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Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

Brooklyn, NY
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Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

As a frequent poster on this site, I have seen many itineraries. Some are extremely well thought out, other appear to have been patched together from disparate pages of guide books. Here are some suggestions that may apply to all.

1. Don't do too much in a day. New York is a marathon and not a sprint. "I'm only here for four days and want to see everything." Well, you can't. Don't put too much into any given day. You will end up having an exhausting run-around and will have photos, but no experiences.

2. Look at a map. I've seen itineraries that bounce around from Greenwich Village, to Coney Island to Midtown and back to downtown. Plan your activities around a specific area or two for each day.

3. Leave time. It takes time to get places. It takes time to appreciate places. Most of all, it takes time to truly get the feel of a place. Seeing Union Square by walking through it is far less entertaining than hanging out for some time there - shopping at the farmers market, checking out the vendors, sitting on a bench and watching NY unfold.

4. Have an open day or afternoon. Leave time to go explore a neighborhood in Brooklyn or Queens. Leave time to just wander around Central Park. Leave time to go back to a place that you saw off of a HOHO bus. If you are with kids, leave time to have them enjoy a great playground.

5. Remember to be the master of your itinerary and not its slave. Feel free to change, rearrange, drop and add at will. New York is always changing, change along with it.

Anything you miss you will catch on the next go-around.

Peak District...
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1. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

My thoughts entirely Mel - even though I have a rough itinerary for our trip to NY in 2 weeks I know from experience that some of the best things we have done whilst on holiday have been things we have stumbled upon or not planned, and if you plan too much you can end up being dissapointed.

Whilst in San Francisco the best day we had was the day we decided on the spur of the moment to hire bikes from near our hotel and cycled the marina, Golden Gate Bridge and then through parts of the city we would not have seen otherwise.

At Lake Garda, Italy, we drove up to the mountains and found an amazing waterfall, Cascate di Varone, which is inside a labyrnth of caves.

In Rome by chance we discovered the Cappucin Monks Chapel, where the skeletons of monks who died hundreds of years ago are displayed in a wonderful art-form - you have to see it to believe it.

I am hoping that we find another gem of a find in NY - the exciting part is - we won't know 'til we get there !! :O)

Mesa, Arizona
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2. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

Exactly. of course, an excellent post.

What strikes me about itineraries:

- people "bounce all over the place" instead of planning by areas (there AREA maps of New York City).

- dont plan much of anything first day. "I'm landing at JFK at 1:30pm and by 3:30 pm I plan to ....." Not gonna happen most likely. Plane is late, customs/security/luggage is backed up......If you land at 5:00p, unlikely you'll make a broadway show that night (IMHO)

but my number one all-time gripe: people who dont research BEFORE they start to ask questions. People, have you seen the number of posts on how to get from JFK to mid-town manhattan?

Ok....Im done.....

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

Yes. There is New York and there is Tourist New York.

Tourist NY is a sort of commercial enterprise where you spend a lot of money, stand on line for a long time, meet other tourists and non-NYers, and see things that look just like the postcard of it.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but lots of visitors who fall in love with NYC are the ones who venture into the "real" NYC.

Wirral
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4. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

Lots of great tips there, Brooklyn Mel. Appreciated your advices.

One thing that kind of pain me to read on this forum is when users had already planned their first day on the same day where they are travelling to get to NY. What happened if the flight was delayed or cancelled, missing out the shows that they'd already booked? Broadway shows are costly. Especially when travellers coming from the East, they'll be too shattered to keep awake to concentrated the shows that evening.

It is best to take it easy on the first day, walk around, get to use your bearing and be well rested. Then kickstart the whole saga the next following day.

Yalesville...
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5. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

Mel - very timely and of course good and usable advice. Hope those who need to read the blurb.

Your advice on the first day activities is well put - most people do not realize by the time they arrive in NYC from the continent/Europe they would have been awake for over 20 hours taking in travel/waiting time.

Be the master of your itinerary, for sure!

This should be considered for an FAQ!!

Poppa

Brooklyn, NY
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6. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

Yeah, the first day of every vacation is best spent taking it easy, adjusting to any time differences and walking around the general area. I would definately not schedule too much for that first day.

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

Great post as ever Mel

yes we didnt get done as much we wanted - but what we did do was quality! For example, we spent 4 hrs in the MET and could have spent longer as there is so much to see.

Hence why we hope to return in 2010!

Columbus, Ohio
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8. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

So true, BrooklynMel. My last trip in June was an almost hour-by-hour jam-packed, exhausting pre-planned itinerary. I have to admit that I still had fun, and the folks I brought with me absolutely loved it. This trip (only 6 days and counting) will be much less structured. We have many things we'd like to do, but we won't break our necks trying to get to everything, and we'll take more time to smell those roses you speak of! Barring a monsoon next Tuesday, I think we'll plan to just wander around the Upper West Side and Central Park for our first day. Just thinking about it makes me so excited to get there!

Yalesville...
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9. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

LMV's reply sums it up very well::

"yes we didnt get done as much we wanted - but what we did do was quality!"

SMELL the Roses..........

Poppa

New Hampshire
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10. Re: Smelling the Roses - Your itinerary

And don't forget what rain.... cold, windy weather with driving rain.....freezing rain..... snow......snow with ice, and worst of all hot, HOT, humid weather can do to a well-planned but inflexible, heavily inve$ted itinerary....