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How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

Wolverhampton...
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How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

I want to take my wife to New York City for her 60th Birthday in May 2016. I know its early but I like to plan ahead. We live in the West Midlands. Which is the best flight route/airline? Which part of the city should we stay in? Suggested hotels? What are the must see places we should go to? What essential tips would you give to the first time visitors to the Big Apple?

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Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

You have a severe case of forward planning, which could be put to very good use doing research. Go to the library and get a couple of books on New York City and learn about what it has to offer. Which hotels, two years away is way too early, what can you afford? Who knows what rates will be two years from now but judging from past history only upwards. A good guide book and reading up will be a promising start to your planning, which IMO is the best part of a trip: the anticipation and preparation.

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Dallas, Texas...
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2. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

This is a great place to start learning about NYC. Take a look at the Top Questions section. Start becoming a regular reader of threads. It will all be tremendously helpful in making the most of your trip.

For hotels, take a look at pricing for your dates this year to get some idea of what to expect next year.

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3. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

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Wolverhampton...
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4. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

I like to research things well. With regard to hotels, its a question of which is the best area and what hotels should I look for. Price comes later. Its been suggested we stay around Central Park. With that in mind I've been looking at the Comfort Inn and Park Lane hotels. Any other suggestions?

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Central Park
Central Park
113,056 Reviews
New York City, NY
Park Lane Hotel
Park Lane Hotel
7,069 Reviews
New York City, NY
The Comfort Diner
The Comfort Diner
773 Reviews
New York City, NY
Brooklyn, NY
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5. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

Read. Read. Read.

Just look at the faq's on the right and research.

London
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6. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

We have found the Dorling Kindersley guide to New York very helpful in the past, and are now using it to plan our third trip to NY in April. There are many helpful people on this forum and I've found the trip reports to be really helpful as well. Good luck!

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Kettering
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7. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

Hi, we live in the East Midlands and there are flights from Birmingham, although they often come in more expensive. We are just about to go for the second time and have again opted to fly from Heathrow with BA. We stay in a hotel the night before and make it part of the holiday, plus terminal 5 is a great place to fly from.

I would also recommend the DK guides and definitely plan out some sort of itinerary trying to clump things where possible to maximise what you can see in any given day. Look at what things need to be booked ahead, work out when tickets are released so that you can book up popular things before all tickets go.

Also decide how long to go for, first time we did five nights this time we are doing seven...there is so much to see one visit it never enough.

Enjoy the planning it is all part of it!!

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Dallas, Texas...
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8. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

There are a large number of hotels near Central Park. It's not clear how you picked Comfort Inn and Park Lane. Comfort Inn has a pretty dismal approval rating among reviewers.

Reading through hotel reviews and scrolling through user photos can be a very fun way to "pre-plan" your travel. Identify a few hotels to keep an eye on. You'll also learn a lot along the way, identify a few factors that are important to you, and that will help you make the better choices when it's time to book.

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Central Park
Central Park
113,056 Reviews
New York City, NY
Park Lane Hotel
Park Lane Hotel
7,069 Reviews
New York City, NY
Illinois
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9. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

I'm far from an expert, but I would budget a minimum of $300+tax (which I think would be around $350) per night for hotel. I'm going next month, and originally was finding what I would consider decent hotels for $300 including tax, but May might be a little higher. (Not sure if you're budgeting or not.) I also recommend getting guidebooks for what you want to see. You may need to extend your trip - there's a lot to see! Another thing that I think helps when planning early is to read trip reports fairly often. There are often a lot of tips in them, plus it gives you an idea of what can be done in a day.

Brighton, United...
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10. Re: How to fly, where to stay, what to see..?

I agree with others - you often see 3 night packages offered with BA/VIrgin but it's not nearly enough time to even scratch the surface of what NYC has to offer - if you're putting this much effort in to planning then I would definitely look to stay at least 5 nights, ideally 7.

My tip would be to book flights as soon as they come out (usually 11 months in advance). Cheapest prices usually from Heathrow and average around the £520 mark. Norwegian are starting a new route this autumn from Gatwick and I've booked flights for £330 return for this November. I would then look to book whatever hotel you like the look of but on a fully cancellable rate, giving you the option to change if you later see something you prefer or prices drop. This is the huge benefit of booking yourself and not as part of a package. Unlike flights, hotel prices can often get cheaper closer to the time of travel.

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