a government issued identification document or card, and you must be at least 21 to enter a club or purchase alcohol.

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