Travel Tuesday with Danielle ~ My Recent Trip to NYC & a 2 Night Benjamin Hotel Stay Giveaway!

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.
Sant Ambroeus in Soho
  • 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:

  1. Like The Benjamin’s Facebook Page
  2. Like PlanIt Travel Designs Facebook Page
  3. 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)
  4. 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.)

Upcoming reasons you may want to visit NYC before Labor Day:

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!



46 thoughts on “Travel Tuesday with Danielle ~ My Recent Trip to NYC & a 2 Night Benjamin Hotel Stay Giveaway!

  1. Been a Aha Subscriber for years now and originally from NY/NJ. Always love a visit home to NYC!! Thank you!

  2. I love to keep connected with my Dunwoody community through my AHA subscription…almost as I love traveling back to NYC where I lived when we first married!

  3. I am an Aha! subscriber and would love to win the 2 nights at The Benjamin! NYC is magical. The food, the culture and entertainment, it’s all so much fun! We are taking our kids for Spring break, but would love to go back with just my husband later in the year.

  4. This aha subscriber would love to stay at the Benjamin while watching US Open tennis late august!

  5. NYC is the perfect place for a trip with girlfriends. There is always something new to do and so fun to visits old favorites.. Little Italy, Central Park, Broadway…

  6. So excited for this opportunity! I am an Aha! Subscriber tgat loves to visit NYC. I travel to the big apple every year with my family for Thanksgiving, so the Benjamin hotel sounds spacious and family friendly in the best location in nyc. I’d love to win the 2 night stay to check it out. I also go with girl fries every year to the US Open, so again-sounds like a spot I’d love to explore!

  7. We love NYC & Danielle’s travel planning!! She helped plan a trip a few years ago for our daughters bday & it was magical!! Highly recommend!!!

  8. It’s been over a decade since we have been to NYC. Love the energy, the Broadway shows, and of course the park! I would love to go back with my husband this year!

  9. Love NYC and for a long time I’ve been wanting to take my daughter to show her the magic of NYC. Most definitely an AHA subscriber! Such fantastic giveaways. Thanks!

  10. My sister and I happen to be traveling to NYC at the end of February to celebrate 2 BIG birthdays! It would make our trip even more spectacular to stay at The Benjamin Hotel! So glad I read Travel Tuesday and saw this!

  11. What a fabulous weekend getaway! Would love to take my husband as a nice reset after a busy work cycle! Would be great to recharge and spend intentional time together. I peeked at some photos of The Benjamin online, it looked so swanky!

  12. I’m a Aha subscriber and have been wanting to take my kids to NYC for so long! There’s nothing like it and think it’s important that see and experience all it has to offer.

  13. I am already an Aha Subscriber and would love, love, love the 2 nights at the Benjamin in NYC. Our younger daughter lives there and I would love to send our older (recently engaged) daughter so the 2 could play in the city. Maybe I could even come along! Thank you Planit Travel Designs and Aha Connection

  14. Going back to NYC is a must for me! We were there over the holidays, had tickets to 3 different Broadway shows that were ALL canceled last minute. I owe my theatre loving daughter a do-over trip to see a show!

  15. I’m an AHA subscriber, and would love to win the 2 nights at the Benjamin in NYC. I used to live 45 mins outside of Manhatten, but have been here 25 years, so would love to visit again! EVERYTHING inspires me about NYC, but especially the shopping, dining, and shows!

  16. My daughters dream is to one day live in NYC so heading in to her Senior year in high school, this Summer would be a great mother daughter trip!

  17. Would love visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters. The opportunity to stay in a luxury hotel in NYC would be an extraordinary gift!

  18. I love NYC and would be so excited to win 2 nights to stay at The Benjamin. It looks perfect for a family trip or a weekend get away! Thank you AHA for putting this together.

  19. I would love to go visit my older son and his new fiancé. I would probably make both of them go to the National Math Museum with me. 🙂

  20. I LOVE New York and would love the opportunity to stay at The Benjamin Hotel!!! I am an AHA subscriber from the beginning!!!

  21. I always look forward to Aha emails! This would be such a wonderful surprise for a 21st birthday! Who wouldn’t LOVE to celebrate anything in NYC!!!

  22. It has been so long since I have been to New York! My son graduated from St Johns. It would be wonderful to visit again

  23. I have been an Aha! Subscriber and fan since it’s inception. I’m always telling people to subscribe or donate here. I would love to be able to visit family in New York and also to be in a place where they take Covid seriously since I’m high risk. Thank you!

  24. what a great trip. My daughter is a Senior but I had planned to take her during HS to NYC but Covid got in the way. Thx AHA. Enjoyed the travel article.

  25. The hustle and bustle of the city is what magic is made of! I would love to take my mom when she is cleared to travel in April. We feel so alive!

  26. No way! My future daughter-in-law actually invited me to go wedding dress shopping with her and her Mom next month!!! I’d LOVE to have a free place to stay! And I’m returning in June for the engagement party!!!

  27. We’ve already got a trip planned to NYC in February! Would love to see if the Benjamin will become our home away from home!

  28. I am an AHA subscriber. I would love to win the nights in New York. I would take a Mother-Daughter friends trip. Thank you!

  29. My grands live on Long Island. I would love to take them to a museum. I have been a subscriber for years.

  30. Our family lives NYC. It’s a culinary dream. With two teenage boys this is one place that we all come together as a family. We would really love that.

  31. I am a subscriber to the Aha! Connection and I would love to win some nights at The Benjamin in NYC. I would plan a Friend trip that would be a huge surprise for another Aha connection subscriber. Won’t name that person but now she has two chances to WIN!

  32. I’m an AHA subscriber and would love to win the 2 night stay at the LOVELY Benjamin Hotel in NY. The midtown location is accessible to so much- entertainment! Dining! The hotel looks like an attractive, intimate private club rather than an unfriendly chain hotel. A nice respite from a day out in the big city. I’d also love to see Billy Joel perform at MSG and eat some Italian food. Perfect trip.

  33. I’m an aha subscriber and I love NYC! Haven’t been back since March 2020, the wknd before everything shut down. I would love to take my hubby for a fun weekend!

  34. Love Danielle and the travel articles! I’ve been dying to go see Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in The Music Man on Broadway! What a fun trip to go to NYC! Who to take with me…my hubby, my daughter or my sister?!?

  35. I’m an appreciative AHA subscriber and love the energy and vibe of NY and need to get back! ♥️

  36. I’m an AHA subscriber! I’m always looking for new places to stay in NYC since I have a daughter there. Would love to try the Benjamin out! Thanks.

  37. We had a wonderful time visiting Ryan in NYC last weekend. Bars & restaurants did not require masks. We experienced some of his favorite bars, bagel places, the Comedy Cellar, the Met, snow in Central Park. So much fun! Chip looked hard on the internet & found a good deal at the Indigo hotel, right by Katz’s. I recommend!

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