It's always great to welcome new TA members to our little community. TA has saved me so much money and added so much enjoyment to my travels over the years and I love to share the experience with others. A few well-intentioned suggestions are offered to help less experienced members get quicker and better advice:
1. Be specific. Don't ask about "cheap hotels", since the definition of cheap varies among individuals. Better to ask about "hotels in the $___price range".
2. When asking about best things to do, or must-sees, tell us a bit about yourselves. Do you like to walk? Are you into history or architecture? Are you on a tight budget? Is it your third trip? The more we know the better we can advise you.
3. Give your post a meaningful title. "Downtown Italian Family Restaurants?" will draw in those with knowledge that can help you. But a title that says "Going to New York" is so broad that some members may pass over it since they don't know what you need.
4. If you ask for people's opinions, don't be surprised if they disagree with your ideas. You'll find a wide variety of experience and preferences here. It's not unusual for one member to tell you your itinerary sucks and another to think its great. Feel free to ask for more detail but please don't get mad if they seem to shoot down your ideas.
5. Make good use of the private message feature on TA. If you notice a member who seems knowledgeable and helpful, send a complimentary message to them and ask if they can give you other advice.
6. And PLEASE post a trip report or review when you return. Let us know what worked for you and what didn't.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for being a member of Trip Advisor--the best travel forum on the Internet.
Aldo (not affiliated with TA)