NEW YORK in November.
My cousin, Becka, and I went to the Big Apple for five days around Thanksgiving last November. And look how we lucked out with our 2 bed, 2 bath, Airbnb apartment. It couldn't have been in a better location or have a better view and was cheaper than a small hotel room we would have had to share!
The end of November is such a great time of the year to visit as nowhere and noone does Christmas better than New York. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, all the decorations go up and the city turns into a wonderful winter wonderland - whatever the weather!
Saks Fifth Avenue put on a show to end all shows, Central Park & Rockefeller Plaza were just magical at night & we also squeezed in a meal at Grand Central Station, regular $10 neck & shoulder massages and enjoyed coming across the odd little sights you find around every corner in Manhattan. Just look at those giant pumpkins left over from Halloween!
We've both visited NYC before but on this trip we managed to find two new awesome adventures that you really should experience if you haven't already! The first one was the High Line, a fabulous 1.45 mile long nature walk which has been designed along a disused rail road. An absolute must for nature lovers who want great views of NYC along the way!
And the other great walk we did on a beautiful blue sky day was the Brooklyn Bridge Walk..... a bit breezy, but boy oh boy the views of the city's skyline made it worth every step.
I think I need another trip to NYC just to re-discover Brooklyn, 'cause it's huge!
Get an Airbnb apartment rather than a hotel. You will pay the same for a 2 bedroom apartment as you would for a pokey twin room in a hotel.
Take lots of layers with you. It can be very warm one day & freezing cold the next, in Spring or Autumn. One day we were in light jackets, the next raincoats, and the next we were in very warm fun furs, hats & gloves! (more packing tips here)
Wear really comfy walking shoes, you will walk for miles and miles and miles, and that's without shopping.
At the time of writing, shopping is no longer a bargain in NYC because of the $ to Sterling exchange rate. But if you try and plan your trip around Black Friday, straight after Thanksgiving, then you can't avoid picking up a bargain. Everything I needed was slashed by 30% including aMophie charger for my i-phone and a travel bag from Fred Perry that I couldn't get in Brighton!
Go to trendy areas like SoHo, NoHo & Tribeca to see what the fashionistas are buying in the little independent boutiques. Search out flea markets & vintage shops to try and replicate the wonderful look of the Advanced Style Fashionistas. I managed to hook up with one of them, Tziporah Salaman, while I was there. You can see us having an impromptu fashion shoot here!
If you go to one shop, out of sale time, make it Sephora for make up & other beauty essentials that you just can't get in the UK and other countries. We couldn't walk past one without shopping till we dropped!
Other good buys for me were vintage spectacle frames from Fabulous Fanny's - yes you read that right! They have a huge collection of retro frames for glasses or sunnies in every colour under the sun. I was in my element & you can see me wearing them on my regular Instagram & Facebook posts.
Those are my personal top tips, apart from building in plenty of time for just mooching around this great city, stopping wherever you feel like it, watching the world go by, eating in a deli or drinking coffee, sipping cocktails at sunset, or just sitting in a park in the sunshine. It's a great place for mooching! Have fun.