It’s happening… I am off to New York City in a few weeks! Yay!
New York has to be one of my most favourite cities. I think if I wasn’t such a home bird I would definitely live in New York. I love the buzz and the anonymity of the city and how there is so much to see and do! One of my most favourite sites is the New York skyline, it’s just FAB!
We started to talk about going to New York around May time so I was so excited when we finally booked it in July, so today I thought I would chat you through our flights and hotel bookings. I know lots of people don’t like booking their own holiday but honestly with a little bit of research and practise and its is no bother.
We started off by booking our flights, I personally book flights first because then your dates are pretty much set in stone so then its easier to find a hotel with your specific dates. I check a few websites when I am booking flights. The main ones are Expedia and Skyscanner. I use them to find the cheapest airlines for my chosen dates then I watch the fares on the airlines own website and also the comparison sites for a week or two. If I find the fares are starting to rise or if they fall then that is when I purchase them. It ensures you get the best value for your flight and hopefully gets you a bargain! 😉
The cheapest airline for my trip was with the airline Norwegian airline which is like a super saver fare. The fare doesn’t include a checked bag and it lands at an airport around 1hr 30 mins outside Manhattan. The next best fare was with Aer Lingus, it included a checked bag and it lands at JFK which is 1 hour outside Manhattan.
We decided to go with Aer Lingus, for a few reasons;
- When we added a checked bag with Norwegian and worked out the price of a taxi from Stewart International Airport there wasn’t much difference in the price.
- Aer Lingus planes are comfortable and their service is good – not saying Norwegians service isn’t but I didn’t want to take the risk with a 7 hours flight 😉
- Flight times were better with Aer Lingus
- Checked baggage is included
We got our flights for around £350rtn each, which is sort of a bargain in my eyes. We are traveling Saturday-Friday which cause the flights to be a tad more expensive. If we went Monday-Sunday they were around £30 cheaper – that is what I mean by watching the flights and your dates, there can be great savings.
Now for the hotel…
This part stressed me out a bit! I just couldn’t find a hotel, in a decent location at a reasonable price. It took ages for me to find the hotel that I chose, mainly because I kept looking at hotels through booking.com which was a bad idea.
If you are booking through booking.com please be careful with the charges that may be due at the hotel, when booking through their site it can be very misleading until the last minute which is exactly what happened me before I caught on! I thought I was getting a great deal until I read through all the charges etc before I hit confirm and worked out that once the charges were added on I was nearly paying $400 extra 😮
When booking a hotel always do your research and set your budget. Find a hotel you think you might like, check it out on a few websites including23e4 the hotels own website and go with the one thats the best price for your budget, its all about cross examining. I found the best price for our hotel through the hotels own website although it is very rare that you find a hotel cheaper on their own website than through a broker site. In the end we paid around £1240 for 6 nights 4* which is quite reasonable for the middle of Manhattan.
I find the best sites to book through are Hotels.com and Expedia. If you book flights through Expedia they generally give you discount to book a hotel through their site as well. Recently most of the booking sites don’t include taxes that are due at the hotel, this seems to be a new thing with USA hotels.
My top tip for booking a hotel is; book central to where you want to be. For example, we booked the heart of Manhattan because that is where we want to be. It may have been more expensive that those hotels outside of our chosen area. I could have booked a hotel in Brooklyn for £100 cheaper but that would mean we would have to travel into Manhattan most days which would costs us either in taxi fares or subway fares which in the end would more than likely tally over £100 for both of us for the week. Lots of people only look at the price of the hotel instead of factoring these things in.
The more you save by booking wisely the more you have to spend or put towards another holiday 🙂 Earlier this year I managed to get 4 nights, half board 4* including flights to Spain for £250 each, whilst I got this bargain another lady I was speaking to spent over £500 for the same things because she didn’t bother searching about!
I hope this post will be of some use to some of you. I will have a blog post up in the next few weeks about our intended itinerary (I am super organised)