Getting away with friends to catch up and share good times is one of life's pleasures. When a group of girls plan a getaway to New York City, fun awaits, whether they choose to see a Broadway show, take in the famous sights, shop on Fifth Avenue or experience the nightlife. The Big Apple is a prime location for a long weekend with your girlfriends, but a successful New York City trip requires extensive planning and a bit of compromise.
Circle a working date on the calendar that looks good to all members of the group. Decide if you want to be in New York only in a certain season or if you are flexible. For example, if you want to take in the holiday sights or do some Christmas shopping, know that accommodations in the city are will be expensive and the city very crowded. If price is a key consideration, your chances of getting a bargain are higher between January and April when hotels suffer from post-holiday blues. Be aware of special events during that time, such as Fashion Week in February, which will affect hotel prices, too. July and early August, the hot and humid periods in the city, also can be an opportunity to get a better deal.
Set your budget. Choose a hotel first so that you know how much money you have left for entertainment and other expenses since lodging will be your most expensive item in New York City. Consider hotel options outside of Manhattan, such as in Queens or across the Hudson River in New Jersey. Take public transportation into Manhattan.
Arrange transportation to the city. If your group will drive to New York, have each traveler contribute to a fund that will pay for tolls and parking fees. Entering New York City from every direction requires at least one toll, and parking fees are hefty. USA Today, in a report published July 8, 2011, said that at that time, midtown Manhattan had the most expensive daily parking garage rate at $41. Take a train to New York City if you live close enough to do so; you don't need a car once there. Be aware that three major airports serve the city -- John F. Kennedy International Airport, La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport -- if you must fly. Check airfares at all three airports before booking tickets.
Agree on a budget for events and entertainment. Set a list of things you want to see and do, write down the cost of admission tickets or other fees, and pare down the list to something that all can afford. Use the New York city online planning guides sites such as NYCgo.com to help with your list. Check them once as you set your trip and again right before you go to review last-minute deals or for a list of free events while you are in town. Go to broadway.com if you want tickets to a certain Broadway show. Go to the website of the Theatre Development Fund (tdf.org) for information on ticket booths where you can buy discount Broadway tickets the day of the show if you don't have your heart set on a specific show. Research the cultural facilities you might want to see; some offer a discount if you buy a pass to visit multiple venues.
Collect as many New York City maps and tour books as possible before you depart. Sit with your girlfriends and arrange the route you will take from one venue to next to make most efficient use of your time. Familiarize yourself with the subway maps to discover where the stations are and what subway line will get you to which area. Research and careful planning will make for a much more organized trip.
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