New York Graduation Trip

May 8th, 2010, 07:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11
New York Graduation Trip

Want to take my 18 yr granddaughter to NYC for three or four nights as a graduation trip. Probably the last opportunity to spend time before she goes to college and then on to her life. My budget is tight, but I want her to experience as much as is possible in that time. I beleive I will be able to get a decent hotel and rate through Priceline and I have a companion flight ticket, so those two issues are not a problem. In my past experience, I found Carmel Car service to be affordable and efficient for transportation to and from airport to hotel. Any better suggestions on this?
Do you consider the 1-3 day unlimited double decker buss/attraction passes to be worth the cost? I need suggestions on keeping costs down while experiencing a variety of cuisines and cultures. I would like my granddaughter it see things that may inspire her future, but that may still be fun for her age. No clubbing, she will not get out of my sight in NYC. She is interested in Journalism and is a very good athlete. Dates have not been set yet, but the trip will be between the end of May and the month of June. I thought the sooner the better as it is geting hot.
Any suggestions are welcome.
NelleYak is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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Just read my post which I did not edit. Please excuse the spelling and mistakes.
NelleYak is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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In NYC, Priceline only guarantees a room with one bed for 2 people. While some of the larger hotels might provide a room with 2 beds if you request it, it's not guaranteed. So if that's a problem, you should rethink using Priceline. I'll also mention June is one of the priciest months of the year for hotel rooms in NYC. Very popular for weddings and lots of college graduations. The only time you may find a deal is Memorial Day weekend. I think you'd do much better on hotels in July. If she's a runner, you might like staying on the upper west side so she can access Central Park or Riverside Park. There are a number of good hotels there including, ,

I prefer for car service but depending on which airport you use, there are some much cheaper options for 2 people. From JFK or LGA there's the Express bus to either Grand Central or Port Authority.

A 3 day hop on/off pass is a dreadful waste of money. If you want to do that tour, buy it for the least amount of time and use the subways for regular transportation. This bus is not good for getting from point a to point b.

I think you'll have a great time together though. I have very very fond memories of a trip to London with my grandmother when I was in college. We had a blast.
mclaurie is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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Canot stree strongly enought that a multi-day bus tour pass is a total waste of money. Most of the time will be spen sitting in traffic, waiting 30 or more minutes for a bus to turn up - and finding it too crowded to get on. For transit use feet or subway. Pick what you/she really want to see and just go do it.

There aere discounts available if you look and some museums are pay what you wish:
MoMA and Top of the Rocj have a combined discount ticket

And stick to residential areas for good food, of almost any ethnicity, at lower prices.
nytraveler is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 10:23 PM
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Since Priceline will only guarantee one bed, you can try Hotwire, but be sure you say you are "3 people" - that way you'll get only rooms with two beds. Also, maybe not for June, but for July and August, check Travelzoo for hotel bargains.
sf7307 is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 10:50 PM
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There are many ways to get around NYC-walk, subway, bus, and cab but the hop on bus is not one of them.

As an aside rather than as travel suggestions. Forcing inspiration on someone seldom works, it must come naturally. The harder you try the more a teenager may resist.

Just have fun with her, it will be more memorable for the both of you.

If she is a writer take her to Strand Book store.

Some places to eat where she will think Grandma is hip:

Motorino-Fabulous pizza, try going during the week.

Big Wong's or Jing Fong (Dim Sum) in Chinatown ending with Chiantown Ice Cream Factory

On East 6th Street between First and Second Ave over a dozen Indian restaurants. Some of the better one Banjara, Mitali, and Haveli. (If you do not like curry there are scores of other dishes. Order the breads, tandoori specialities, or the many variations of Biryani, a rice dish.)
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 05:26 AM
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We did a similar visit with our grandaughter 3 years ago. We stayed at the DoubleTree Times Square so she was right in the middle of things. We spent one day on the HOHO bus, and the rest of the visit walking, using subways and an occasional taxi.

She had a great time. We saw "Wicked" and she loved it. Our plan was to let her tell us what she wanted to see and we went along with it.

The things she still talks about. . . "Wicked" . . Statue of Liberty . . Top of the Rock . . the subway ( we don't have one here in Houston ) and buggy ride thru Central Park.
Rich is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Posts: 11
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I am now leaning for a one day bus pass to get an overview of the city with the benefit of a guide. Someone mentioned discount tickets to some attractions, where would I look for them? We will probably only be able to afford two or three so must be selective. Also, is it worth spending the time standing in line at the tickets booth for Broadway tickets amd which days are best for this? We would both love to see Wicked.
NelleYak is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Nelle, Wicked is still very popular and never (or maybe 'almost never') available at the ticket booth or other discount sites. If you want to get discount show tickets, try; if you wait and go to the ticket booth, be sure you're in a flexible mood.
sf7307 is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Do ask your grand daughter what she wants to see and do here before you arrive
SueNYC is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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If you want to make the most of your time and keep costs down, you absolutely need to do some real research. Borrow a guidebook from your local library or buy one. I'd still avoid the bus totally. That will allow you to go to 2 more attractions or get a half price theater ticket to an Off-Broadway play.

There are a lot of things you can do for free. But you need to plan a trip like this carefully since money is a concern.
doug_stallings is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 03:29 PM
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Get show tickets now by going to and getting the coupons that will give you disounted tickets from the regular seller. Have not see Wicked discounted. You might have a look at In the Heights - great show, have sen discounts and a teen would like it.

If the trip is her gift I would have her consult some of the student guides (Let's Go etc) and pick out what SHE want to do - after all, she's a grown woman, not a 5 year old. (When we did europe with my step daughters - at 11/14 and 14/17, they seemed to enjoy the most the things that they picked out. Also, we were careful not to be joined at the hip, giving them free time to do things we wouldn;t really enjoy.

And - if money is an issue I definitely wouldn't throw all that away on a bus sitting in traffic (walking is often faster than the bus).
nytraveler is offline  

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