Saturday, May 12, 2007

Definite trip to New York City in June

A week ago I wrote that I had been considering a trip to New York City later in May, but time was running out, my budget is tight (a modest deficit), I'm busy right now, and the weather might be more pleasant in June. I finally decided and committed on Friday that I will in fact make a short trip to New York City (with a side trip to South Jersey to visit my mother.) I haven't settled on any of the details, but I have commited to making the trip, sometime in the second half of the month.

Originally I had hoped to stay within a $900 budget for a four-night trip, but airfares and hotels rates are significantly worse than I expected. So, much for the claim that the economy is "slowing."

One thing that affects availability of hotel rooms in NYC is that they get a lot of international tourists, and the "weak" dollar and "strong" euro make NYC look relatively cheap to European tourists. So, the good news is that this is a bright spot for the economy, but this is bad news for my budget.

I haven't firmly decided whether to go for four or five (or six or even seven) days, but the hotel rates give me pause and bias me towards the shorter trip. On the other hand, if I end up taking a cheaper flight that has a horrible schedule, such as overnight with connections, I may need an extra day or two to recover. Given the expense of hotels in Manhattan and the premium value I place on my own time, I may opt to pay an extra $50 or even $75 for airfare if that gives me an extra half day of relative comfort in New York. The flip side is that an overnight flight can save a hotel night, which might have cost me $100 or $150 or more.

My next big decision is whether to make my reservations fairly soon to lock in the rates, but have to pay for the trip on my June credit card payment, or wait until the 10th of June (or so) and take a chance that maybe I can get some sort of last minute special and not have to pay until July as well. Alas, the last-minute gambit could well backfire due to the outrageously high demand for hotel rooms in Manhattan. I'm tempted to simply do it soon and get it out of the way and have piece of mind for the next month, but my budget is a big concern as well.

I think I'll come up with a tenative plan, get the current rates, and then watch them for a week or two to see how they evolve and whether deals seem to pop up, and decide either next weekend or the following week whether to "pull the trigger" sooner or later.

For now, I'm assuming that I'd really like to have four whole quality days and two travel days, making it a six-day, five-night trip. I'll start with a $1,000 budget and see how it goes. If airfare comes in at $400 and hotel rates at $150 a night, a five-night trip would be $1,150, so maybe $1,200 is a more realistic budget. We'll see how it goes. I'll try to arrange my finances so that I can swing the $1,200, but try to shoot for $1,000.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 4:15 PM EDT , Anonymous yohan sebastian said...

Book your hotel reservations through . Lots of choices, cheap quality rooms and you can choice your location within the city. Stayed in SoHo last month for $125 a night during the week. place was great and close to action of the district.


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