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.
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).
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.
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.
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’.
New York City is great and I absolutely love it (but you knew that already). And as we are preparing for another trip to New York next week, I decided this was the perfect time to share with you my favourite food destinations in New York City. So if you are wondering what to eat in New York City, this is for you.
Obviously New York has an array of delicious, cool, unusual and sometimes rather pricy restaurants. And if you are a regular on Instagram and Pinterest, I am sure you’ve seen all the pretty foods showing up in your feed. From crazy unicorn shakes to flower shaped ice-cream, pink lattes and weird burgers.
But whilst these for sure are all great and the perfect addition to your Instagram grid, this is not the food I am talking about (doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try some of it if I happen to come by). What I am talking about are my personal favourite foods in New York City. Tried, tested and approved by Mr T and I over several trips to New York (and all paid for with our own money, so whilst this is advertising by mentioning the places, I did not receive any payment or even freebies for said mentioning).
When in New York heading for a true Italian pizza seems the obvious choice, doesn’t it? OK maybe not. But when an Italian living in New York recommends an Italian restaurant you sure go and check it out. Or at least that’s what we did.
When heading to New York, chances are you’ll spend most of your time in Manhattan. But New York has so much more to offer. Venture out to the other boroughs and see for yourself.
And whilst you are out there, try the food on offer.
Brooklyn has become a bit of a trendy area over the last decade or so. Plenty of individual coffee shops, local craft beers and organic food places.
So if you find yourself in the area of Flatbush Avenue / Dekalb Avenue, I would recommend a trip to the Dekalb Market Hall.
We stumbled across it by chance during our recent trip to New York.
Battling jet lag the first night, we decided to make the most of being wide awake at 4am. So we wrapped up warm and headed out into the night. To experience the city that never sleeps first hand and explore Times Square by night. More so as it was just a few blocks away from our hotel.
Any time of day or night Times Square is a weird world of its own. The lights, the hustling and bustling, cars, noises and millions of people. For sure a place you have to see for yourself once in your life.
To see? Yes. To actually enjoy? Maybe not so much… unless you are the kind of person that loves being shoved around… not this girl though.
So obviously we’ve been there before both during the day and in the evening. But going there in the middle of the night? Totally different thing. You can actually walk around and, believe it or not, you can see the ground.
It doesn’t come as a huge secret if I tell you that I love New York. I always did… or at least I always loved the thought of New York. It wasn’t until our honeymoon in 2012 that I actually manage to visit New York for the first time.
At the time the idea was to have an extended stay (we stayed 11 nights) to see it all and get it over and done with… been there, done that, got the T-shirt kinda thing.
But little did I know. Yes by the time we got back from our honeymoon we felt so overwhelmed and tired (I mean how many miles can you walk in a day for days on end without losing the will to live) that I would have totally subscribed to that ‘been there done that’ idea… but as time passed (and my muscles stopped hurting) I started longing for New York again. And the rest is history as they say. We have been back a few times since and are preparing for yet another trip in the New Year.
So what better time to share with you some tips for your first trip to New York.