I stayed next to the airport as I didn't want the stress of getting there as I had an early flight, so early I still had to get up at 4am even though I was right next to the airport! I didn't really sleep 'cause I was so excited but it was nice to get the holiday started early with a swanky nights stay in a four star hotel.
Top tip, check out booking.com as I got my room for a mere £35 when it is normally A LOT more. You can book far in advance and pay when you leave and they alert you if it becomes cheaper so you can just cancel your booking for free and book again at the cheaper price which I did a few times with no hassle.
- Flying with Virgin
I booked my whole holiday with Virgin and I can't rate them enough. The process was a breeze, they had money off deals if you booked the hotel and flight with them and transfers to and from the hotel were really reasonable.
I had a great experience with their online chat service as I was able to ask as many silly questions as I wanted without feeling like a pain in the arse and they were also so helpful. It was my first time travelling out of Europe, never mind on my own, so this made me feel completely at ease. They also have an app that sends you alerts whilst in the airport for example your gate number so you don't have to sit staring at a screen and you get plenty of emails and information so I felt completely comfortable knowing what to do at and through the airport and at the other end meeting my transfer.
The way you pay with virgin is also really good. I booked about a year in advance and the total cost of mine was just under £1800 for 6 nights/8 days (as I had an overnight flight back). You paid a £150 deposit which is very reasonable and then you had until 3 months before the holiday to have it all paid off and you could do it when you wanted to and whatever amount you wanted to, there weren't any rigid repayment dates.
I picked a hotel that was recommended from their list and I couldn't of been happier. It was the Hotel Metro, the rooms where spotless, it was right in the middle of the east and west sides, there was a metro station 50 meters down the road if that, Macy's was at the end of the road and the Empire State was the next block up, it couldn't of been more perfect and the staff were extremely helpful and welcoming. One thing I was worried about was that I'd get weird reactions from having traveled alone but I didn't at all in fact the only thing the girl on the reception said other than the usual was how much she liked my hair!
- Having my first wander around and trying to find Times Square to pick up my New York pass
- Women be shoppin'
- Macy's flower show
- Empire State building
- Staten Island Ferry at night and by night I mean late and considering I was alone I felt pretty safe and there were police on the ferry so that was comforting also
- Freedom Tower
- September 11th memorial
- Jeff Koons balloon flower sculpture
- View from walking a long Battery park facing New Jersey
- Statue of Liberty
- Times Square at night
- View from the Empire State building at night
- Natural History museum
- Walking through Central Park is a beaut route to get to...
- The Met museum
- Moma and finally getting to see Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night
- The high line
- Chelsea Market and Black witch bakery and Doughnuttery
- Baked by Melissa cupcake's
- My Micheal Kors bag from Nordstrom rack *heart eyes emoji*
- The Top of the Rock experience with breath taking views!
- Magnolia Bakery (Yum!! The cheesecake is a must)
- Sight seeing around the Rockefeller Center
- Dunkin' Donuts
- The Whitney Museum with great views of the city
- The Brooklyn bridge
From Tuesday through to Thursday I decided to get a 3 day New York pass and cram everything that cost money to do sight seeing/experience wise in those three days and amazingly I did it! The pass for the three days was $191.20 which divided by three is around $63 which is roughly equal to £48 which considering what I managed to cram in each day is a bloody good deal.For the museum's a lot say they have a suggested donation but it isn't like the UK where there is just a box to put money in, you still have to queue and get a ticket from a desk so for me personally I wouldn't of given less than the suggested donation so for me the pass was good for that as I was able to go to every museum I wanted to without spending a small fortune.
A weeks metro pass is only $30 and you can get anywhere super quick and after a few go's it is really easy to navigate. Trust me you will want to take advantage of this, sometimes I thought oh it is only a few blocks walk but if you constantly do that you end up walking over 18km in one day which half killed me as that was an average for most days as I definitely could of used the metro more, however then I wouldn't of seen so much of the city so swings and roundabouts.
So these four days would be a great itinerary for you if you were going to New York for a long weekend/four days. I spent hours and hours working out the best order to do things in in terms of what things were close to each other to make the most of each day so that is why I was able to pack so much in. I'm really really glad I prepared and researched so well and it definitely made me feel more confident as I was on my own because I wasn't constantly staring at a map or looking lost, in fact I got stopped multiple times by people asking for directions and I was actually able to help haha.
In terms of safety my main tip is making sure you don't look like a tourist and by that I mean don't walk around with a guide book, huge rucksack and be constantly looking at google maps. Use a standard bag like you would at home and with a camera, keep it in your bag until you need it or discreetly around your neck if it is a point and shoot. Be confident in where you are going, if you need to look at google maps/a map, go into a shop instead of standing on the street and drawing attention to yourself. If someone asks if you are on your own or what your plans are say that you are meeting up with friends, don't let it be known that you are on your own so that it doesn't give people an opportunity to take advantage. In all honesty I felt pretty safe, especially in the day, I was vigilant but didn't feel unsafe at all. It was only when it got dark that I felt more vulnerable but I would feel the same if I was at home, you just need to be vigilant and sensible.
I still have my Friday, Saturday and Sunday to tell you about which I focused more on just shopping and general land mark sight seeing and included a trip to Carlos Bakery which was so yum! I can't wait to go back to New York but I've got a few places to visit first before I do but I have definitely got the travel bug. If you got to the end well done haha. Keep your eyes peeled and I still have some hauls to come! I'm also going to Portugal at the end of September and Iceland in November so expect more travel posts!
- Amy x
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