Getting from Airport to Hotel – When we arrived in New York (NY) via JFK Airport, we asked for directions to our hotel in Brooklyn and were directed to the subway. What a mistake!
With luggage, stroller, baby in toll the best way to get from the airport to your hotel is taxi! Although the taxis in NY are not the cheapest (probably at least twice to 3 times more expensive than Singapore), it is practically impossible to navigate the NY subway stations with luggage; transferring line to line. Not all stations have disability access (i.e. not stroller friendly.) Imagine climbing up and down the stairs with your luggage. Unless you are backpacker, with kids I would definitely suggest you spend the money on cabs. (about US$50 from JFK to Brooklyn, excluding tips)
But one thing I must say is that in general Americans are very friendly and helpful. Almost at every staircase, there are people who offered to help us with our luggage.
Without the luggage, subway is probably the best way to get around in New York, once you figured out the lines. For parents with babies like me, bringing a stroller is good if you are going on a walking tour, but only if you have 2 persons, or 1 person with a very light weight stroller. Most of the roads in NY are relatively flat and disable friendly.
Subway Tickets – You can get a special subway ticket from the airport to the main subway line for US$5 (You pay when you get out of the station.).
There are 7-day ($29) and 30-day unlimited passes available, which I probably the best bet if you staying for quite a few days, since each ride cost $2.50. You can also use them on buses too.
There are discounts if you buy at least $10 worth of trips. So you figure what’s most economical!
Apps – A tip is to download the Subway Map app onto your phone first before you arrive so you won’t get lost!
Another useful free App is Hopstop. Key in your origin destination and the place you want to go and viola! The only thing is that you need internet to use it but you can save your trips so you can review them when you don’t have internet!