New York highlights

So, it’s been about a year since I blogged and I realised I never did get round to writing my NY highlights so here goes:

Food
Glaze Teriyaki – a great, low budget gluten free option. This felt like a really cool, no fuss place to eat with a really good vibe and even better when you can relax knowing they have gluten free options.

Tu-Lu’s Gluten free bakery – the food from here was SO good. Easily the best gluten free cakes and doughnuts I have ever eaten. I really wish they would open one in the UK!

Sprinkles cupcakes – they have a cupcake ATM!!! What can possibly beat that?! Also worth noting that it dispenses gluten free cupcakes.

Shops
Top Hat This is a great little shop which is worth checking out. I found a great purse in here which i’ll cherish forever. It’s not huge and some of the things can be a little pricier than other shops but it’s a great independent shop with quality goods.

Sights
9/11 Museum – this is such an unforgettable moment in World history and I think that this museum is a really well thought out way to ensure that the truth of 9/11 continues to live on through generations. The content of the museum can be harrowing which is no surprise but it brings home how desperate the people involved and who lost their lives must have felt. The 9/11 fountains are also worth a visit and a touching way to remember those who lost their lives. Please remember that this is a memorial and smiling selfies are really not appropriate!

Top of the Rock – I have done Top of the Rock and Empire State and I prefer Top of the Rock. It means you get an unrestricted view of Central Park which really allows you to appreciate the size and beauty of the park.

Statue of Liberty – this is one of my favourite things to visit in NY. Go and visit the Museum and have the audio guide. Listening to the audio guide really brought home to me what the Statue of Liberty symbolises and has meant to people for so many years. Lady Liberty is so iconic and I can’t quite believe I’ve actually seen her in the ‘flesh’. Lady Liberty represents freedom, liberty and was the first thing many people saw when coming within touching distance of the USA for the first time in hopes of a better life and new beginnings. Well worth a visit!

The high line – I love this concept. It is so great to walk (without stopping at traffic lights at each block) from one area of NY to another. You can take in the views and enjoy a leisurely stroll. The high line seems to get longer and longer every time I visit NY which is great.

There are of course so many other highlights in NY; Bryant Park, Battery Park, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Central Park, Empire State Building, 30 Rock, Flatiron building, Brooklyn Bridge, Intrepid Air Sea and Space Museum, NY Library, Times Square and so many more – all of which I would recommend seeing/visiting.

I absolutely love New York City and think that it is impossible to run out of things to do so I could go on forever but wanted to give you some of my highlights.

Travel tips Part One

1. For those living in London, the best foreign currency rates are Thomas Exchange Global Ltd followed by Covent Garden FX.

2. Backpacking and short on space? Instead of taking a beach towel, take a shammy leather – it’ll dry you off immediately after a swim in the ocean, dries out quickly in the sun, can be rinsed out immediately and takes up minimal space.

3. Those with older style GHD hair straighteners, unscrew the plug to reveal a pin plug ready for use in Europe without the need for an adaptor.

4. Need somewhere to put your keys/phone/wallet while on the beach? Get an old tub, possibly a tub that your shammy leather came in that has a lid and put your belongings in this when going for a swim. Not only does it protect them from sand but makes them less obvious to thieves (unless they are reading this).

5. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS leave enough time for your stopovers at US airports, a slight delay to your first leg flight plus the long queues at US immigration mean you could be pushing it to make your connecting flight. Remember, you have to collect your bags, re-check in your bags and go through security again before you make your next flight.

6. Always check airbnb for accommodation. Often it can be much cheaper than staying in hotels and gives you the opportunity to pick the brains of your hosts who are likely to be locals.

7. Use Quidco for booking travel – you can save so much money and this is absolutely one of my favourite websites.

8. Sign up to hotel chain loyalty schemes such as Hilton Honours or Marriott Rewards. This can often lead to free wifi at their hotels which you would otherwise have to pay for.

9. Look out for loyalty schemes such as hotels.com which offer one night stay free after paying for 10 nights.

10. Always take advantage of airmiles. This can save you lots of money and get you trips worldwide if you build up enough airmiles.

More hints and tips coming soon!