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Old 01-13-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
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Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

DH and I would like to make a trip to New York this year, preferably during spring break. I used to live in NY but that was years ago and I haven't been there in about 14 years now. We are a family of 7 (kids age range 18, 16, almost 3, 4 and 5 yrs old) and would prefer to stay in a hotel within Times Square so that most things are within walking distance to avoid driving as much as possible. I know NY is expensive but I'm just wondering if anyone here has made an NY vacation and would like to know where you stayed, average cost and the best way to do it. It seems like we are too big of a family to accommodate for most hotels there.

DH was thinking that we should maybe look into a tour deal but I'm not sure that's a great idea with little ones and having times to be here and there. We would be driving there so we won't have airline expenses.

I guess I'm just needing suggestions as to what would be the best way to go on a vacation that won't cost an arm & a leg. The only other thing that I would have really liked to do is visit with my family in California but airline tickets alone would be costing us a little over $3000 and we'd still need spending money to do things there. We would be staying with family and have most of our meals with family so that is less expense there.

We are open to other vacationing ideas too so feel free to make suggestions. The NY trip isn't set in stone.

Thanks!

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

Don't stay in Times square. its the most expensive place to get a hotel. Stay somewhere in Manhatten further away from things and just buy the daily or weekly subway passes. You can get anywhere in NYC on the subway and the savings you'd have from the hotel will cover the subway costs. It was 3 years ago? and the subway passes were $7 for a day of unlimited trips but i forget how much weekly ones were. Or even stay somewhere in the nice part of brooklyn for even cheaper. Check out brooklyn heights. Its a very nice safe area of brooklyn right acrossed the brooklyn bridge from manhatten. You could even walk acrossed the brooklyn bridge (which is really fun!) and walk to the World trade center site and down to the ferry to go to the statue of liberty. Plan to walk a LOT! P.S. i lived in NYC all over the place for 4 years so if you want i'll answer lots of questions.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

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Originally Posted by Miacoda View Post
Don't stay in Times square. its the most expensive place to get a hotel. Stay somewhere in Manhatten further away from things and just buy the daily or weekly subway passes. You can get anywhere in NYC on the subway and the savings you'd have from the hotel will cover the subway costs. It was 3 years ago? and the subway passes were $7 for a day of unlimited trips but i forget how much weekly ones were. Or even stay somewhere in the nice part of brooklyn for even cheaper. Check out brooklyn heights. Its a very nice safe area of brooklyn right acrossed the brooklyn bridge from manhatten. You could even walk acrossed the brooklyn bridge (which is really fun!) and walk to the World trade center site and down to the ferry to go to the statue of liberty. Plan to walk a LOT! P.S. i lived in NYC all over the place for 4 years so if you want i'll answer lots of questions.
Thanks! Any info/tips is much appreciated. Do you know of any nice places to stay on the Brooklyn Heights side that you can recommend? Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center site are all places we'd love to visit too.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

I've never looked in New York, but you might look on this website airbnb.com. You can do a search by city and date, and then under amenities make sure you check "family friendly".

It is where people rent out apartments, houses, rooms in their home. It has reviews on it. I've used it for staying in Portland and had found a basement apartment with a full kitchen and bath with washer and dryer for $40/night. Ideally I'm guessing if you found a place with a kitchen you could save a lot on food.

Another tip if you decide to book on their is to google search coupon codes, I've found one before for $10 off, so that sort of offsets the booking charge. I also do craigslist for finding places to stay but I don't know if I would for New York since I'm guessing their might be more scams. I've only done ones that I didn't have to pay until I arrive.

Good luck planning your vacation, sounds like a lot of fun!
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:07 AM   #5
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

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Thanks! Any info/tips is much appreciated. Do you know of any nice places to stay on the Brooklyn Heights side that you can recommend? Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center site are all places we'd love to visit too.
This one is really close to the brooklyn bridge - http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...ooklyn-bridge/

This one is a few block further away but still within walking distence - http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...york-brooklyn/

You are really going to have to price hotels before going. Depending on when you go it will be VERY expensive. NYC hotels cost so much money its scary. Look in manhatten but i'm going to guess those 2 in brooklyn will have cheaper rates. Also, keep in mind that "walking distence" to ppl who live/lived in NYC is far. It can easily mean a good 10 to 20 minute walk.

Try to look up info about the subway system before you go too. If you use it it'll be the cheapest and fastest way to get around. But it can be confusing at first.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

Sorry I have no advice super specific to New York.
BUT I do have a large family and we do travel.

If it was up to me I would look at getting a City Pass for where you want to go.

Here is the link for New York
http://www.citypass.com/new-york

We have used them in the past for other places and it is a great deal!

Then for where to stay you might want to check out
http://sixsuitcasetravel.com

It is a large family travel site.

For hotel prices I am rather fond of Hotels.com
They won't allow that many people in a search but it gives you an idea of prices then you can call the hotels directly to see if they have bigger rooms.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

I would also look at sabbaticalhomes.com - there are often short term rentals - usually academics or people linked to a university. And i have also rented short term using craigslist - it worked out great but you should probably ask for references. We didn't, but one generally should, right?
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

This might seem strange but i would suggest taking just the olders and getting a sitter or G&G to watch the youngers. It is not a place i would take young kids. Traveling with lots of littles is hard enough on a couple. I don't wish to do it again unless it is somewhere we can sprawl out like a campground. Kids need to have space, NY isn't that kind of a place. I would be terrified there with my kids. I loved it when I visited but not a place unless you are raising them there, etc.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:03 AM   #9
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

NYC is very safe but you just have to be smart. Don't go in bad neighborhoods and don't go out late at night. Its fine to have kids in NYC lots of kids live there and visit there every day. You may just need to have each older kid be in charge of a younger one. it'll be tough with lots of kids but have the youngest in a stroller and the slightly younger have a person to watch them. And if the kids need some space there are a ton of great playgrounds with lots of kids there every day especially in central park.


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Originally Posted by vintagegyrl View Post
This might seem strange but i would suggest taking just the olders and getting a sitter or G&G to watch the youngers. It is not a place i would take young kids. Traveling with lots of littles is hard enough on a couple. I don't wish to do it again unless it is somewhere we can sprawl out like a campground. Kids need to have space, NY isn't that kind of a place. I would be terrified there with my kids. I loved it when I visited but not a place unless you are raising them there, etc.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Re: Need vacation planning help that won't break the bank for a family of 7.

vrbo.com is another rental place by owner site. We've used it for other states and I would think there would be a bit for NYC. I would love to do NYC but it does seem like it would be really hard with littles. But most of mine are little.
My DH and I went there before kids and stayed in a hostel. It had a shared kitchen and we had a private room for $80/night? about 10 years ago.
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