New York City Travel Guide

Photo by Don Nixon

Photo by Don Nixon

Growing up in Upstate, NY (Buffalo - to be exact), I’ve always considered myself a New Yorker. Due to the nature of my career path, I’ve been traveling in and out of New York City alone for 9+ years… NYC is my second home and while I may not have true roots there, I have some incredible friends and favorite places that I like to visit whenever I’m there. Every now and then, I get requests for my tips and suggestions on New York City so I’ve decided to finally put together a blog post for it. I hope you enjoy! I will definitely be updating it as I experience more.


GETTING THERE

There are three airports surrounding NYC that will get you there, depending on what city you’re coming from you can find different routes / deals. From Buffalo, I usually fly on JetBlue to JFK Airport (JFK). You can also fly to LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Airport (EWR). Depending on time of day and where in Manhattan you’re going, it can take between 30min - 2 hours to get into the city.
If you’re coming from JFK, you can take a yellow taxi/Uber/Lyft (apx. $75) into Manhattan. If you’re looking to save some money, you can take the AirTrain ($5 upon exiting) to either the subways ($2.75) or the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) (between $7-10 to Penn Station depending on the time of day). It may seem overwhelming but trust me, it’s not that bad! People are usually pretty friendly in case you need to ask for help. I also use Google Maps and it gives you step by step directions of where you need to go.
If you’re coming from LGA, I usually just take a Uber/Lyft. I’ve only flew in/out of Newark a few times and pretty sure I took an Uber/Lyft from the PATH train. Definitely check out the airport websites and your hotel address prior to leaving so you have an idea of where you’re going! Under no circumstances should you get into any car with anyone that comes up to you and offers you a ride. Only use ride sharing apps or get into the taxi lines.


WHERE TO STAY

I’ve been all around Manhattan, the surrounding boroughs and Jersey. What area you want to stay is truly preference. When I’m there for vacation, I like staying in Midtown East because it’s so convenient from the airport and it’s easy to get around. You’re smack dab in the middle/ left side so you can easily go north, south and west from there. It’s also close enough to a lot of attractions (more on that later). However, you can’t really go wrong staying in Manhattan, it really just depends on what you’re going to be doing / seeing. I’ve also stayed in Long Island City and Jersey City (which can be more affordable options). I don’t usually stay anywhere fancy (I’m all about those Marriott / Hilton points) but here are some of my suggestions:

  • Royalton New York - trendy, authentic NYC experience, we stayed here for 1 night on our honeymoon.

  • Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan / Midtown East - not anything fancy but it’s clean, they’re nice there and it’s super close to the subways and my favorite bagel shop!

  • 1 Hotel Brooklyn - never stayed over but I’ve been to a few events here. If you want to splurge and get an incredible view of Manhattan, it’s worth checking out.

  • You can also check out HotelTonight, Hotels.com and other booking sites to get deals.


WHERE TO EAT + DRINK

NYC has some of the BEST food options in the world so you may want to be thoughtful about your meal choices while you’re there, rather than just stumbling on the nearest restaurant.

Here are some of my favorite places:

BREAKFAST / BOOZY BRUNCH

Essa Bagel - The Half Pint (boozy brunch) - Bubby’s - Agave (need reservations like 2 weeks in advance) - Crooked Knife - Tavern 29 - Essex - Sons of Essex - Sarabeth’s

LUNCH / DINNER

Sit down: Aunt Jakes - Don Antonio’s - Marta - Wayfarer - Korali - The Meatball Shop - Ribalta - Rosa Mexicano - Fig & Olive -
Quick eats: The Nugget Spot - The Plaza Food Hall - Eataly - Sweetgreen - Le Pain Quotidien

DRINKS

The Kimberly Hotel - The Plaza Hotel’s The Palm Court - The Capital Grille (get a Stoli Doli) - Last Light at Sister City - Boom Boom Room - Please Don’t Tell (call at 3pm that day to make a reservation) - Employees Only - ART Nomad


WHAT TO DO

There’s SO much to do in NYC, it really depends on your preference and what you want to do! You can shop until you drop, sightsee, people watch, see a show, the options are endless. If this is your first time in the city, you may want to map out the locations / spots that you want to hit and plan your day / meals around that. You can also pick a place to start and walk/wander around, it’s very easy to get around in NY.


The Chelsea Markets - The High Line - Westfield World Trade Center - 9/11 Memorial (very somber but extremely well done) - Liberty Island - South Street Seaport - Rockefeller Plaza- Top of the Rock - St. Patrick’s Cathedral - Times Square (something to see but VERY crowded/touristy) - see a show on Broadway (Theatre District) - shopping on 5th Ave - Central Park (check out Literary Park) - The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Bryant Park - Little Italy / Chinatown - Washington Square Park - DUMBO, Brooklyn (great view of Manhattan)


OTHER TIPS + TRICKS

A couple other helpful resources can be found here:
Miles Away Podcast: You'll learn about the neighborhoods, hear about a handful of the most iconic — and points-friendly — hotels, Paul McCartney's favorite pizza spot and our own restaurant recommendations.
Download Google Maps + The NYC Subway app get navigate easily around town.

Are there any places that I missed? Would love to hear any recommendations! I will definitely keep this updated. In case you’re looking for more travel tips be sure to check out my travel section here!

