Planning a Trip To New York

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It all started with an idea that was originally brought up by another one of our friends, suggesting that we should take a trip to NY. Sadly it didn't end up working out fir our friend to join us, but we decided to continue with the planning and take a trip together in January, since it worked out great for me having just graduated college and right before my best friend started nursing school. We have always wanted to take a trip together, and always planned to do so, but in the past our idea was to travel to England, however, we realized that something within the country might be a better first choice and thus New York it was! 

Both of us love traveling and visiting new places, and New York definitely has a LOT to offer for fashion, shopping, food, and tourism. However, since it is both of our first times visiting NY we decided to do more of a tourist trip mixed in with a bit of food, fashion, and shopping. However, for us, while we are definitely set on a NY trip that is blog and Instagram worthy (lets face it....who doesn't have that as a factor for a NY trip) planning our trip also definitely had a lot to do with budget (we are talking about two college students here) while also considering what kind of experience we wanted to have. When it comes to planning any trip I am BIG on the DETAILS! So for this trip I my best friend and I did a lot of research, looked at other tips, saw what I we were interested in doing, looked for deals, and created an idea for what we want our trip to be so that we can plan accordingly. So our first steps for planning were taking our ideas and figuring out how to make them work which is where we got all the details below:

I mentioned that I am a DETAILS person when it comes to planning trips, so something that helped me figure out our budget and keep track of our spending as well as what each of us had to owe, was keeping a file detailing all costs and purchases for the trip. I organized it by flights, lodging, tourism, and transportation, and broke sections down showing total cost and cost per person so that we knew exactly what we were spending. 

Did I mention this will be my first time on a plane.....yep....this is a big step! Okay, so obviously we are flying to NY so we had to first start planning our trip, days, and dates around our flight. Originally we were wanting to leave on a Friday but we soon learned that if we left mid week we would be able to save nearly $200 on flights so we opted to leave on a Thursday since we found an amazing deal with United Airlines. 
As for transportation once we get to NY, that is still up in the air depending on our schedule and where we need to go. However, as of now we know we will be taking a bus from the airport  into Penn Station (which is in Midtown) and then taking an Uber from there to our Air bnb. We were originally thinking of taking a bus to the subway station and then taking a subway to a station near our air bnb, but that seemed like to much of a stressful hasel with luggage, especially since neither one of us has every been to NY and knows anything about subway travel (better leave that up to a day without luggage). 
While in NY we will definitely be walking a lot, but one of our days we will be using the Hop on Hop Off bus with out NY pass to get around for the day since it stops near all of the museums and attractions we want to visit. Apart from that, we might use the local bus, subway, or uber to get around. 

After pricing different lodging options we settled on using Air bnb. We knew up front that we would be splitting our lodging costs which definitely gave us a bit more room for options, but at the end of the day Air bnb seemed like our best choice. Neither one of us has used Air bnb before, but considering the significant cost difference between a bnb and a hotel as well as the amenities an air bnb has to offer (kitchen, living room, etc.) we knew that was our best option. Plus, with an air bnb you get the experience of being a true "Newyorker" by staying in an apartment (and ours is so chic and modern) in a city neighborhood and experiencing all that has to offer (ours is in the upper East Side). 

Since both of us LOVE museums we knew we definitely wanted to visit most of the museums in NY as well as many of the local tourist spots such as the empire state building, statue of liberty, and top of the rock. Due to this, we were able to find a GREAT deal with a New York pass that allows you to get into a long list of attractions, museums, and tours free with an all inclusive cost that saves you a TON of money! Since our trip is 7 days we opted for the 5 day pass so that we could easily visit any of the museums or tourist attractions without the hasel and we definitely thought it was worth the money. While the pass itself was $250, once you factor in how much every tourist spot and museum would cost for the length of time we are there, plus being able to skip lines, it is totally worth it! Plus, we have options of taking bus tours, boat tours, and specialty walking tours with out pass to get an even better experience in the city. 

Like I mentioned above, we love museums and with our NY pass we get into Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, and more. However, we also recently discovered that NY has a temporary "Downton Abbey" exhibit and as HUGE fans of the show we knew that we couldn't pass up the opportunity to step into the scenes of Downton Abbey and experience it firsthand. 

My best friend is a HUGE theater and musical fan and it just seems wrong to visit NY without going to see a broadway show! While there are definitely a lot of options when it comes to Broadway shows, and there were many we would have loved to see, we settled on a classic (and one that fit better in our budget) and chose to go see Wicked which we are very excited about! 

What is a NY trip without shopping! So since we are in NY we decided we have to do the "steryotypical" shopping experience and stop into big name stores like Bloomingdales and Barney's. However, we will also stop into the NY versions of some of our favorite stores like Sephora (my bestie is a silver platinum member), H&M, and much more. Oh.....and I just realized the other day (while watching Say Yes To The Dress) that we have to stop into Kleinfeld to take a picture in the lobby! 

I think another thing NY is known for be it with bloggers or tourists, or the general NY dweller is the food and beverages it has to offer. I pretty much stalk all my favorite NY bloggers to see where they like to eat and to find the "picture perfect" spots. Lets just say I have found a number of places that are totally "instagram worthy" and brunch heaven + coffee lovers paradise and can't wait to try them out! However, while we do plan to try our fair share of NY pizza, pasta, pastries, and coffee, we do plan to stop at the local supermarket in the neighborhood that our air bnb is in to grab some groceries for breakfast and dinner. 

Have you ever been to New York?

- Madison 


  1. Exciting!!! I was just in NYC for the first time this summer, but there is so much to see! I would love to go back another time and take a little more time there. Wicked was SO GOOD! I loved it so much! You guys are in for a treat!!!! Hope everything goes well for your travels!

  2. Yes! I've been to NY twice and I'd love to go again.
    I love it that you make a sightseeing list with the check boxes, I'm not the only one :)

  3. Just got back from my first NYC trip last week. I loved Little Beet Table in Flatiron for brunch. Creative dishes, beautiful place. Enjoyed poking around in Eatily Italian market, also in Flatiron. For NYC souvenirs that are actually cute, we went to a Marc Tetro shop under Columbus Circle. A highlight was cutting through the corner of Central Park in the snow on our way back to our host's apartment on the Upper West Side. We didn't make it to this, but the Irish Hunger Memorial in the financial district came highly recommended.