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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!

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CONAries
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joined:10/7/08
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#1
Posted: 3/17/10 at 11:30am
Rightio...
I'm FINALLY making it to New York, Im going 30th August for 2 weeks, as I've never been, and I dont know anyone who has organised a trip themselves, I thought I would ask on here for abit of advice,
so if anyone can recommend a hostel (I'm on a budget.. although there is already one I have my eye on!) or an airline thats good (the flights are NOT on any sort of budget) and if theres any good things to do that are better to book before hand, it would be GREATLY appreciated if people could let me know!

CHEERS DARLINGS!
sgv123
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#2
Posted: 3/17/10 at 11:36am
I highly suggest the Big Apple Hostel. The rooms are clean as are the bathrooms. $43 a night for a dorm and $130 a night for a single room. It is 1 block from Times Square :)

http://www.bigapplehostel.com/

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Mark_E
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joined:1/26/06
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#2
Posted: 3/17/10 at 11:40am
We have booked through Expedia the past two years, for us it always worked out cheaper than any other way and you get mega discount for booking flights/hotels together.

Have a look at the Pod Hotel, looks really nice. We stayed at the Salisbury the past 2 years which was nice but looking for somewhere cheaper this year and Pod Hotel seemed to be one of the nice ones.
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CONAries
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#3
Posted: 3/17/10 at 11:43am
BRILLIANT help guys!

I will look into both of them now!

Unfortunatley you have to be 19 to book a hotel through expedia... and I will be 18 at the time!
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Mark_E
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#4
Posted: 3/17/10 at 11:53am
Aaah that really sucks. Can you not get a parent or someone to book for you?
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CONAries
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#5
Posted: 3/17/10 at 11:55am
Naa, cause im venturing out on my own, the booking has to be in my name, it most certainly sucks! But I can still book flights on the cheap through them!
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CONAries
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#6
Posted: 3/17/10 at 12:00pm
right, got a reccomendation from a friend, and found a VERY good rate for a hotel, so that's SORTED... but still lot's of details left to do! ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!
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Mark_E
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#7
Posted: 3/17/10 at 12:09pm
Which Hotel?? My mum and I are going the beginning of August and need to find one :P.
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CONAries
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#8
Posted: 3/17/10 at 12:14pm
The Gershwin Hotel
My mum knows someone who has organised about 20 group trips to NYC for her school's drama department, so, she cant help me with organising a personal trip, but she was able to reccomend this hotel, as she has stayed in 17 different ones, and said this is the best value for money, quite funky, very clean and well !organised
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Phantom of London
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Hi Conaries, congratulations on planning your 1st trip to New York and hope you have a ball, 2 weeks sounds brilliant, you will have hardly any time to see any theatre!!!

Hotels in New York are very expensive compared to other cities.

10 tips for you.
1 - Make sure you have applied for a ESTA online.
2 - Air fares vary from airline to airline, 5 airlines fly from Heathrow to New York. BA, Virgin, American, Continental, Delta, so check all websites. Get a flight between 09:30 and 12:00 then you can catch a evening show that night.
3 - If you leave on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and get a flight at about 9-10pm you will have time to see a matinee.
4 - National Express goes near to where you live to Heathrow, for quite cheap.
5 - Buy a Metrocard as soon as you arrive in New York, this will allow you to travel all around New York and suburbs for very cheap.
6 - You will need plenty of spending money; New York has a way of taking money out of you like no other city.
7 - You will have the opportunity to see 20+ shows, which I doubt you will do, this will be expensive, but because you got plenty of time enter lotteries and save money.
8 - Keep a eye on weekly grosses, this will show selling trend of a show, if you know it does not sell out, you can use this as a bargaining chip.
9 - Get a room with air conditioning, as August is very hot.
10 - Be wary of the lady-boys behind the Lunt Fontainne.


Here is the accommodation I stayed in.

1 - 09/2005
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g60763-d122008-Reviews-Jazz_on_the_Park_Hostel-New_York_City_New_York.html

Cheap hostel, top west of Central Park, free breakfast; coffee and bagel, long way from Times Square about 20 minutes from Times Square.

2 - 02/2007
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g60763-d126257-Reviews-Hotel_31-New_York_City_New_York.html

Nice hotel, very cheap at about 40 a night, good exchange rate, had to share the shower. Close to Grand Union Station. It was -25, so cold they shut JFK airport.

