Why hello there you beautiful people! I hope you are well? Today I want to have a little natter about planning a holiday and more importantly planning a holiday to New York and Toronto. Why? Well, because that is where Victoria and I are heading in March baybay!
Choosing a New York Hotel
The whole plan started when Victoria asked me how much a week would cost in New York for flights and a hotel. She asked if it would be really expensive around the £3000 mark and I said no, as I was pretty confident that I could get it for a far sight lower than that because I’m cheap and I am handy at sourcing deals. I set myself an aim of around half of that and went searching.
At this point, we were just browsing as I had wanted us to go away in October for a holiday as we hadn’t been on a non-Northern Ireland/Ireland one since we got together. So for me, this was harmless fun. I started off with the hotel and went searching. Immediately I found somewhere that looked great on paper and was affordable right beside Central Park no less! Perfect! Pretend to book it now Scott! I had it at £800 for the 7 nights and that was including most of the taxes and fees. (I have come to learn that most hotels will add on silly fees for the giggles)
When it became a real option, however, I immediately checked the reviews and saw that not everything was what it seemed. The hotel was cheap because it was connected to a nightclub, guests weren’t allowed in certain areas without paying extra and a lot of the guests said that the pictures weren’t what was really going on. But it had a solid rating, so I am unsure on how much to believe. Alas, when it came to the actual booking I went with a hotel on the Upper East Side, snuggled between Central Park and Riverside Park. I think I did okay and we got a room for £862 (again I think that may go up a tad)
We wanted a hotel in the Central Park area as I imagine that would be the best place (New Yorkers or people who have been, let me know if I am wrong! Plus the chance to go for a morning run for a week around Central Park or Riverside Park is just too tempting. I had braved it to see what hotels with a Central Park view would be like and they were quite pricey, so getting a place in between two parks feels right. We also didn’t want to go to Lower Manhattan or near Times Square as it was felt that it would be too busy and to have that little distance from the madness might be a good thing. I could be completely wrong and where we are staying could be very busy, but it made sense in theory.
Dublin to New York flights
Again I had my cheap hat on and I went searching. Flights probably aren’t going to be crazy high I thought. I was correct, and I could have got them a little cheaper if I had punted for journeys with connecting flights, but I haven’t got the time nor patience to fly from Dublin to go the OTHER WAY to Amsterdam, to then fly to New York. Why make a 7-hour flight cross into the double digits? Take the (at the time of writing) £50 hit and go direct and get there as soon as you can. I am still differing on who to go with, with Aer Lingus currently in front of my mind as we can book seats together, get our check-in luggage included and I can pay a deposit now and pay the rest of it off over the next 3 months which was not an option with the competitor.
But Scott what is the price that you are getting those flights for? Well with the “smart” option we are paying £726 together for the return, which to me is a pretty good deal. I would love to upgrade to business class for one flight, but it is a bit much and I think as long as we are in a two-seat section (as I can select) then that is all good. Not that I don’t want a random third companion with us…
I will be honest with you, I had thought the flights would be a little bit cheaper for Business Class etc than what they were. I mean, yes you get all the extras but when I selected those it came to almost 4 times the price. So keeping it to what we have is grand. We are not the tallest of peeps, so I doubt legroom will be an issue. Just Wi-Fi and a screen will keep me occupied.
We also decided to go with a morning flight to New York and then an overnight flight on the way back. The theory would be that we would have more time to spend there with those options!
What to eat on the plane?
As you know Victoria has a certain dietary requirement, and after browsing all of the air carrier’s meals, I can safely say she will not have a hot meal until we land. Now I will admit Aer Lingus do offer dietary requirement meals, but if they can somehow get Victoria’s right, I will be impressed! I will send before we leave to see how they do. I will bring certain snacks for the morning flight for her and if they are able to cater to her then I will be mightily impressed and consider making them our airline of choice!
I, on the other hand, can eat anything. So I will be excited to see what options I have thought I can’t imagine eating too much as I do like to nod off on flights, but I will try and stay awake for her though… Or until she at least goes for a little nap!
So in total, the flights with Aer Lingus and the hotel at Hotel Belleclaire will cost around £1588… Not too shabby if I do say so myself! Very close to my target, but sadly a little bit off.
If you have any tips on where to stay in New York, then please send them my way! Also any tips on getting discounts for flights etc. Affordability is key, but I think I have done pretty well. Next week I will talk about the Toronto half of the trip and let you know why we are going there and the costs etc. Oh and returning to New York for a sneaky 2 nights before we fly home! Until Next time…