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Holiday help

Walsall, United...
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Holiday help

Hello,

During my gap year before going to university next year I wanted to visit NYC to get a feel for the place. I was hoping during summer 2014 I could go on a summer internship in NYC.

So I was looking at travelling for a few weeks so I can get to grips with the city and see if I would enjoy longer periods of time over there. So me and my friend (both 18) are saving up this year starting now for a couple of weeks in NYC.

I was wondering how much would I need to save for example 1 weeks living in NYC so we can calculate how long we can stay there for, and how long we need to save (so we can choose what month earliest we can go with our savings) before university in September. It has to be realistic, but obviously a fairly cheap, holiday. Ideally it'd be when there would be one of those big American holidays like a parade on or something, to really see all the excitement of NYC. But if those are all early on in the year we won't have saved up enough.

I know we are restricted with what we can do being younger, but it'd be great to meet people while we're out there to enjoy the holiday to the max, and to know whether I'd be able to handle it for longer.

Any help is appreciated, thanks :)

Olney, Maryland
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1. Re: Holiday help

I'll start with hotels: The Country Inn and Suites in Long Island City, Queens, is one train stop from Manhattan, and if you pick the right week, could be $120 per night ($135 after taxes are included). There are other hotels like that in that area near "Queensboro Plaza" station. I stay there with my brother a lot, and a two double bed room is easy to get. They may even have cheaper weekly rates.

You can travel around with a weekly transit pass (unlimited subway and bus rides for less than $30 per person per 7 days). Your ride from the Airport (after paying the an $5 to get to the subway on the AirTrain from JFK) can be part of those 7 days.

While there are very expensive restaurants, there are also very cheap places, too, especially if you travel to neighborhoods that are not tourist attractions or the homes of the very wealthy.

There are many free things to do in New York. "Time Out New York" and "New York" Magazine (and many web sites) list them, as does the New York Times.

There are lots of parades, like St. Patricks Day, Puerto Rican Day, Pulaski Day, Feast the San Genarro. Also, most famous area are crowded and feel like you are in New York all year round (except maybe Thanksgiving and Xmas Days). Just like London (except for Christmas and Boxing Days).

Unless you know some special place where you want to go, you will probably have no reason to leave New York City (the 5 boroughs) itself.

Discounted theater tickets can be gotten at TKTS on 47 and Bway. Also look at "www.playbill.com" for discounts.

If you don't do impulsive crazy expensive things, being in NYC can be cheaper than being in London. Think of how you would not waste money in London, and New York is similar: the parks are free; the streets are free; diners and pizza places are inexpensive; non-souvenir or designer gifts can be reasonable. Walking over the Brooklyn or Queensborough Bridge is free.

And there are always inexpensive or free concerts or recitals somewhere. And you pretty much never need a taxi or rental car in NYC.

New York City
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2. Re: Holiday help

You might begin by noting that the concept of the "gap year" is an unfamiliar one in the US; people go directly from high school into university, with no time off in-between.

Secondly, it is difficult for foreigners to be employed in the US, and I would think that would particularly be the case for an internship that you arranged for yourself -- and which might be unpaid, as many are.

For relatively cheap housing in the summertime, you might contact a university that has residence halls (such as NYU, Columbia, or Fordham) and ask them what they have available for summer occupancy by travelling students from abroad. You might also look into a room at one of the YMCAs. As you note, many hotels in NYC will not rent a room to anyone under 21.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Holiday help

Many hotels including the Country Inn mentioned above wont take under 21s.

Do a search on the forum on hotels for under 21s. Cheapest option would be a hostel either in a private room or shared dormitory at one of the legal hostels

Hostelling international

Ymca vanderbilt

Ymca westside

Chelsea international hostel

Menupages.com

Will give you a vague idea of food prices.

Cant follow what you're talking about on timing but around July 4th will give you fireworks.

New York, New York
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4. Re: Holiday help

There is always several things going on at once in NYC-the problem is usually too many options-so I would go with your budget.

Before May will have both cheaper flights and hotels

FLIIGHTS-

Luftansa from Manchester to Newark (MAN-EWR) seems to be showing the best prices (@450GBP or 659USD) for Midweek travel in Feb, March, or April.

HOTELS-

The Best Western Plus President Hotel in Times Square is showing a total of 570GBP (890USD) before taxes on www.booking.com this seems to be the best deal as it is a 3 and a half star in the heart of Midtown Manhattan with two twins (two beds in Manhattan can usually be costly).

If you want even cheaper & don't mind a hostel situation & want to be in Manhattan NYWhiz's suggestion of Chelsea Hostel-

http://www.chelseahostel.com/

or the dorm rooms at the Gershwin-

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60763-d99389-R…

are atleast well located.