3 - 12/2007
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g60763-d93333-Reviews-Wolcott_Hotel-New_York_City_New_York.html

Hotel a bit expensive, I was sharing with someone, went dutch, so worked out very well, near to Macy's

4 - 06/2009
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g60763-d202590-Reviews-Milford_Plaza_Hotel-New_York_City_New_York.html

Great hotel, next to Times Square, in fact it backed onto the Golden Theatre, hotel shut for modernisation, only down part was I could not smoke in my room.

5 - 03/2010
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g60763-d122015-Reviews-Hotel_Grand_Union-New_York_City_New_York.html

Hotel I am going to stay in from the 26th March, near to Macy's about 10-15 minutes walk from Times Square.














Updated On: 3/17/10 at 02:38 PM
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CONAries
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#10
Posted: 3/17/10 at 2:42pm
WOW, that is amazing advice Phantom, and they are all points I will follow up and look out for! thank you soo much... and I actually am planning on seeing 20+ shows, haha, my goal is to see two shows every day (but i wanna catch ALOT of quirky off-broadway shows) I havent had a holiday in 5 years, so Im going all out on this one!
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jaqs
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In need of help... planning a trip to NYC!#11
Posted: 3/17/10 at 4:05pm
I stayed at the gershwin about 10 years ago, nice location.
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Phantom of London
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I have just read the points I did above a few weeks ago having just come back from New York, I agree with all I wrote and this will stand you in good stead?

Even though you haven't had a holiday for 5 years, I imagine being young money will be tight for you?

It helps to be savvy when going to New York, as it can be expensive, the only way you get clued up is by learning by mistakes, like I did, but it was still fun, or take advice on people who have been there.

Hotel

One great point to save money is on hotels that are expensive, I see both and you and Mark are going in August, if you are both going alone, why don't you both hook up and share a twin room? If this is not possible while you are young stay in a hostel.

Theatre

I cannot advice you on plays, off Broadway or lotteries, I do not do these.

As you are young and virile unlike myself, you are best to enter lotteries, cheapest way to see shows for you. I would certainly do all lotteries on your first week, then buy from tkts or box office tickets you didn't win.

The internet is your friend for tactile planning.

3 great sites to help your planning;

http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/82428-Broadway-Rush-Lottery-and-Standing-Room-Only-Policies

http://www.playbill.com/features/article/138284-Broadway-Grosses-March-22-28

http://www.entertainment-link.com/tkts.asp

Use the above sites, to plan your shows, I would do the lotteries for the most popular shows first to give yourself a better chance of winning, if you don't you cannot hot foot it to tkts and get tickets that are up for sale, which you can plan from the links I attached.

Obviously while in New York you would want to see Wicked a couple of times, being such a big fan that has seen the show 22 time! I would put this first on my lottery, then Billy Elliot, worth seeing in New York.

Other shows worth checking out.

A little Night Music (If Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury are still in).
Addams Family
American idiot
In The Heights
La Cage Aux Folles
Memphis
Next to Normal
Promises, Promises
Sondheim on Sondheim
South Pacific
West Side Story
Phantom of the Opera (I know you are not a fan, but cool to see longest running show on Broadway and looks stunning in the Majestic Theatre).

So 14 show already.

Omitted.
Fela, Mary Poppins, Rock of Ages, Hair, The Lion King, Mama Mia, The Lion King, The Jersey Boys as already in London or coming soon, but if at a loose end go and see one, I would see Next to Normal again though.

Airline

BA and Virgin do a sale in June, so good time to get your ticket.

Subway

Easy to use, cheap a two week adult metrocard cost $51.50.

Trains generally go uptown or downtown, normally each side has its own station, e.g. to go from one side to the other is done via the street. The side you want to go is marked above the stairs, it be either marked uptown or downtown, if there is no marking means you can either way.

Be careful you have local and express trains, so make extra sure you get on the correct one.

Attractions

Can be very expensive. Times Square and Central Park are free though so is Staten Island Ferry for great fews of the Statue of Liberty.

I love going to the Met Gallery in New York, what they do not tell you though you can enter by donation instead of paying $20, I found it cool when all these Americans ahead of me were paying full price to get in and I just paid $1.

Last bit of advice, stick this thread in your favourites and ask when a question comes to mind, I will do my best to answer if I can, if not one of the other board members can give you advice.










Updated On: 4/1/10 at 04:30 PM