International Conference on Eating Disorders

ICED 2019

International Travel Tips

Welcome to New York City

New York City is composed of five boroughs. While Manhattan and Staten Island are islands, Brooklyn and Queens are geographically part of Long Island, and the Bronx is attached to the US mainland. The islands are linked by bridges, tunnels and ferries. Check here for helpful NYC maps and guides.

International Visitors and Arrivals from Abroad

  • Visas
    If you're visiting New York City from outside the United States, you may need a visa to enter the country. We encourage you to begin the Visa application process at least 160 days prior to travelling. For details, visit the US State Department's visa information website.
  • Trusted Traveler Programs
    Fly through the lines at JFK, LGA and Newark. The Department of Homeland Security has introduced several programs that can help expedite security and customs screenings when traveling to and from the US and New York City. The programs, customized based on travel needs and designed to enhance passenger experience, are available for US citizens and residents as well as those from certain foreign countries. Visit to learn more about the options and their benefits, and see a chart that compares the different features of each.
  • US Customs and Border Protection
    Recent improvements by US Customs and Border Protection have helped decrease wait times to enter the United States for both visitors and citizens coming from abroad. Among these are the Trusted Traveler Programs listed above, as well as self-service kiosks located in the international arrivals terminals at area airports and an app for smartphones and tablets. Discover what to expect when arriving from an international destination by watching "You Have Arrived," a short instructional video; to learn more about the self-service kiosks and app, watch "Global Entry – The Quickest Way Through the Airport."

Time Zone

New York City is on Eastern Standard Time (Greenwich mean time minus four hours during daylight saving time, from March into early November, and minus five hours the rest of the year).


In New York City and throughout the United States, the dollar is the standard currency. This converter allows you to determine the value of other currencies compared with the dollar.

Below are some of the many places where you can exchange your currency for American dollars.

American Express Travel Services:
• 111 Broadway (at Pine St.); 212-693-1100

AFEX - Associated Foreign Exchange
• 870 Seventh Ave., Retail Suite A


New York is America's safest large city, but visitors should still use common sense to protect themselves and their property. Be aware of your surroundings, and make sure to always use licensed, reputable businesses for any services you need. For example, don't hail livery cabs (as opposed to taxis) at the airport, and don’t rent bikes from companies that seem suspicious. If you're not sure where to find legitimate businesses, the listings at are a good place to start as are those published by the Better Business Bureau. Your hotel concierge should be able to answer questions on this topic, and will be helpful if you need more information about neighborhoods in the five boroughs. 311, the City's official information hotline, is also a useful resource. For more information about safety, read our tips for visitors.


More generally, spring in New York City brings budding flowers, light winds and rain, with the season’s temperatures ranging from cool to very warm. Summer is characterized by bright, sunny, hot days and later sunsets, sometimes accompanied by cool breezes in areas near the water. The fall season is cool and crisp, so it’s wise to wear layers. The winter months are cold and snowy with less daylight, though the sky is often sunny and clear. Below is a chart with average temperatures and rainfall by month.



Let’s face it. It’s not always fun to tack a few extra bucks of your hard-earned money onto a bill. But since New Yorkers in the service industries (hotels, restaurants and transportation) usually have tips factored into their wages, tips are expected and greatly appreciated. You don’t have to go overboard, but be sure to show the love for great New York City service. Note that there are an increasing number of restaurants these days implementing a no-tipping policy—they either add on a service or administrative charge or they have hiked their prices, and use the money to better pay their workers (the policy will typically be indicated on the menu or bill). In lieu of that, here’s how much you should tip:

  • Hotel doorman: $1 for hailing a cab.
  • Porters and bellhops: $1–$2 per bag.
  • Housekeeping: $1–$2 per day of your visit, or as much as $5 per day.
  • Waitstaff and bartenders: 15–20 percent of total bill.
  • Taxi drivers: 15–20 percent of total fare.
  • Hairdressers: 15–20 percent of total service cost.

Tips for other service personnel, such as theater ushers, tour guides and coat-check staff, are always appreciated.

One more thing: if you’re having drinks at a bar, bartenders typically expect at least a $1 tip for every drink they serve you. Later on, when the bar gets crowded, you’ll be glad that the bartender remembers you!

Sales Tax

Buyer beware: while the price tag may say one thing, prices marked typically don’t include tax. New York City sales tax on goods and services is 8.875 percent. But there are a few exceptions:

No sales tax on food items purchased at grocery stores, or on prescription drugs.

No sales tax on clothing or footwear under $110.