Here are some links to help with your iteneray-

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i23092-Must_dos…

Food-

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i23076-Cheap_Ea…

This link is good for "all ages" or 18 and over shows (most bars are 21-but some music shows allow 18+)-

www.ohmyrockness.com

What ever you decide to do, remember to have fun.

Edited: 10:08 pm, November 13, 2012
Walsall, United...
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5. Re: Holiday help

Thanks for all your help,

@NorthofDC thanks, would I still get the full NYC experience if I stayed outside manhattan? Those sort of places to stay seem a lot more reasonable than some of the ones I had found.

What areas would be considered homes of the very wealthy?

@GWB thanks, I was looking at websites that help you to organise internships that are linked with the universities over here, I understand the foreign employment issue though so I hope that's not a problem.

@nywhiz thanks, in relevance to the dates, ideally we would go around jan/feb when it is cheaper, but we won't have saved up enough for then. That's why I was looking at how pricey it gets later on so I know the best time to travel money wise. How do I keep an eye if there are illegal hostels?

@MTI-n-NYC thanks, well I'm hoping if I get to spend longer over there in the future, then ill get to see it all. That hotel sounds great, but what dates are they at that price for? Would I be able to go in bars and not drink alcohol, or would I not be allowed in all together?

Manchester, United...
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6. Re: Holiday help

I echo NorthofDC's recommendation of the country inn. Very good budget option, perfectly safe and pretty convenient.

Cafe Wha? is a fun place imo that allows under 21's.

New York, New York
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7. Re: Holiday help

HOTEL-

I checked mid Feb. for the hotel.

Now that you have a general idea of how much it will be (I'd say @900GBP per person) do you have an idea how long it will take =or better idea of your travel dates. We could help a lot more then.

For example the suggested Country Inn (in LIC Queens) is usually less than Manhattan, but if you can find something for almost the same price IN Manhattan - you will save a lot on train fare (2 round trips even if you just want to go to a show or out for dinner/supper)

BARS-

Straight bars/pubs (only serving alcohol) are 21+, but...

...Some places that also serve food or have live music have different rules-regulating the age of consumers. You will have to check with each individual place.

As far as live music- Some shows are "All Ages" or "18+" these shows will either:

a) have a seperate drinking area were only 21+ are allowed, or

b) will require you to have a wrist band that shows your age.

You will have to show your ID (even if it is an "all ages" show) so be prepared for that.

Enjoy

Edited: 6:29 am, November 14, 2012
norfolk
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8. Re: Holiday help

getting an internship in nyc is very much a matter of 'who you know'. as noted - internships are almost always unpaid. if you are very fortunate, you may get in with a firm who will provide accommodation for the first few days, but this is unusual.

you need to be saving for this project now, rather than simply saving for a short holiday to test the water, in my opinion. and start now to build your networks - without those, you will not get an internship.

my son laid the foundations for his current career by interning in nyc as part of his degree course. but being in the right place at the right time, under very very sad circumstances, was essentially the catalyst. i shall not labour the details, but his placement was offered late in 2001.

the period of his internship was very expensive and very very hard. whether or not he 'enjoyed the life' in nyc was academic - he had not a minute of free time to find out. but the contacts he was introduced to, and the people he worked for, have stood him in good stead to this day.

i wish you well, and hope this might help in some way.

pam

Walsall, United...
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9. Re: Holiday help

Ok thanks,

@MTI-n-NYC is that £900 for a week? I would have that money by around march, but if I wanted to stay for 2 weeks it would have to be much later in the year to get double that. If its cheaper we would be willing to stay in a hostel, I suppose with it being a good way of meeting people I'd just want to ensure it was safe. It would be hard to meet people without going out to eat etc, thanks for all your help!

@pam_redboots even if the company and university are linked? There are courses I can do with a study for a year in NYC, but I doubt I could be away for the whole year that's why I started looking at summer internships. If that is the case then how would you recommend I get contacts? Emailing big companies or applying for internships. This was more for 2014 summer where I will be 21, so I have a few years to save. Thanks for the realistic approach, hopefully with some hard work and effort on my part I'll have the foundations that your son had. Thanks

Greenwich...
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10. Re: Holiday help

My internship was unpaid and brutal. The competition from graduates within the US alone is so fierce that unless you have a degree from a top university, have stellar grades in courses recognizable to an American reviewer, or know someone, your chances are not good (assuming you want a top corporation). My company assisted with securing an apartment but I was responsible for paying for it. (Thanks Mom & Dad.) You do not want to stay in a hostel when you're an intern. You need your own space for the rare seconds you have to be alone.

I applied to internships all over the country. I got lucky in that I got an offer in NYC that was close to home and a great opportunity. I would suggest you also apply to other large cities, as well as some opportunities in your own country.