Hi everyone – I hope you are all having a great week! As some of you might already know, my mom, two of her sisters & two of their friends were with visiting New York last week. They were here to celebrate two 50th birthdays and they had the best time. While they were here I showed a lot of what we got up to over on my Instagram stories and a lot of you seemed interested to find out more about their trip. So, that is what sparked the idea for this blog post. I wanted to share some more details in case any of you reading are planning or hoping to visit New York in a similar group this year. They were definitely looking to have a very casual trip so keep that in mind when reading the below but I do think it will be helpful no matter what kind of trip you are looking to have. As well as this, I do have another post with lots of NYC recommendations if you want to check that out too. But for now lets dive into their trip…
HOW THEY GOT HERE
January is definitely one of the quieter & cheaper months to visit New York as it can be a little cold. So, they ended up getting an amazing deal on their flights. They flew with Aerlingus from Shannon to Heathrow and then Virgin to JFK and they had no complaints. I know sometimes people shy away from stopovers but the money they saved by taking this flight went towards their week here which I think was a smart move as it’s not the cheapest city as we all know. When they arrived my uncle kindly collected them and brought them into the city but I will get into transport a little more later.
WHERE THEY STAYED
When deciding on accommodation they had originally been considering a hotel but Kaelin & I thought an air bnb would suit them better and I think they will all agree that this was a really great decision. Air bnb’s are great for groups especially because not only do you get a much better deal you are all together and have access to a kitchen if you don’t want to eat out for every meal. They made their breakfast most mornings and loved having tea & the chats before bed. This is the Air bnb we booked and we would definitely book it again. The location was fantastic, they could walk to where we live as well the park & 5th avenue and it was super clean.
HOW THEY GOT AROUND
Even though the temperatures were quite low while they were here (-14 one of the days) they loved walking most places. However, when we were with them we would order two Ubers for the group as there was 5 of them and 2 or 3 of us at most times. Uber is an app where you can order a car to pick you up and the payment goes through online so there is no exchange of Cash. The women were fascinated by it haha! If we weren’t with them and it was too far or cold to walk they would simply grab two cabs which is really easy to do. We also brought them on the subway which was a very funny experience to say the least but also so convenient for getting places fast and so much more affordable than taxi’s if you are going far. A subway ticket is $2.75 one way and you can buy them in any of the stations with cash or card.
WHERE THEY ATE
Most evenings they would go straight from whatever they were doing that day to dinner so they never wanted to eat anywhere too fancy. We also wanted to make sure wherever we brought them was somewhat affordable as there was a big group of us. One of the places we ate in was Banc Cafe – this is such a great spot for visitors/groups. It is super cosy and it is Irish owned too which I love. The food is great and they loved it so much that we ended up going back there for their last night. Kaelin & I also brought them for brunch on Sunday to Bubby’s. This is your typical American restaurant with the such delicious food (the pancakes are amazing!) and they thought that it was such a treat. They also ate in two Irish bars called Muldoons & The Playwright which both got great reviews from them too.
WHAT THEY SAW
They weren’t interested in seeing too many tourist attractions (the shops drew them in more haha!) but a few things they were interested in included 1)Central Park – they walked here most mornings & loved it & seeing all the dogs. 2)The Flatiron Building – we sat in Madison square Park with coffee & a view of the building as well as the dog park and they thought it was so relaxing. 3)Top Of The Rock – This was the only tourist attraction they paid for (most are free here thankfully) but they really enjoyed it and loved the view of both Central Park & the Empire. Tickets are $39 per adult. 4)Times Square – we walked through it at night time and they loved all the lights. I must admit it is very cool the first time you visit!
WHAT THEY PACKED
They knew they wanted to do a lot of walking/shopping so they mostly packed comfy clothes i.e tracksuits, runners. As I mentioned it was super cold while they were here too so they were prepared with lots of layers, thermals, hats & scarfs. They brought some nice tops & boots then for dinners in the evening but they actually ended up not changing some of the days. A few of them mentioned that they brought a little too much so keep that in mind when packing.
WHERE THEY SHOPPED
I could simply answer this with everywhere & anywhere because boy did they shop haha! The shopping was what they enjoyed most for definite. A few shops in particular that they loved included Century 21 (Day Street), Macy’s (34th &6th), Bed Bath & Beyond (18th & 6th) & Home Depot(59th & Lex). They shopped in a few different areas but their favorite area was Soho. A lot of the shops are down there so it is convenient in a group especially and not as busy as 5th Avenue most of the time.
At the end of the trip Kaelin & I quizzed them about their highlights & lowlights of the trip and not one of them had a lowlight which is always a great sign. We brought them for manicures & pedicures on their last day and they really enjoyed the experience and thought it was such a treat. We never stopped laughing in the salon and I think it could have been Kaelin & I’s highlight too. I would definitely recommend the salon we went to if you do visit. It is called Mimi’s on 81st & 1st – the girls were so lovely in there.
THEIR TOP TIPS
Helena – “Bring cash because it costs you to take it out of the ATM and it is easier when sharing bills in a group”
Josephine – “Bring comfortable shoes because there is so much walking in NYC”
Margie – “Try the cheesecake in Banc Cafe – the best dessert I’ve ever had”
Niamh – “Go to Soho to do your shopping – all the shops are close to each other and there is a lovely atmosphere down there”
Breda – “Definitely visit the Top Of The Rock, it’s an amazing experience”
If you or a group like theirs are planning trip to NYC I truly hope you found this post helpful. They honestly had the best time and it was so much fun having them here for a week. We’re already looking forward to their return.