Well, Eric and I went to New York almost two months ago and I never got a chance to blog about it.
Taking a trip to New York was on our goals list for this year, but I really didn’t think that we’d be able to go until at least the end of the year. As luck would have it, Eric had six days off from work the same week that I had a week off from school. Let’s take advantage, we said!
Every month, we save $500 from the side hustle and put it toward a vacation fund. This gave us about $2000 to play with for our trip.
The Budget: $2000
The Flights: $10
For two years, Eric and I have been saving up our JetBlue points with an American Express card to save enough points for our trip. This meant that we only paid $10 for our flights, total.
The Hotel: $830
Hotels in New York are EXPENSIVE. Not only is it just expensive in general, but with taxes and fees, you should pretty much add a 25% premium to the price quoted on the site. Our usual Priceline wasn’t taking any of our bids–even our top offer of $200 a night. Everywhere else I checked, I couldn’t get a hotel for any less than $1400 for five nights. No, thank you.
Thanks to a fellow blogger, I heard about The New York 50, a site for cheap hotels in New York. That’s how I found the Larchmont Hotel. I was initially hesitant over the European style hotel–you have shared bathrooms–but I honestly really enjoyed the hotel.
For the price, we got a queen-sized room on the top floor in the ultra hip West Village with a direct view of the new WTC and only a couple of blocks from Carrie’s doorstep (as in Sex and the City Carrie)!
My take when it comes to budget hotels? Don’t expect much and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We went in knowing we were staying at a budget hotel and expecting the worst, but we actually were quite happy with it.
Besides one taxi ride when we had our luggage and it was after a red-eye flight, Eric and I relied on the subway. We even took the subway from the airport. The subway people offer a $30 seven-day pass with unlimited rides. I, of course, lost my card on the second day. I was SO pissed at myself. SO I ended up having to buy another one.
Food and entertainment: $1560
This is where Eric and I went crazy. We are huge
foodies gluttons, so we didn’t want to deny ourselves any food. We tried to have breakfast at the hotel, but it was only pastries and coffee. For lunch, we had a different street vendor every day. New York street food is SO good. I especially loved the Halel food. We also wine and dined with friends that we visited. Entertainment included front row, center seats at Chicago.
Total Cost: $2500
Our Philosophy on Vacation
In the end, we went $500 over budget. But it is was all paid for in cash and we had a blast.
While we definitely find ways to save on our vacation (ie, cheaper accommodations, saving up for flights, finding good deals), we also don’t want to forget the reason we’re on vacation–to have a good time. As long as we have the cash to pay for it, we’re good to go.
I think Eric takes some amazing instagram photos. This is one he took in Central Park.
On the third day, Eric made me walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. We had been walking all day and this was absolute torture, I was really pissed. I couldn’t get enough of New York in the spring! I loved the cherry blossoms and the tulips on every corner.
I was obsessed with going to Serendipty’s since I had seen the movie in my teens. Everyone told us to allow at least an hour wait, but we went on a weekday afternoon and it was practically empty! We sat right down and ordered dessert–it was delicious! I was surprised by how feakin’ small the place was.
Also on my to-do list was a carriage ride in Central Park! I can now cross that off the baby bucket list! Eric was actually super sweet about it and bought wine for us beforehand. And when I didn’t want a certain carriage (it was dinky looking), he waited patiently until we got the one I wanted.
As much as we enjoyed going on vacation, it was also so nice to come home. The morning after we got back, Bentley jumped up on the bed and snuggled right in the middle of me and Eric. I guess that was his way of saying “I’m so glad you’re home.”