by Danielle Garrett of PlanIt Travel Designs for The Aha! Connection
New York City has always held a special place in my heart since I lived there briefly in my 20’s (yes, that was super fun!) Prior to Covid, I visited the city often and, in my opinion, NYC never disappoints. After more than two years, I was finally heading back to my favorite city in the U.S.
Since Covid, there has been a lot of speculation about what NYC is like to visit…are shops and restaurants open, is Broadway back, will the city have the same energy/vibe, and is it safe? I was very excited to go see for myself!!
First, let me say how exciting it was to pick out my outfits, buy new shoes to walk the streets of NYC, and even just packing a suitcase. You guessed it; I LOVE to travel! This was a girl’s trip, and the ladies were chomping at the bit to head up to the Big Apple!
As we had hoped, NYC was a great time! Shops and restaurants were open, Broadway was awesome (I highly recommend the musical comedy, Company…it’s a great girl’s trip show) and I never felt unsafe in the city. We were lucky enough to visit in December when the city was fully decked out in all things Christmas. After two years of Covid, taking in Midtown’s Christmas decor, shopping, and having cocktails with girlfriends, and seeing a Broadway show was just what the doctor ordered!!!
My trip reminded me of how perfect NYC is for any kind of group…a couple’s getaway, girls’ trips, a mother/daughter bonding trip, and family vacations. Especially now when many are still looking to travel within the U.S., NYC should be on your travel list. Below are a few things to know about current travel to NYC and some tips.
- Ages 12 and up must be fully vaccinated to dine indoors, enter museums, and attend Broadway shows. Ages 5-11 must have at least one dose beginning Jan 29. Click here for more info. You will be asked to show your proof of vaccination and ID. To make this process easier, I recommend downloading both to the NYC Covid Safe App (scroll down to “Proof of Vaccination”).
- PLAN AHEAD, especially with restaurant reservations. Capacity is still lower at restaurants, so it’s important to make dinner reservations in advance (even some lunch reservations). Many restaurants have built outdoor dining structures (some with heaters and some even with ambiance). Check out this romantic little spot.
- Masks are required indoors, so make sure to plan a good balance of indoor and outdoor activities. Buy yourself some Twizzlers to eat during your Broadway show (that’s my sneaky tip!).
- There are plenty of Ubers and taxis in the city. You will be required to wear your mask of course and some did not want to take all four of us because of Covid.
Over the years I have worked with many different hotels in NYC. The Benjamin is a fairly priced, boutique hotel located in Midtown East close to Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Families love this hotel because of the spacious rooms, which is a luxury in the city and the extra space typically comes at a very high price. Their studio suites and one-bedroom suites also include kitchenettes. The Benjamin has also worked hard to differentiate itself from other hotels with unique partnerships. Some families may love their partnership with American Girl Doll, which offers an American Girl Pajama Sleepover Package. This package offers AG Doll bedtime amenities (including an AG doll sleeping bag), along with milk and cookies turn-down service. AND the hotel is located only four blocks from the American Girl Doll store! WOW, I’d like to go back in time and take my daughter during her AG doll years!
PlanIt Travel Designs is fortunate to have partnered with The Benjamin to offer guests special discounted rates and additional amenities. On this Travel Tuesday, The Benjamin is offering one lucky traveler TWO FREE NIGHTs at The Benjamin in one of their one-bedroom king suites with a stay valid through Labor Day! Here’s how to win:
- Like The Benjamin’s Facebook Page
- Like PlanIt Travel Designs Facebook Page
- Post a comment on our our website or Facebook page that indicates you are an Aha! subscriber and let us know what inspires you to visit NYC! (Become an AHA Subscriber)
- The CEO of Prizes will randomly select a winner on Tuesday, February 1! (Extended a few days to give more people a chance to register to win this amazing prize.)
- Broadway week just started last week and runs through Feb 13 (2 for 1 tickets)
- Valentine’s Day
- Spring Break
- U.S. Open Tennis Tournament begins Aug 29
Join the PlanIt Travel Designs Facebook Group and check out the website where you can sign up for their newsletter for more travel tips and tricks! Also, follow them on Instagram for beautiful photos!