This is one of an occasional series called, you guessed it, “Dear Deal Mommy”. If you have a travel question, send it to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Dear Deal Mommy” or via twitter @thedealmommy. I’ll get back to you and if I think it may help lots of folks may include it in a future post.
Today’s question is from Christine:
Could you tell me the specifics of booking your trip to NYC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Which hotel did you use, transportation from the airport, etc. I would like to take my granddaughter to the parade this November.
First, and most urgently…you’ll need to book NOW. TODAY. You can always change award bookings up to 24-72 hours before departure on hotels, but you need to have something in hand ASAP.
For starters, check out my hotel report from the 2012 Macy’s Parade and much of that advice still stands. However, my hotel of choice, the Holiday Inn 57th Street, is already blacked out for the entire fall. Others that would be good in the 35K range include the HIExpress, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, and Holiday Inns north of 35th street. This post above shows you how to top your account up if you need a few more. Do NOT transfer in Chase Ultimate Rewards to IHG, it’s a horrible value.
Another surprisingly still available option is the new Hyatt Place which is almost across the street from Macy’s on 36th. My concern about this one is that is the location is where they film everything. Reader Monica reports the Hyatt Place is great because the media area is sealed off so you’ll be grandfathered in and get a less crowded view. The new Hyatt Herald Square would qualify as well, as would the Radisson Martinique.
I don’t know how it would be for pedestrians…could be AMAZING or a nightmare. I’d walk north a few blocks to be safe. To be honest, any Hyatt in NYC, with the exception of Union Square or Wall Street, would be great for the parade and I wouldn’t feel terrible about spending even 25k Ultimate rewards points per night for a legend-wait-for-it-dary list experience.
Whichever you do, book TODAY! (Did I already mention that 😉
Parade Viewing: Buy a cheap pillow or cushion the night before. I MacGyvered one out of a 6 pack of paper towels that resulted in a REALLY funny conversation with a security guard at Duane Reade at 5AM, but did the trick. Plan to have your spot staked out by 530AM if you want the front row. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground…New Yorkers have a rep for being pushy for a REASON. Bring something for the kid to do (ours had their DS’s). Try to be near a Starbucks/bathroom.
As far as transport, we took the megabus from DC, so can’t help with airport. Thinking you would definitely want something booked in advance like Uber, though. Readers?
Whatever you do…it’s TOTALLY worth it. Good luck!