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1st timers - all advice very welcome!

UK
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1st timers - all advice very welcome!

I know this may be a stupid request due to the sheer size of NYC, but hopefully someone can advise....

I'm looking to visit 23-28 Dec next year and would like to be as close to 'the action' which I assume is Times Square? A quick look at hotels close by is (as expected) bringing up silly prices.

Can anybody recommend a reasonably priced hotel (£100-ish p/n) that's not too far away i.e walking or metro?

Also which airline 'consistently' seems to offer the best fares?

No haters please - we all had to start somewhere.....

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

If you have been following this Forum you will note that no local will recommend Times Square as the ideal place to stay. I don't know if you call that action, but I call it crowds and neon lights. The city's "attractions" are spread out and easily accessibly by subway. Too early to get a price for more that 365 days away.

With your budget, the hotel pros here will recommend you stay in Long Island City, and they can give you better advice on that than I can.

Airlines? Luck of the draw and your diligence in searching. You have a lot of time. Meanwhile come and read this Forum everyday. By the time you get here you'll be a "destination expert".

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

www.kayak.com is good for flights

December is an expensive time to come generally

Norwich, United...
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3. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

I'm going to New York in 2 weeks for the first ever time. I booked our flights and hotel last January and prices have consistently risen since then.

I spent hours searching different hotels, prices and reviews and eventually ended up booking the hotel and flights through British Airways. I did get prices from travel agents for packages but they were much, much more expensive.

Basically i'd recommend doing your research and when you're happy with the price book it!

We're staying at the Hotel Metro which we got for £554 for 4 nights and includes a continental breakfast.

For our itinerary we wrote a list of everything we wanted to visit and then bought a map of Manhattan. We then plotted everything on there with stickers and then arranged our days by looking at which things are in the same area.

I hope this is helpful!

Let me know if you have any other questions

New York, NY
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4. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

Regarding what Laura said about a map -

Google Maps has a function that will let you create your own personalized maps with specific attractions pinpointed. It's incredibly useful for getting a sense as to what is nearby and what is not.

I agree with what others have said about places to stay and flights. Times Square is fun for a visit; it is a nightmare to use as a base because of the vehicle and pedestrian traffic. If the purpose of your Times Square visit is to "see" Times Square, then the crowds are part of the fun atmosphere - you're in New York City, look up at the flashing lights! When you have to navigate them to actually get somewhere else, they become less fun.

New York City
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5. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

If you are planning for Decemer of 2013 rather than 2012, it is impossible to say what hotels will go for. Any prices listed will be rack rates, instead of anything discounted. That being said, the prices you are seeing are not "silly", but shrewd --after all, a hotel is not a charitable institution, but a money making business. Hotels charge what the market will bear based on the laws of supply and deman. Because lots of people want to come to NYC before Christmas to see the decorations and do their shopping, December is one of the most expensive times of the year to come to NYC. If you want a cheap hotel, come in February or August. If you insist on coming at the most popular time -- which is what you are doing -- you need to expect to pay top dollar for it.

Now, about "action" in Times Square - What do you consider "action"? If your idea of "action" is being part of a trampling horde of tourists who are gawking at other tourists who are gawking at electric advertising signs, Times Square has loads of that. It is also close to most theaters if you fancy going to a play or a musical. On the other hand, if your idea of "action" is good bars and restaurants, or shopping, or an interesting neighborhood full of the locals, or jazz clubs, or dance clubs, then Times Square has almost no action at all. With a few exceptions, it is a dining wasteland with almost no nightlife beyond the theaters. It also is not close to all sights, or walking distance to everything you want to see, or central to great shopping, or any of the other mistaken impressions that people who have never been to NYC often think it is. There is thus no need to confine yourself to Times Square when the subway system will get you from your hotel elsewhere to a restaurant or bar or club in minutes -- or you just might find something in walking distance, even though you are not in Times Square.

Note that the currency used in NYC is the US dollar. If you want to ask about prices, you need to ask in dollars, rather than expecting people in NYC who are volunteerig their time to help on this forum to be aware of the exchange rate of an unfamiliar foreign currency and to do the conversion for you.

Edited: 02 December 2012, 20:49
Ireland
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6. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

Hi i have been 3times to nyc, 1st two times with friends & 3rd alone. The 3rd time i stayed in doubletree by Hilton in times square& i have to say i found it the best location by far.

I did many many hours of research before i went kept checking prices& in the end got a great deal-there was a huge difference in the weeks either side of when i went!

As i was alone i didn't want to worry about traveling alone to a hotel miles out. I didn't have an interest in nightlife so can't comment on that but i asked for a room on a high floor& there was no noise.

I found times square great as it was central enough to walk to all major sites& if u want to go further its also very handy for the subways too. There are loads of food options too. Always felt v safe too even in dark. Hope this helps& enjoy, its an amazing city!!

Ireland
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7. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

Never heard Sterling being called an unfamiliar foreign currency before lol. But the current exchange rate is £1 = $1.60. Ahh, i remember a few years back when it was 2 dollars for pound. Had a field day :))

New York City
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8. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

Any currency used in foreign countries (and for New Yorkers, the UK is a foreign country) that one neither sees nor uses in daily life (and I am quite certain that most of my coworkers here in NYC have never seen any piece of British currency at any time in their lives) is an unfamiliar foreign currency. There is a difference between having heard of something, and finding it *familiar* (i.e., "within normal everyday experience; common and ordinary; not strange.") As for the exchange rate, there is no reason why someone who is being asked by a stranger to provide assistance should also be expected to do the math; common sense should indicate that the person asking others for help would be wise to make that help as easy as possible to provide -- and that includes doing one's own currency conversions.

Ireland
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9. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

GWB, without doubt you are one of the best assisters on here. Your knowledge is second to none (given that NYC is your own back door). But really you need to be a little more tolerant of those who find a trip over to your side of the pond all a bit daunting. If you posted a question on the European forums and made a request in Dollars about cost Im sure no one would complain about that. Tripadvisor is a multinational forum, even when considering a specific location. Making someone feel awkward or conveying an elitist attitude isnt the best way to welcome other tourists to your neighbourhood. Just my "tuppence" (cents?) worth lol.

London, United...
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10. Re: 1st timers - all advice very welcome!

junctiontwo - you don't tell us what airport you're planning to depart from which means it is more difficult to tell you what is the better airlines to use.