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Advice please New York in February School Trip

Advice please New York in February School Trip

Dec 16th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,761
EF tours says on its website that they provide all ground transportation so unless there is something different in your contract I would imagine that they will have a bus to transport you to the city and perhaps within the city when distances are not walkable. That has been our explerience and thinking back, I believe our school used EF tours for the trip that I referenced above.

The expense of tranporting your group into the city may easily exceed the cost of a hotel in the city in February when as others have mentioned, hotels have their lowest rates. However, since they in all probability receive a commission from both the hotel and the bus company, their profits may be higher if you stay in NJ. It is possible that the trip may even cost less without the bus transportation although they will most likely provide bus transportation within the city, so that may not be the case. As far as the first day intinerary that gets you to the hotel in the evening, that is probably OK since your luggage should be on their bus. Depending on your time of arrival, if you go to the hotel first you will most likely not have time to return to the city so that day will be wasted.

Do what you can to get a hotel in the city. It will make your trip much more enjoyable. If they are yet to be fully paid, you still have some leverage.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Dec 16th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Student tour companies (almost all tour companies, for that matter) buy bulk space from vendors. I suspect that EF has committed to a certain block of rooms/beds for a calenday year or "season" with specific hotels. The rates paid are significantly lower than what most people would get right off the street. Unless they have another property in Manhattan with whom they have a good, long-term relationship, it is unlikely that they will be able to move you without eating up most of their profit.

When I worked in the student travel business, we provided all ground transportation services for our clients, and this sometimes included subway or bus fare.
Dec 16th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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I agree the choice of hotel is horrible.

Any savings made up by staying in New Jersey will be eaten up by the cost of your daily commute not to mention the amount of time it will take.

Look into the Super 8 Hotel.

Also, go ahead and look at all of the Apple Core Hotels.


Also, take a look at the Milford Plaza.

The commute back and forth from NJ to NYC would be a giant PIA and they would not get that NYC experience.
Dec 16th, 2007, 03:32 PM
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I doubt it is helping the poster to suggest that she has leverage because she hasn't yet paid in full. It may be true that the hotel is in an awful location, but that's what they contracted for. Were they lied to? Told they had a hotel in midtown Manhattan and instead were put in a hotel in Hasbrouck Heights? Presumably, there was some information given before they put up their deposit. Unless they were misled, I think they "got what they paid for".

They should be prepared with proper clothing and good attitude, but suggesting they look at other hotels is a waste of time IMHO.
Dec 16th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
I erroneously presumed that your "itinerary" with this tour package included transportation for your group to and from the city each day.

Highly, highly, recommend that you resolve the hotel and daily transportation to/from the city forthwith.

There are buses that go from Hasbrouck Heights to Port Authority in NYC.

See http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/bus/T1148.pdf
djkbooks is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 135
I guess my question would be why do you need a tour company, you can probably do this on your own for a whole lot less.

If you book your air through one of the major carriers you can get a discount, and the parents can pay directly to the airline.

For hotel you can book directly as well.

For transport around the city, when you get here, you can get an airport bus for $10pp into the Port Authority and walk to your hotel from there, the Milford Plaza comes to mind it is a block away.

Also ask the kids what THEY want to see and schedule accordingly.

The Met Museum offers tours (free)as does the Museum of NaturalHistory.

When you get here, have all the kids purchase a METRO card for the week $24 and that takes care of ALL your transportation around the city, subway and bus.

There are greeters (Big Apple Greeters) that offer tours and since I live in the city, I'd be happy to help out as well.

Staying IN the city, you will get to see so MUCH MORE, because you won't have the hassle of traveling in and out of the city daily which will eat up at least an hour (and probably more) each way.

Another good hotel option would be the Travel Inn, also caters to groups, which is also in the Times Square area, (2 blocks west).

Hope this helps.

travelbuff2 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Liability protection, the low cost of buying in bulk, and experienced itinerary preparation and execution is what one receives when booking with a student tour company.

Is there any adult out there who would willingly take 36 seventeen-year-olds on a trip overseas without the liability protection offered by a large company?
Dec 16th, 2007, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
We don't know who was told what. Were they given the location of the hotel before they booked and told what travel would be like? If not, that's a substantive matter - and might constitute a legitimate reason for them to cancel and force a hotel in the city - or organize the trip themselves.

The prices are so low in Feb there is no reason at all not to use a hotel in the city.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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Thanks everyone, advice is great, I have tried repeatedly to call my tour manager with ef tours but just get answerphone. I will put my queries into an email tonight and try to reach her again tomorrow. I booked on the basis of their brochure which stated 2-3 star hotels within easy reach of the city but they said they could not specify an actual location in advance, we did ask for somewhere as central as possible given the likely weather conditions. I want to check the transport arrangements as the itinerary does not mention them. I hope as some posters have said that coaches will be used. I had to use a tour company for our first visit as my college insist that the premises be checked and it will be my first time in New York. Thanks again for your advice I have taken it on board and will let you know how it works out. Regards Zenotia
zenotia is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Well- I think you have them on "within easy reach" of the city. No one can say that hotel is anywhere near the city - esp in the winter.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I too agree with all the others- CANCEL this and book your group in the city. The Super 8 is a fantastic location, and they have free breakfast. Subways walkable in minutes and plan your OWN touring, rather than the "canned" tour highlights. Also your food options, may be significantly limited at your current hotel- but I am not familiar with the location. In Manhatten, food is at the doorstep.

Another- cheap option to consider is Big Apple Hostel, another fantastic location 46th between 6-7 Ave. and "single beds" so no need to worry about who is sharing beds in hotels which have double beds.

For clarification- you do mean Feb. 08. If you are outside of President's Week, there should be lots of lodging availability in Manhatten.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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I think there is just so much you can do here at this point in time. Their description was vague. I'm sure this trip is very budget oriented (you get what you pay for kind of thing).

I'm sure it is too late to cancel, and even later to try to plan such a trip on your own. EVen with 4 students per room, and rooms for the adults, you are still looking at over 10 rooms, and 9 of those having two double beds. That is not easy to find at a budget price in NYC, especially on rather short notice.

I would still try to get someone to answer the phone at EF TOurs. Maybe there is a remote possibility that they can relocate to a closer NJ hotel. In any case, my guess is the itinerary is already set, and from what my daughter experienced on her EF Tour (to Mexico), they will provide a tour guide to be with you the entire time.

It won't be the same experience as staying in NYC for these 17 year olds, but I'm sure it will be an exciting trip in any case.
MFNYC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I just looked at the EF Tours UK website. It offer 2 different NYC tours, one called 'Metropolitan Manhattan', and the other 'New York, New York'. The former says stay at a NYC hotel, the later says stay at a NYC area hotel. I don't know what the price difference is, but it does have these 2 different NYC options.
MFNYC is offline  
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