Here's a question I get a lot from Native Creative Concierge clients - How much will it cost to take a cab from the airport to my hotel?
Here's a great resource: Taxi Fare Finder. You plug in your starting point and the address of your hotel or vacation rental and you're given the fares of the shortest route, cheapest route and the fastest route. The website calculates for yellow and green taxis - metered cabs - so it also tells you the estimated fare if there's no traffic - whoo hoo! - or if there's heavy traffic - road work, rush hour, traffic accidents with rubbernecking.
Comparing that to the flat fare from JFK International Airport ($52 USD) to Manhattan is also a plus. I also use that site to get a ballpark figure of the rate I'd pay if I take a gypsy cab or a private car service to a neighborhood I've never been to before via cab. It's always best to go into those situations armed with a price and to stick with it. Many a time, I've stated the fare I was willing to pay, the cab driver insisted it was more, I said no and started to exit the car and the cab driver acquiesced. Knowledge is power.
You can decide if it's worth taking a cab to skip public transportation if it's within your budget. Not to mention the view of the Manhattan Skyline is pretty breaktaking when you're coming over the 59th St bridge or the Triboro. Of course, I'm quick to tell my domestic travelers about the M60 bus to/from LaGuardia Airport. It's my go-to method, cost less than $3 and it's hassle-free if you're staying in Manhattan.