New York, New York!

This is a different kind of travel post than I am used to doing if I am honest. In the past when I have been away, I have blogged after the fact, it has mainly been focusing on what I wore or what I had packed.  I’m not even going to give you any real money saving tips either which is what most travel blogs are about.  I will be up front and let you know I didn’t pay for anything.  Ok, that is a lie, I paid for breakfast a couple of mornings and paid for the tickets into the 9/11 museum but that was all as it was a family holiday.

I haven’t been on a proper family holiday since I was 14 and we went to Disneyland, Paris.  As many kids nowadays, I flew from the nest quite young and have been having “adult holidays” since I was 18.  Don’t get me wrong I went away with my family but the joy of being part Italian and having family in Italy is that when we went away, it was always a home away from home rather than a holiday.  The reason behind this family holiday was not because we had suddenly decided we liked each other, (mum that is a joke if you are reading this.  Please don’t hold it against me and bring it up every time you have had a few glasses of wine!!)  but it was how my mum wanted to spend her *cough* 40th (it was her 50th actually) birthday.  New York City, here we come!  And, it just so happens my mum’s birthday also falls on New Year’s eve! So not only New York City but New York City at Christmas and over New Year’s eve!! Definately a bucket list kind of thing!!!

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What can I say about New York? As the only one who had been before out of my family (which consisted of me, my mum, stepdad & 17 year old little sister), I knew what to expect and I actually enjoyed it more this time.  I wasn’t staring wide eyed up at the skyscrapers for the whole holiday, I wasn’t scared to cross the road this time and I wasn’t scared of the amount of people there was.  I don’t want to bore you with my description of what a fab family holiday it was.  Being let into Times Square at 54th street at 1 minute to 12 and sprinting in high heels while pretty tipsy to make it in time to watch the ball drop down on 42nd street with 1.5 million people around you is something that I will always remember.  But here are my travel tips for New York City!!

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  • Travel from Dublin! I don’t say this lightly, Dublin is the only airport where you can do the USA visa entrance process before getting into the states.  I have flown to America from London before and it can taken up to an extra 1-2 hours or longer to make your way through immigration once you land in the USA.  It took us 20 minutes in Dublin.  We even spoke to a couple who had flown from Manchester to Dublin for that reason.

  • Do all the tourist attractions first thing in the morning.  Statue of Liberty, 9/11 museum. Be there as soon as then open! No queues compared to 1pm when you will be queuing for a minimum 2/3 hours.

  • For the Empire State building, get the Express pass! I am not joking when I say this.  It is $15 more than an ordinary pass but you get fast tracked past everyone queuing, you literally feel like a VIP.  We went just before the sunset and got straight up to the top instead of queuing for 3 hours.  Watching the sunset over the New York Skyline is amazing! Remember to wrap up warm, 88 stories up, it can get a bit chilly.

  • Accept that for a better location, you will sacrifice the size of your hotel room.  But at the end of the day, you shouldn’t be in your hotel room that much apart from to drop dead after walking the length of Central Park! You are in New York people!

  • Always have a few restaurants on the back burner, just incase.  Stumbling across a nice restuarant that will suit everyone in NYC is hard as it is simply so big and you get to a stage where you can’t even be bothered looking. You just need food. One restaurant that I loved in NYC was Basso56, a small Italian resturant north of Times Square.  Lovely staff, great food and a lovely warm atmosphere.

  • Do everything and anything there is to do. Holidays of a lifetime don’t come around a lot, so take it all in.

  • Everywhere has wifi, which is great.  All hotels, museums, starbucks, restaurants etc

  • Get a selfie stick!!! Best invention ever!!!

  • Bring a portable phone charger! You will need it for taking all the amazing skyline photos you will get.

  • Carry ID with you EVERYWHERE, especially if you are baby faced liked me!

That is all! Either way, the tips I give you are irrelevant because it will be one of the most amazing holidays you have ever been on!

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