Vacations are a highlight of any family’s year and provide lifelong memories that everyone can all cherish forever. In truth, every holiday has the potential to provide intense joy. Nevertheless, some destinations stand out more than others, and New York City (NYC) is one that sits on every traveler’s bucket list.
The Big Apple offers a little bit of everything and is the perfect place for a winter break. However, if visiting by yourself, as a couple, or with your kids, planning is always a crucial step. A few simple tricks can take your enjoyment to a whole new level. Here’s all you need to know.
Flying to NYC may be exciting, but a transatlantic flight can test your patience. If your children (or your significant other) aren’t entertained, then there’s a strong possibility that it will be a nightmare for everyone. If you are flying within the USA, know that there’s no entertainment sets on the back of your plane (except for JetBlue or Southwest, that is) – so best to bring a book, a magazine, or tablets on your carry ons to keep everyone entertained. Meanwhile, you don’t want to travel with tired kids: they can get cranky and fussy, creating a bit of an inconvenience to your family and to those around you. If the flight is at an awkward time, make sure you’ve packed everything well in advance.
Having your onward journey from the airport planned out is crucial too: make sure you know the address of your hotel or accommodation in advance, and sort our transportation options. Are you taking the train, a taxi, an Uber, Lyft, or the metro? Know that the metro can tend to be unfriendly towards strollers, so make sure you plan accordingly.
New York City is a truly vibrant place, and your family will run no risk of becoming bored during the trip. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have a few home comforts after a long day of sightseeing and adventures therefore, choosing the right accommodation is key. Hotels can lack the character and relaxation that your family needs. Many families opt to stay in New York holiday apartments as they offer far greater privacy and comfort. It’s often a more cost-effective method too. You can also opt rent through AirBnB so you can have a place of your own that may have a kitchen for you to cook food in. Take note of the neighborhoods: if you plan to be within the hustle and bustle of the city then stay in Midtown Manhattan. Best to avoid certain parts of Uptown (i.e. higher than 125th street), as that will mean longer commute times, and can be a bit sketchy at night.
Appreciate The Weather
Visiting New York in winter is amazing, especially around Christmas. Nevertheless, the colder weather can cause a few problems. If you fail to stay on top of these elements, you could end up spending the entire holiday locked away in the apartment. Winter can mean below 0 degree celsius (or below 32 degrees F), so best to layer up. You also risk a chance of encountering a snowstorm, but it hasn’t happened all the time at winter. Take note that some attractions also tend to close earlier in the winter time: ferries to the Statue of Liberty can stop so always make sure you have an indoor activity in mind. There’s also plenty of museums to choose within the city.
If you are not used to the cold weather (say, you lived in a more tropical climate like Florida), then this guide to keeping your little ones in great health will ensure that they gain far more from the vacation. You don’t want anyone in your family to fall ill with a cold a few days after you get to your vacation destination, right? The potential issues regarding the weather shouldn’t scare you, but you do need to be aware and plan accordingly. Nonetheless, it doesn’t need to stop you having maximum fun, as mentioned, there’s always plenty to do!
A little spontaneity can boost any holiday. On the other hand, one of the main reasons for choosing New York is the vast number of attractions. The vast number can be overwhelming, however, they may provide experiences and memories that may last a lifetime. You don’t necessarily need to draw up an itinerary that is organized down to the last second. Nevertheless, planning which monuments and attractions should be seen on each day can point you in the right direction. Booking Broadway tickets in advance can save money while building your schedule: or if not, you can also queue up at TKTS (not essential nor particularly enjoyable during the winter when you’re just standing there).
New York is definitely magical in the winter – after seeing all the attractions, stay for the lights at Rockefeller Center and just stroll down Fifth Avenue and look through all the department store windows. They change every year, and what you may see one year is definitely different the next year. New York can get crowded over the busy Christmas and New Year holiday, but the free entertainment and party options that you can do as well definitely adds to the spirit. Enjoy your vacation!