By Michele Smith
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Whether you are a new model or a seasoned model in the fashion industry, if you have never traveled to the Big Apple for a modeling assignment, it can be a little daunting. There are a couple of tips I have learned over the years to make this a fun experience and most importantly, less stressful. The key here is simply to plan and over plan for that matter.

First and foremost, it is important on what airport you fly in. La Guardia is closer to Manhattan and JFK is little more of a trek out. I highly recommend flying in the day before regardless of the airport you choose, so you can get a good night’s sleep and arrive fresh at the shoot. Navigation around the city is crucially important. The most affordable way to get around the city is the subway or even the bus.  The subway is a great way to get anywhere rather quickly.

Depending on how long your stay is, you can purchase one way tickets for $3 or a 7-day metro pass for $32. Please keep in mind though, if there is construction or it is the weekend, not all trains are running.  I recommend going to the information booth when you go down to the train and picking up a subway map. And, do not be afraid to ask questions if there is a certain area you are traveling to. In the event of a worst-case scenario, it is VERY easy to hail a cab, but again this depends on the model’s budget. I highly recommend leaving early so you are on time, not matter what mode of transportation you select.

I also highly recommend traveling with a very large purse for a couple of reasons. First, you are going to want to throw in a pair of heels in your bag (or whatever is required for the shoot) and you will want to wear something comfortable to run around the city in. I prefer flip flops or tennis shoes. Pack a water bottle, any snacks (never count on catering) and a phone charger. This is important especially if you are going to be away from where you are staying all day.  Any model needs to be reachable always for any location changes or new work.

Finally, yet importantly, there is the question of where to stay and if you are just starting out, your room and board will not be covered. Manhattan is more on the spendy side, but it is a great place to stay hands down, as you are right in the middle of everything. NYC is truly the city that never sleeps. For models on a budget, there are other places you can stay in the Boroughs (The Bronx, Brooklyn, etc.) and there is, where you can rent out rooms from families that open their home.

You can research how close the place is to the subway, etc. On one my first assignments, I rented a room in Brooklyn for $100 a night, was in walking distance of the subway and could be in the city for my modeling assignment within 30 minutes.