Posted 4th Jan 2023 (Posted 23 h, 19 m ago)
Hello!

Looking for some advice on travelling potentially to the states in early May following me and my partner's wedding. Never been before so most of my knowledge is from looking online and asking friends/family who have been. We're not absolutely set on having the honeymoon following the wedding so it's not an absolute must that we get something for May either.

We've got our eyes on a couple locations in the north east. I'm very keen to go to Chicago but we're both interested in New York at the right price too. Further away from these two we are both keen on doing Florida and the whole tourist bucket list of Disney, Universal etc at some point too but not necessarily for this trip.

Budget isn't a massive concern as we've already got money saved for a honeymoon so my questions are:

- What's the best time to book such a holiday or have we missed the best window now? Do late deals crop up for travelling to the states?

- Any general tips for saving money on the booking, hotels etc.?

- If you've been to either city above, which was better?

Looking forward to hearing people's advice/comments!
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  1. Avatar
    I went to New York last month and can highly recommend the new york pass - newyorkpass.com/en-us

    I got 3 days for £165 on a black friday deal and in those 3 days I went to $400 worth of attractions.
  2. Avatar
    Before you book anything at all I'd personally say make sure you get an ESTA sorted - just in case you are refused for any reason! If you are refused after booking holiday you will probably find you cannot get a refund etc.
    esta.cbp.dhs.gov/

    You wont have hotel etc. sorted but you can literally put any in while doing it!
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    not to mention cant do esta if you went to cuba in last 11 years
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    New York is great but it's busy and condensed, very different from Orlando. My folks love the Florida Keys as it's very relaxed but also loved the Miami vibe which has a totally different (go figure!).

    We've done Florida and NY a few times in one trip as internal flights are cheap and you can go business or first class to get decent luggage allowance. Also flight times can be good before doing the long haul back to the UK.

    Boston (Massachusetts) is a lovely city to pair with Florida if you're looking for options instead of NY. It's a real mix of independent shops and also has big chains but has a far more Covent Garden feel.

    When we were in NY last (just before COVID) we used the subway loads as we were shooting up and down seeing friends and tourist attractions.

    Write a list of what you want to do and then you can trim down the schedule and see where you spend the days.

    Flying back from NY to UK is nicer on the body than flying from Chicago or Orlando as the flight is approx 2 hrs less.

    Eating out in Florida is cheap, eating out in NY isn't! When we went just before COVID we could eat for three in Florida for $120 per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). In NY it was nearer $200 for the same three meals. I spent $9 on a bowl of porridge and a bagel for my son was $7. In Florida you could get a big breakfast for $10 and then you wouldn't need lunch. (edited)
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    We were in Orlando last September and the prices have increased since you were there.

    Your pre-covid $120 equates to around $100 with the £ being so low.

    That coupled with prices up around 20% on average from pre-covid equals a big jump in spends.

    We were frugal with eating out etc and kept the more expensive establishments to a minimum and spent around 40% more in £ on eating out in comparison to 2019. (edited)
  4. Avatar
    Author
    Update: So we're continuing to look and I think the wife to be leaning towards Florida if we were to go now - she's keen on a AirBNB for accomodation as flights arent at bad prices right now via Virgin & BA on Skyscanner.

    Any tips for Florida vacations? Already aware of FloridaTix and similar sites for parks if we do them
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    Join the group ‘its orlando time’ on fb. We got some great advice on there when planning our trip.
  5. Avatar
    From my experience the best time to book is about 5/6 months in advance. Also, some airlines are doing Jan sales now, so would be worth a check.
  6. Avatar
    Whats your budget, what may not appear to be a concern to you may well be. Where as 20k to many is ok, to others it may be a little too much. (edited)
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    Author
    20k is a little too much in this instance yeh, I'd say we're looking at closer to 8-10k. Stop me if this isn't much at all budget wise but I think we're looking at 7/11 nights max (edited)
  7. Avatar
    I went 12 years ago, April-June..

    I booked my flight, one week before I wanted to go..

    I was doing a road trip, so I booked my hotels when I got to a place I wanted to stay. I would use a few sites to get the best price..

    how long will you be going for?
    I reckon you could do Florida - New York - Chicago in 2 weeks, but make it 3 weeks, there’s a few good off the beaten track places in Florida
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    Author
    Aiming for 7-11 nights but can push to 14 if necessary. Whilst the idea of travelling between each of the three sounds cool I think we'd prefer sticking to just one on this occasion!
  8. Avatar
    Do homework on Disney park reservation system and genie+ if you do Disney!

    In our experience flight/hotel packages are cheaper than airbnbs, but read small print for any hidden resort fees.

    Car is worthwhile, as Disney and uni are about 30 mins apart. But can get around reasonably via Lyft/Uber if a car is not your thing. If you stay on Disney property transport between Disney parks is included.
  9. Avatar
    Was in CA and NY in November/December

    Expensive is the main word. At $1.20 and adding a 20% tip to everything, it soon mounts up. Use Uber or agree a fixed price for a yellow cab. Beware thievery in hotels. One friend lost a phone and all of us were astonished when a $38pn per room Facilities charge materialised on the bill. Park Central Hotel I can most definitely suggest you avoid. And don’t even think of vaping. Rooms have sensors fitted and the charge can be $200 if it’s triggered. We listened to one couple try to fight the charge and the hotel had no intention of cancelling the charge.
  10. Avatar
    If you're working with 10k, i'd strongly suggest splitting the trip. Somewhere on the east, and then somewhere on the west.

    When i travelled to the US for work, I spent about 3-4 days in a location and then took another internal flight which is actually quite a nice experience.

    If you go coast to coast, the internal flight will be quite long so maybe plan in a way that you arent eating up too much time on internal flights
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