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Looking Ahead in New York City After COVID-19

Written By: Carole A. Peck, Assistant to the Vice President – New York City Vacation Packages



With Coronavirus derailing the travel industry for much of the first quarter of 2020 (and the beginning of the second quarter), we here at New York City Vacation Packages (NYCVP) are staying upbeat, knowing that it will rebound as strong as ever.


With most of us in the trade for decades – we have witnessed firsthand our industry’s strength and resolve when times are tough, so much of the population is suffering and travel is the last thing on the public’s minds. We have marveled at how it brings us together as a community to share best practices and support each other in any way we can. And we have applauded our travel advisor partners for maintaining their passion throughout the trying times so that when the tide turns, they can hit the ground running.


While we all anxiously await the inevitable turn around to when the travel Industry comes bouncing back to its normal, dizzying, hectic pace (that we all secretly love) – let’s take some time to look ahead to the end of 2020 (which happens to be one of our favorite seasons in the City!) – and then take a peak a bit further out to early 2021. We have some great events and super rates in store so read on to see how you can make your clients New York City trip the highlight of what for many of them has been an anxious, uncertain and troubling year.


Fourth Quarter 2020

Take it from the Big Apple experts – this City celebrates the holidays like no other with unique, once in a lifetime events from Thanksgiving through the New Year. And just how do they “make merry”? Check out the list we have compiled that includes just a handful of activities your clients can take part in during “the most wonderful time of the year” in NYC.


They Can Gobble Up Thanksgiving Festivities Including Balloons and Buffets

Ever wonder where those larger than life balloons featured in the Thanksgiving Day Parade are hiding before they journey down Sixth Avenue? They aren’t! They are actually on full display the day before they make their grand entrance – and your clients can watch them come to life before their very eyes!


That’s right – the area around the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West side comes to life the day before Thanksgiving with the balloon inflation staging area opening to the public from approximately 1:00pm to 8:00pm. Walking around the site is truly a unique experience. What better way for your clients to get their holiday season started than by viewing the infamous balloons in various stages of inflation, taking selfies with their favorite characters and possibly even hearing tales of parades past! And if they aren’t comfortable navigating the subway system – they can take advantage of an experienced tour guide to get them there via motorcoach with NYCVP’s Balloon Inflation Tour.


Next – while everyone else is watching the worldfamous parade on television – they can experience the historic balloons, floats and marching bands up close and in person. And they have plenty of options on how they can experience the “official” start of the holiday season in New York City. Whether they get up extra early to claim a prime sidewalk spot for parade viewing, book a hotel room with a parade view or take advantage of one of the many Thanksgiving Parade parties with food, drink and indoor or outdoor views – this is one parade that will not disappoint no matter which way they decide to take it all in! The atmosphere surrounding the parade is one of pure joy – for children and adults who are children at heart – and attending it in person is guaranteed to make anyone grateful.


Finally, be sure they do not forget a traditional Thanksgiving dinner! New York City is a food lover’s paradise and many venues will be serving up everyone’s favorite holiday staples – turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie – you get the idea. Just don’t forget to make them reservations beforehand to avoid the inevitable lengthy wait times. And to make it easy for you to help them decide where to eat – NYCVP offers two Thanksgiving dinner buffet seating times at the beautiful Manhattan Room – located conveniently in midtown.


In fact – with NYCVP you can offer them complete Thanksgiving packages – including accommodations, holiday themed tours, dinner, parade viewing parties and even “Stay Warm” venues.


They Can Brighten Up December with Decorations, Discounts and Dancing

One certainly can’t visit the city during this festive season without checking out the overthe-top holiday decorations. Your clients have the option to grab their scarves and gloves (and a hot beverage of their choice) and view the lights via foot. If they start on 5th Avenue – where the shops are famous for their window displays this time of year – they won’t be disappointed! But be sure to tell them to check out Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park as well. And while we encourage everyone to see all the new attractions, holiday lights and trees in New York – covering the four-square miles or so that they encompass in one night and on foot can take a while – not to mention the crowds and weather. If walking isn’t their cup of tea then book them on NYCVP’s Holiday Lights and Sights Motorcoach Tour where they can just sit back, relax and take it all in from a climate-controlled vehicle.


Next, they can take advantage of the great deals – and get some items on their Christmas list checked off while visiting. In a city worldrenowned for its shopping – 5th Avenue anyone? – it’s no doubt they will find something for everyone. And as a bonus, they have new venues to explore in 2020. From the recently developed Hudson Yards and its impressive high-end shops to the fabulous discounts at the newly opened Empire Outlets on Staten Island (New York City’s only outlet shopping) – the options available to them just cannot be beat! And don’t forget the many festive holiday markets and fairs that pop up this time of year – all offering unique gift ideas while guaranteed to get everyone in the holiday vibe! NYCVP runs a Christmas Markets Shopping Tour on select Saturdays during the season which offers motorcoach transportation with a professional tour guide and visits to four different holiday markets – plus a place to store your purchases while you shop! Finally – Christmas time in New York would not be complete without seeing the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes® at famed Radio City Music Hall. With numerous show times most days starting in early November and continuing through the beginning of January, they will have plenty of opportunities to fit one of these mesmerizing performances into their holiday activities. Just like with all of the shows on Broadway, we can secure your clients tickets to this holiday tradition as well.


They Can Celebrate in Style with Times Square and 2021

If you have clients who have always wanted to be in Times Square when the famous ball drops – but didn’t want to be stuck standing for hours in the crowded street – have them ring in 2021 at an indoor party above the crowds! There are countless venues that will get them off the street and onto the dance floor – many offering dinner, drinks and entertainment. The best part? Unlike those standing in the street below they will be indoors – not worried about the weather and with full access to restrooms. There is no better way to ring in the New Year than witnessing this bucket list event!


NYCVP is proud to announce we are once again hosting our annual New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Gala. Held 23 stories up at the spectacular Convene Conference Center – the views, the atmosphere and that VIP feeling of being at an indoor party (complete with buffet, open bar, DJ, magician, party favors and more!) looking down at the crowds cannot be beat. Head over to nyctrip. com for all the details!


New York City is exciting anytime of the year – but there’s no denying the city has extra excitement and sparkle from late November through January 1st! Don’t let your clients miss out on the magic of spending the holiday season in the fascinating city that is New York!


First Quarter 2021

Once the holidays have commenced and the decorations are put away – the new year ushers in some fabulous rates. In fact – January is one of the least expensive times to visit the city as hotel rates are notoriously low. And who wouldn’t want the neon lights of Times Square to brighten their mood after the end of the year festivities have wound down?


You can book your clients now for some amazing deals. Our FIT rates start at $187.50 per person for 2-nights’ accommodations plus bonus inclusions for everyone on the booking including admission to some of the City’s most famous sites and attractions. Valid for select dates, other dates slightly higher. All taxes are included, and as always, all of our packages are fully commissionable.


For your cost conscious clients, January is a fabulous month for them to head to New York City. Not only are the rates lower but it is far less crowded meaning shorter wait times for most venues. Let NYCVP put together the perfect getaway for your clients to start out the new year right!


What Next?

New York City Vacation Packages has been a trusted NYC travel information authority since 1983 and is the only major independent tour company in the United States devoted exclusively to NYC travel. NYCVP offers services to make sure your custom New York City vacation is safe and secure, and is a member in good standing of NYC & Company (New York City’s marketing and tourism organization), the National Tour Association, Better Business Bureau and the American Society of Travel Agents Tour Operator Program.


Contact Information: New York City Vacation Packages 300 Market Street Kingston, PA 18704 (877) NYC-TRIP