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48 Hours in New York City

Last week, we spent 48 hours in New York City. It was our first time in NYC, and I have been dying to see the Big Apple. We landed at JFK airport after a very long British Airways flight. We were super exhausted as we had quite a few flight delays but we got there in the end. I wasn’t impressed with the flight service from Heathrow to New York. It left a lot to be desired. Apart from the many delays, the quality of the screen for the entertainment was poor. Thankfully, that was not the case on our back from Washington to Heathrow.

 

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New York City is one place I have always wanted to visit. I have heard a lot of good and bad things about the city. I agree with majority of what I heard and I have my own views of the city. And I am very happy I finally got the chance to experience it all for myself.

 

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The cold welcomed us as soon as we landed. It was a lot colder than it was in Cheshire, so it came as a bit of a shock to the system. It was easy to get a taxi to our hotel, and we were thankful for that. We stayed at Hilton Times Square for 2 nights. The service at the hotel was ok. I expected an excellent service since the hotel didn’t come cheap. But I quickly realised that excellent service in the US is extremely rare. I think it is just the way things work around there.

The first thing I noticed in New York, apart from the cold weather, were the long faces. Many of the people we came across looked unhappy. Like they didn’t want to be there, doing their jobs. It kind of reminded me of London, but the Londoners are not half as miserable as the New Yorkers.

 

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Holiday Picture

 

We spent all of our time in Times Square. There was no plan to visit the major tourist attractions. We all suffered greatly from Jet Lag. And with 2 toddlers and just 48 hours to spare, there wasn’t much we could do.

Madame Tussauds was just next door to our hotel so we spent some hours exploring the beautiful place. I have a lot to share on that, so will be writing a dedicated on that in the next few days.

We also walked around Times Square and got some lovely shots! If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen many of my New York City photos and stories.

 

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After our 48 hours in New York City, our next stop was Maryland. We drove from New York City to Laurel, Maryland. It was a fun road trip. We sent through New Jersey, Delaware and other cities. I will be writing a post on our road trip and time in Maryland in other posts.

Overall, I found New York a bit too much. It was overwhelming. The city definitely never sleeps and we were in the heart of the madness. I didn’t have the time or energy to explore the city as much as I would have wanted to. But from the little I saw, I am glad I don’t live in New York. I don’t think I would be able to cope living there. The hustle and bustle is unbelievable and it is such an expensive city. Having said that, it is a beautiful place to an extent. The many skyscrapers are a beauty to behold and Times Square is so beautiful with the lights and billboards. It is definitely worth seeing at least once in a lifetime.

Will I be visiting again? Maybe. If something comes up, I would go. But as a tourist, definitely not anytime soon. Maybe when the kids are older and we have more time to spare.

Was the visit worth it? Oh yes. Everyone should see New York. It is a great holiday destination.

 

Have you visited New York?

 

 

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How to Travel with Children

Travel is what I like to do. I like to explore different countries and cultures. Every trip is adventure, and I always take away a thing or 2 from the experience. I found it a lot easier to just book a trip and go away on holiday before having my kids. But now that I am a mother, I find it a bit tricky to go on holiday. But we still travel as much as we can. The kiddies have been to Düsseldorf, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Oman, and Ireland. We have 2 trips booked for next month, and we are really looking forward to that.

As a parent, traveling with your kids can be a bit of a hassle. But I have been able to develop a system that has helped make bringing my kids along fruitful and enjoyable for all of us.

 

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Here are some travel tips for travelling with kids you may find handy.

 

Plan ahead of time

What made travelling with my kids easier was how I was able to plan everything ahead of time right to the minutest detail. I make sure that the bags are packed at least a day before we’re set to travel and the hotel is booked. I also ensure that our airport taxi is booked. There is nothing more annoying than having to get the right transport from the airport to the hotel, with tired kids. So to avoid tantrums and meltdowns, I make sure our airport transport to the hotel is booked in advance. Blacklane is a great website for airport transfer services. They offer complimentary wait time, all-inclusive rates, professional drivers and free cancellation.

 

Have a travel check list

Having a travel check list helps because that way, it is almost impossible to forget anything. With the kids on board you need to prepare yourself for every eventuality. Of course, it differs from child to child depending on their ages and special needs, if they have any.

To guide me through my planning I write out checklists of things I need to pack, details I need to double-check and places we should go. It’s extremely satisfying to tick those items off the list when you’re done.

