Author Topic: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)  (Read 1008 times)

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« on: February 22, 2024, 05:22:11 PM »
As always we are trying to maximize the value of our dollars. We're looking at all the options and honestly starting to feel some decision fatigue. Help?

DW and I have been there 2 (me) and 3 (her) times. College trip (her), Fleet week (me), visiting friends (her). We also took a family trip to NYC pre-COVID. Always looking for new things to visit.

Trip would be the first week of June. Likely driving to NYC and leaving our car again with friends on Long Island and staying in the city. This choice b/c moving 4-5 people by air is expensive. We can come up with the extra two travel days to avoid flying to save money. ~$200 in gasoline vs $1K in plane tickets. We're not millionaires yet.

My idea of staying in away from downtown and riding the train into the city each day is a non-starter. Daily LIRR train tickets would add up.

Most hotels seem to be about $300-$400. Our hotel choice doesn't need to be fancy but it does need to be clean and safe. We stayed in the Wellington Hotel pre-COVID but that hotel has closed since.
https://www.oyster.com/new-york-city/hotels/wellington-hotel/

Our soon-to-be graduate wants us to be able to walk right out of the hotel into the chaos of the city. The introvert in me screams NO LET'S GO CAMPING!

Looking for recommendations for places to stay and things to see. Planning to see a baseball game. We'll walk through Time's Square b/c the teenager.

Last time we walked everywhere and rode the trains and were perfectly happy.

Seeking the MMM forum wisdom and experience. Looking forward to reading your suggestions. Thank you in advance.

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1942
  • Location: NJ, USA
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2024, 05:34:06 PM »
I live in NJ, so do not know much about hotels etc.

One suggestion I would make is take the Staten Island Ferry on a clear sunny day. You get the best views of Lower Manhattan, Jersey City and Lady Liberty. The best part is that this trip is free! You just get off the boat, walk into the terminal in Staten Island and turn around and take the next ferry back.

Check if your bank offers museum visits for free (Bank of America used to do so). Museums can get pricy otherwise. They also may have free days, so do your research.

Watch out for the vendors/hawkers/costumed characters in Times square. A simple taco was $25 when DW bought from a streen vendor without asking for the price. The costumed characters are quite aggressive if your kids want photos. Also, some of the costumed characters are topless women with body paint. Watch out for the Chinese guys dressed as Buddhist monks, they are not Buddhist, but want to fleece you by giving a bracelet.

Use public transportation as much as possible. Keep your car parked where it is free.

Be adventerous about food, NYC has the most diverse food options in the world.

Wear comfortable shoes,you will have no problems meeting your 10k step goal (and much more).

Have fun.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2024, 05:43:43 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1942
  • Location: NJ, USA
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2024, 05:42:29 PM »
About transportation.

Your assumption that if you lived outside Manhattan, you would pay LIRR to get around is wrong. LIRR serves Long Island and also goes to NYC. You can live in Jersey City or any of the 5 boroughs and use the subway/PATH system. The PATH and Subways are fixed price per trip, irrespective of the distance. LIRR, Metro North and NJ Transit are not fixed price per trip, but depend on the distance you travel

You could also buy daily/weekly/monthly passes(Please check, has been ages so I could be wrong).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2024, 05:29:37 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1942
  • Location: NJ, USA
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2024, 05:46:51 PM »
Oh, and if you like parks, make sure you go for a walk on the High Line. The flowers should be blooming then.

Also free!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2024, 05:55:17 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2024, 06:53:26 PM »
Yes - we walked the Highline last trip there. Met a friend my DW knew who lives there and walked the HL.

I really enjoyed that. 

Chaplin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1902
  • Location: Le Canada
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2024, 06:57:18 PM »
Oh, and if you like parks, make sure you go for a walk on the High Line. The flowers should be blooming then.

Also free!

Agreed, the Highline is great. The north end of it is close to the Intrepid Air and Aerospace museum (on an aircraft carrier) so I was able to jump on to it upon leaving the museum.

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2024, 06:57:54 PM »
Thank you for the Times Square education.

DW and offspring may stay in Long Island with our friends x2 nights. Some adjustments, including me staying home and taking care of the animals may allow for a plane ride for DW and offspring. The SO of our younger offspring may not go so the ticket costs may be more affordable. I'm perfectly pleased with staying home and looking after things here.

Our airport is in the nearest metro so I'll need to drive a bit to drop off and pickup. 

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2024, 06:58:27 PM »
Oh, and if you like parks, make sure you go for a walk on the High Line. The flowers should be blooming then.

Also free!

Agreed, the Highline is great. The north end of it is close to the Intrepid Air and Aerospace museum (on an aircraft carrier) so I was able to jump on to it upon leaving the museum.

