Category Archives: New York City

After London New York is my second favourite city in the world. Our first trip here was for our honeymoon and we have been back several times since, in various seasons.
I would recommend reading ‘Visiting New York for the first time’, ‘Top 5 things to do in New York’ and ‘Rookie mistakes in New York City – and how best to avoid them‘ if you are planning your first ever trip to New York.
But even if you have been before and are planning a subsequent visit, there are still loads of places to see, things to do and foods to eat in New York City. I am certain there is something for every one here, so enjoy the read.

Visiting New York on a budget – 14 Things to do in New York for free or little money

Exploring New York for free - Travel for a Living

New York for free? Sounds too good to be true. I mean, we all know that city trips cost a fortune. And New York is no exception. What if I told you there are heaps of things to do in New York that cost little to no money? Perfect, if you are visiting New York on a budget. Or if you want to keep some spare change for that shopping spree

OK, without further ado, let’s dive straight into it. I’ll share with you 14 things that you can do in New York for free or for very little money. Yes, some might require a little planning. Surely that’s a little price to pay to get the most out of your trip when visiting New York on a budget. 

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Is the Vessel Hudson Yards worth a visit?

Is the Vessel worth a visit? - Travel for a Living

People keep asking me if we don’t get bored visiting New York over and over again. Since we’ve seen it all already. And you know what? No, we don’t (obviously, otherwise we wouldn’t go back). New York, same as any other major city really, has the beauty of constantly changing and new things to do and places to see are popping up. One thing on my To Do List for our last trip to New York was visiting the Vessel in Hudson Yards. After all, last time we walked the High Line, this part wasn’t finished and not yet open to the public. Having seen loads of pictures of the Vessel all over the net and Instagram, I was eager to see it for myself. But is the Vessel worth a visit? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that. 

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Inside the British Airways Lounge at JFK Airport

As you might know, I am a frequent flyer on British Airways. And one of the perks of my silver status is access to the airport lounge, whenever I fly. So, travelling back from New York was no exception obviously. We’ve been to the lounge at JFK a couple of times before and it didn’t really make my Top 5 if I am honest. However, they have recently undergone a massive refurbishment. Meaning I was quite excited to check it out as we headed back to London after our recent week in New York. And what can I say. The new BA lounge is way better than the old one. Curious? Let me take you inside the British Airways Lounge at JFK airport for a quick nose around.

Saying the old lounge was no good is moaning at a very high level. There wasn’t anything really wrong with it. It was just a bit knackered. But not the worst BA lounge I’ve ever been in. 

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Movie Location Tour New York City for free

Movie Locations Tour New York City - Travel for a Living

As Alicia Keys sings in her song Empire State of Mind: ‘a town that is famous as a place of movie scenes’. Even if you’ve never been to New York in real life (although, if you haven’t, I’d absolutely urge you to go. It is just such a wonderful place), I am certain you have a whole bunch of pictures flick through your mind when you think of New York. The city has been the setting of so many movies and TV series over the years, that we all feel familiar with certain corners (whether or not they actually exist like this in real life is a different matter). So, as we headed back to New York for yet another week, I thought it was finally time to head out on a movie location tour through New York City. 

Well, to be honest, there are loads of ready-made movie location tours available in New York, it could be rather difficult to choose just one. So instead, I decided to have a bit of all and create my very own self-guided movie location walking tour through New York. Intrigued? Let me tell you all about the movie locations we visited. And the good thing? My movie location tour is completely for free. See, not everything in New York needs to cost a fortune (in fact, there are heaps of things you can do in New York for free or very little money).

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You’ve got Mail Movie Locations Tour NYC

You've got Mail Movie Locations - Travel for a Living

Shall I share a big secret with you? You’ve got Mail is one of the all-time favourite movies of Mr T and me. We must have watched it at least a hundred times. Cuddled up on the sofa and You’ve got Mail on the tele is pretty much my idea of a perfect Sunday. So, during our recent trip to New York, we decided to finally check out those You’ve got Mail movie locations once and for all.

Over the years, some of those locations have obviously changed. After all, the movie is over 20 years old. But you can still find loads of them. 

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What you should know about the New York Destination Fee Scam

What you need to know about the New York Destination Fee - Travel for a Living

Have you ever come across the New York Destination fee? Or New York amenity fee? Or resort fee? No? Well, me neither. Until our recent NYC trip. Seems this kid has many names. And is common practice in quite a few US cities (Las Vegas being a really notorious one apparently). Until about two years ago, this wasn’t a big topic in New York. But things change. To save you the same nasty surprise we had checking in, let me tell all you need to know about the New York destination fee. What you get for it (or not), how much it is per night and if there is a way to avoid it.

Read more What you should know about the New York Destination Fee Scam

Day Trip to Philadelphia from New York

The best of Philly in just 1 day - Travel for a Living

Visiting Philadelphia had been on our radar for a while. Before we decided on a road trip through New England two years ago, the original plan was to visit New York, Philadelphia and Washington. But the road trip eventually won the game. So during our last trip to New York City we decided to venture out a little and finally take a day trip to Philadelphia from New York. After all, it is only 1.5 hours on the train. Easy peasy.

There is a direct Amtrak train from Penn Station to Philadelphia 30th Street Station. To get the best price, we booked our train tickets to Philadelphia a few weeks in advance and committed to fixed trains rather than flexible tickets. Which meant we only paid $156 return for the two of us. Out of curiosity we checked the ticket prices the morning of our trip and it would have cost us a whopping $330 if we’d bought the tickets on the day. That is double the price for the exact same trains! So good thing we were prepared (for once).

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Walking the High Line Park in New York

Walking the High Line in New York - Travel for a Living

When you think of New York City as a concrete jungle, you are only partly right. Yes, New York is home to some of the biggest and best skyscrapers and it is built on a fairly tight grid. But it is also full of greenery.

The best known is probably Central Park, which is a world in itself. So if you are heading to New York, make sure you don’t miss it. And to get you going, check my 10 recommendations of what to do in Central Park (and the one to give a miss).

But Central Park isn’t the only green on offer. Far from it.

Head to the West and you will find the ‘High Line Park’, an elevated linear park that spans from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District all the way up to the 30th Street.

Read more Walking the High Line Park in New York

Best Shopping Places in New York City

Where to find bargains and the best shopping places in New York - Travel for a Living

For me a big part of any New York City trip is shopping. I love to shop. And I can go on for hours (ask my family, they all had to suffer endless shopping trips with me over the years… and lived to tell the tale). Whilst there are loads of shopping opportunities in London, New York City is a totally different ball game. So find out more about my best shopping places in New York.

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Things to see and do in Central Park

10+ things to see + do in Central Park - Travel for a Living

Visiting New York without visiting Central Park? Unthinkable. I mean you only need to look at a map of Manhattan or check the subway map and there it is: A big green blob slap bang in the middle.

So next time you visit New York, make sure you set aside enough time to explore Central Park properly. Because there are loads of things to do, despite the obvious ‘Going for a walk’.

Read more Things to see and do in Central Park