 

Have a talk with your child

Anytime I take my kids on a trip, I make sure I give them a little pep talk. I don’t believe you should whisk your kids off to a different country without getting them involved in the whole travel experience from the beginning. Especially when they are old enough to kind of understand what is going on.

I tell my kids where we’re traveling, how long we’re staying and how we’ll get to our destination. This keeps them curious as well as excited to participate in making the trip a success. I also try to encourage them to behave themselves.

 

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Minimise hassles for the kids

Although this article was meant to help minimise hassles at your end, the truth is that you can only achieve this when you minimize the hassles for the kids.

Eliminate the need to stand in queues at the airport by booking online and having your boarding passes printed out beforehand. Kids get restless easily so in order to prevent a scene, you have to try to eliminate the need to wait as much as possible.

Carry a little bag with the kids’ favourite toys, gadgets and books to keep them distracted and have yummy snacks ready in case they get hungry.

 

Have all the safety measures in place

As much as you want you kids to have fun on their travel, you need to ensure they are all safe. Have tags made with your phone numbers on them just in case of emergencies. Get the number of the person who will take care of your child when you are away and remember to teach your child what they need to do in times of an emergency as well.

 

How do you travel with your children? Do you have any great tip that works for you?

 

*Collaborative post.

Getting Ready for Your Vacation: Important Tips to Look Your Best

If you are planning your first getaway this year, you might want to get ready for traveling in style and looking your best. From going holiday shopping  – which is the most enjoyable part of the preparations – to choosing your outfits for the weather and hotel, there are several steps you need to take to impress your traveling companions and whoever you will meet while enjoying the sunshine. Below you will find a few tips on how to make the most out of your vacation preparations.

 

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Choose a Funky Hairstyle

If it is time to change your color and style, you should visit your hair salon before you travel and talk to your stylist about the latest trends. You might want to find a hairstyle that is easy to manage, even if you are in and out the pool all the time. The good news is that there are several ways of styling a pixie cut or a simple bob, so you can look different every day, depending on your mood and the occasion.  

 

Pick and Mix

When going shopping for your vacation, you will have to find clothes you can mix instead of planning each outfit. Accidents can happen, and you things don’t always go according to plan. The good news is that accessories take up less space than clothing items. A good way of saving space in your luggage is adding funky scarves, belts, hats, and headbands that can help you create a unique look every time. You might want to pack a few colorful cardigans to throw over your summer dress, and you will have a new look. Add costume jewelry, earrings, and create a beach dress of a large colorful scarf.

 

Choose Comfortable Shoes

While you might be thinking that you will wear your sandals and heels all the time while on vacation, you will not feel comfortable in the heat. You should get a walking shoe or sandal for visiting the beach, or you will end up with painful blisters. The key is combining pretty with comfy when you go on a vacation. You can find comfortable and adorable sandals that suit shorts and short dresses alike to take you on vacation if you do your research.

 

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Check Your Bag Allowance

To avoid disappointments and having to rearrange your clothes last minute, it is important that you check your bag allowance before you start packing. You might spend hours selecting the different outfits that create the perfect match, but if you don’t have enough space, you will need to start again. Plan your vacation clothing carefully, and add an extra outfit just in case you get invited somewhere elegant, such as a five-star restaurant or a premiere of a theater performance.

 

Get Some Tan

Before you hit the beach, it is important to build up some tan. If you can catch some sun rays at home, make the most out of the opportunity. In case the sun is still hiding, you should use self-tanning creams or lotions, maybe pay a visit to your local solarium. This way you will look less “out of place” and can see how your newly purchased vacation clothes look on you when you have a bit of tan. At the same time, by sunbathing before your vacation, you can avoid sunburn during your stay.

 

Travel Hair Styling Kit

If you love swimming in the sea and the pool, it is important that you can restore order after. A small travel hair styling kit that includes a hair dryer, a hair iron, curlers, and other accessories can fit in a small space in your bag, and save you from embarrassing hair days after spending a few hours on the beach. Pack some pins and hair clips, so you can simply tie your hair back when it is not looking its best.

 

Permanent Makeup

If you want to spend more time outdoors and in the water, and less fixing your makeup, a permanent solution might be a good option for you. You can get your permanent makeup completed a few weeks before your vacation, and this means you don’t have to worry about trying to use the small mirror to apply your eyeliner every morning, or getting your makeup smudged in the heat or in the water.

 

Whether you are a regular vacationer, or this is your first time in the year, get ready to impress people with your style. Work smarter and not harder on your looks. Pack less clothes and more accessories. Get your miniature hair styling kit in the bag, and let the fun begin.

 

*Collaborative post.

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