Situated on the east coast of America with a travel time of 7-8 hours from the UK, ‘New York, New York’ is the place to be if you want endless excitement and non-stop entertainment.
I usually go around the month of October as you escape the searing hot summer temperatures which make travelling on the subway unbearable, and despite it being a little nippy, you avoid the ridiculously cold mid-winter temperatures too. Also, on Halloween the city becomes alive with outlandish costumes and a spectacularly executed Halloween parade.
Three words, BOOK IN ADVANCE! It is essential and travel websites such as Expedia are brilliant for hunting out bargains. I paid between £700 and £800 for flights and accommodation and you can eat from the street vendors and delis, which are delicious by the way, to save even more money. However, if you want to have a good time in New York, whether by following the tourist trail or taking a more improvised explorer’s track, money is required, so set aside the time to save up. You can do a hell of a lot of walking which lets you really see New York properly, save even more pennies and work off the calories from those fabulously flavoursome New York breakfasts.
It is almost impossible for me to explain why New York is a must-see place without resorting to a barrage of superlatives. You feel like you can be anything, achieve anything when you are there and boredom is never, ever, a problem because there is so much to see and something to suit absolutely everyone. There is a sense of unique freedom which I don’t think you can get anywhere else and the entire experience is always very intimate. New York is quite simply, legendary and that is reason enough to go go go!
Where to Stay:
The four Cs are essential when booking accommodation: cheap, comfort, cleanliness and convenience. Both Radio City Apartments and The Salisbury tick all of the boxes and both are located in the centre of mid-town Manhattan. A four night stay at The Salisbury for 2 adults can be £728, but booking in advance is an absolute must if you want to pay such reasonable prices. Both are a few feet away from the Rockefeller Centre and Times Square which means that you are literally in the thick of it all.
• Wrap up warm and go on an after dark open top bus ride. It is the perfect way to see the city, learn a ton of new facts and behold the spell-binding image of night time Manhattan all lit up from the Brooklyn perspective. You’ll feel like you are in a film!
• Sensible footwear is essential. If your friends aren’t moaning about blisters, your feet will.
• Set aside time to roam Central Park on foot, by bike or perhaps a gentle row around the lake. After a hard day’s shopping, the trees and easily found solitude are a welcome change.
• New York’s vintage and punk shops are amazing and something you have to see. Screaming Mimi’s and Trash and Vaudeville in particular are kick ass and the Hell’s Kitchen flea market is an ideal place for picking up some really unique finds.
• New York is definitely a trip which requires planning due to the sheer amount of places to visit, so arrive prepared. An itinerary is very useful.
• If you can afford to, fork out for a helicopter ride over Manhattan. A truly breath-taking way to experience the city, particularly whilst the sun is just starting to set.
• You absolutely have to go and eat at the Brooklyn Diner on West 57th Street. This archetypical American diner, with red leather couches and coffee re-fills, has a vast breakfast menu; it is just epic!