Thank you Chaplin.

lhamo

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3127
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2024, 07:32:44 PM »
If you need a quiet place to recharge your introvert batteries, The Cloisters up in Hudson Heights is very tranquil.  It is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art so paying one admission gets you into both places, if you have the energy.  I would probably do the Met first and then recover at The Cloisters.

There are some nice walks up in that upper part of Manhattan, too.

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2024, 08:18:01 AM »
Thank you. That sounds like its worth the time and steps. ;)

namasteyall

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2024, 10:46:43 PM »
Google Free in Manhattan/Central Park or other parks. Look up Time Out or NYU for free events. If you have a birthday, more freebies: google.

If you eat fruit, street carts are cheap. Many farmers' markets are in most localites

Avoid meal time rush in any restaurant, go earlier or later and look up offers.

Nice salad bars: Hale and Hearty. Substantial with cheese dressing, roll and no add-ons. Carry your own bag of nuts and seeds!

Food/wine demos at Williams Sonoma, Trader Joe's or elsewhere can provide free gourmet snacks. Check their events list. Apparently some chains, like Chipotle, clear out food on the last orders, i.e. serve huge helpings!

Home stays are useful IF you are flexible about other people's standards!

Re museums, many are free, some are free some days and some suggest donations: $1 is fine as they are subsidized by taxes, donors, etc.

Nat History: Meals are expensive in most museums but often the staff can recommend a nice, inexpensive place nearby.
 
Many have free days/nights. Do u have a press pass (if you are a press writer)? Do you have a Chase, Citi or other bank account? Can lead to free entry almost everywhere.

Many theaters have same day cheap tickets.

T Square food places/shops may cheat, have given wrong/counterfeit currency as change! Or charged more than the required tax.

Get a Subway pass: works on both bus/train. Check for student discounts and the papers/time required. For some discounts, you should ask months in advance! I give mine away after my last use if it is still useful for a few more hours beyond that time.

Senior/student/child discounts everywhere.

Have a super time in that amazing wonderful, inspiring city!



namasteyall

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2024, 10:54:20 PM »
Also check out YMCA, UU church or similar for rooms in Manhattan. Maybe cheaper/with more space in Brooklyn, NJ!

lhamo

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3127
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2024, 07:50:10 AM »
OH -- the mention of the subway/bus pass reminded me:  the bus system is actually pretty easy to figure out and if you take the bus rather than the subway you see more of the city and get a better idea of how far things are apart from each other, etc.  Many of the bus routes in Manhattan run N/S or E/W on one or two streets (the latter in the case of one way streets -- the return route will usually be one or two streets over).  And IIRC the numbers are often based on the main street the bus runs on -- so the 7 runs on 7th avenue, etc.  This is going on memories of many years ago so don't treat it as gospel  But I DO recommend taking the bus either up to or back from the Cloisters if you go there.  It comes down through Hudson Heights and then through Harlem around Central Park and then pretty far down through Midtown, at a minimum.

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2024, 04:03:40 PM »
Thank you @namasteyall and @lhamo! Both excellent suggestions.

Cranky

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3850
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2024, 05:28:48 AM »
The only time Iíve stayed in a hotel there (as opposed to staying with family) we stayed in a hotel in NJ right on the other side of the river and just took the ferry over. Itís been a while and we were there for a professional meeting, but I think we got the ferry pass from the hotel.

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2024, 11:52:43 AM »
Thank you.

lifeandlimb

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2024, 01:33:36 PM »
Some decent "budget" hotel options (still may be pricey by other cities' standards):
Aloft
Kimpton
Meridien

My favorite parks / strolling / people watching:
Washington Square Park
Central Park
Union Square on a weekend

To do:
Natural History Museum
Top of the Rock / Rockefeller Center
Same-day / morning theater tickets via any Broadway app or line up at TKTS near Time Square
Tons of free or cheap comedy club nights, especially in Greenwich Village
Take the scenic East River Ferry, which continually makes stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Summer is a great time to visit NYC as there are free events going on everywhere all the time.
Your graduate is right to want to stay where the action is. It's also very frugal. Manhattan is supremely walkable on a nice day and easy to navigate. The Street numbers go up walking north, and Avenue numbers go up walking west.

Local parking hack: lots of people street park their cars in Long Island City (in Queens, just over the east river) for free. Just make sure you're not in violation of the area's street parking signs.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2024, 01:38:05 PM by lifeandlimb »

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6792
  • Location: In the middle....
  • Teach me something.
Re: Planning family NYC graduation trip for youngest (18 yrs old)
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2024, 05:59:21 AM »
Thank you LifeandLimb. We used your parking trick last time we went. We have friends that live on Long Island. After we took the car into Manhattan (never again) to the hotel which offered free parking but no daily access to the car, we moved it to Long Island and rode the train back.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!