Spring Break Essentials: Try On Confidential

It’s SPRING BREAK TIME, baby! I am SO ready for a vacation. We usually go away around Easter and escape to somewhere warm. My skin is craving the sun. I thought it would be fun to switch things up this week and share my vacation style. If we’re being honest, I really wanted this one to be all about shorts but truthfully, I haven’t found enough pairs that I LOVE to do a whole post about them. It’s important for me to share quality pieces at all price points and I didn’t want to force it. So this week, pack with me! The places we are going is pretty casual / laid back but I’ve got some great basics and items that are great and will last me throughout the summer months! Be sure to to tune into my IG Story to see the looks on, it will also be saved as a highlight.

Look 1: Travel Outfit

Look 2: Daytime/Dinner Outfit

More shorts I bought + liked:

Look 3: Beach Ready

To view more swimsuits, click here!
Use
Caralyn20 at Figleaves for 20% off your order

Look 4: Beach Bar Ready

Look 5/6: Jumpsuits/Rompers I’m Bringing

To view more jumpsuits + rompers, click here!
Black belt bag featured in stories,
click here!

Look 7: Beach Festival Ready

A few other items:

I hope you enjoyed this week’s #TryOnConfidential! Let me know your thoughts or suggestions below!

Away Luggage Review + FAQs

photo by   Ryan Kell

photo by Ryan Kell

I’ve recently had the chance to try Away luggage to see if it lived up to all of the hype. My first trip with it was a trip to Europe. I challenged myself to only packing The Bigger Carry On (with ejectable battery) for 12 days. To see more about what I packed, you can check out this blog post here.

In a recent poll on my IG stories, I collected all of your questions about the bag and here are my honest opinions. Full disclosure, Away was kind enough to gift me the luggage but this post is not sponsored whatsoever. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

To view full product details on The Bigger Carry On, please check them out here.

QUESTIONS + ANSWERS

What size do you have? 

The Bigger Carry On with the ejectable battery in Navy.
I also have The Bigger Carry On with the ejectable battery in Green and The Everywhere Bag in Navy. This size perfectly fits in standard airplanes. I had no issues fitting it in the overhead bin. The Bigger Carry-On is made to fit the standard that airlines actually use—the sizer. And the sizer can fit slightly bigger bags.

Featured and Details: Durable polycarbonate shell- Ejectable battery that charges your phone - TSA-approved combination lock - 360° spinner wheels - Interior compression system - Hidden laundry bag Exterior measurements 22.7” x 14.7” x 9.6” Interior measurements 21” x 14.5” Weight 7.8 lbs Capacity 47.9L

Does it hold everything you need? Or smaller than normal?

It may seem smaller than a normal size bag but it really does fit a lot. The bag zips in half, so you have one compartment for clothing, the other for side for toiletries, shoes, etc. I was honestly shocked by how much I could fit into the bag.

Best way to pack thing into it?  How much stuff can you get in it? How many days?

In case you missed it, I shared how I packed for 12 days in Europe during the winter in a blog post here. The best way to pack (in my opinion) is to roll your items and use packing cubes. The packing cubes really help squish things down to maximize your space. I also highly recommend this flat toiletry bag. As a chronic over-packer, I was surprised to see how efficiently I was able to pack for this long trip. It’s definitely doable.

Is it easy to carry on to planes?

Very much so. I really like how sleek it is and balanced. With some of my other rolling bags, it gets top heavy and often falls over. The handle is conveniently placed so that the weight is distributed evenly. The size is perfect and fits seamlessly in the overhead bin with zero issues.

Is the handle sturdy? Easy to pull/turn? Is it rolling well?

Yes to all. I was very skeptical because I previously had the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 and the wheels are incredible. Although these wheels aren’t as heavy duty as my other bag, it still held up really well and glided nicely. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to wheel on carpet, but so was my other bag. I’ve been pulling the Away bag through all scenarios, down stairs, through city streets and I’ve been impressed by how sturdy it is.

Durability? How is wear and tear? Scratches? Does outside get damaged?

It’s extremely durable. When you receive the bag, it comes with a self-cleaning kit which I haven’t used yet even though I maybe should. It

What is the texture like? Does it scrape hands?

The outside of the bag is a durable polycarbonate shell, which makes it waterproof and easy to clean. It’s porous and hard but not rough, if that makes sense. I’ve had no issues with scraping or rough textures against my skin.

How’s the battery feature? Love it or is it too complicated?

To be honest, I was actually nervous that it was going to be complicated but it’s SO simple. You just pop it out, charge it before your trip and push it back in. I usually carry this portable charger on me at all times but I’ve used this one quite a few times when my other one died. I think it’s a feature worth having, it absolutely doesn’t hurt.

Comparison on what you used before and the compartments?

As previously mentioned, I used this bag. The main difference in the compartments is that my old one was just one large compartment. The Away bag is evenly split into two. I prefer the Away bag because it’s easier to access things while you’re traveling. You don’t need to dig to the bottom, if that makes sense. I loved the functionality and customer service of my Travelpro, but I didn’t love the look of it.

What makes it different/ worth the splurge?

So just as a friendly reminder, I am not an Away partner, I am not being paid to promote this whatsoever. Aside from the bag being extremely functional, it’s sleek. I like how fashionable AND functional this bag is. The design is extremely smart and thought through. For so long, I’ve had bags that were functional but didn’t always look cool/ sleek. This is the first bag that I’ve found that offers both.

SHOP THESE LOOKS:

photo by   Ryan Kell

photo by Ryan Kell