Category Archives: Holidays

The 83rd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

4 Tips for Planning Holiday Travel

Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years are so close you can feel the joy in the air. With the holidays being right around the corner, you’ll need to start planning your holiday getaway right away. Whether you’re visiting the family or simply need to escape the chilly weather, these are some tips for your holiday traveling.

1. Plan Ahead

Nothing’s worse than hearing the age old question “are we there yet?” a hundred times. Research places to stop along the way for kids on road trips and go to fun museums or a park rather than a gas station. You can go on tripadvisor.com and see ratings of fascinating places to visit. Go online and check for luggage restrictions at airports so you don’t have to throw away products because you were .01 ounces over the liquid limit. Bring snacks! We can all get a little grumpy when traveling on an empty stomach. Research the weather beforehand so you know what to pack. Unfortunately things don’t always go as planned–pictures on the internet make places look cooler than they are, and weather the weather isn’t always in your favor. Be prepared and organize alternative outings in case of unexpected alterations.

2. Packing

Sometimes packing up can take up the majority of your vacation time. Make sure you have all important documents and absolute necessities in your carry on, and pack light in case luggage is mishandled or lost. If driving, pack flashlight, first aid kit, jumper cables, make sure you have a spare tire and jack. Bring headphones and sleeping pills to block out the crying children and the boisterous airport.

3. Travel on off-peak days

Unfortunately, the holiday season inevitably comes along with pushy pedestrians, obnoxious drivers, and intrusive security guards that get a little too personal for your pat-down. A way to avoid this is by traveling on the less popular days. The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, so travel the day of rather than day before, and very early in case the flight is postponed to later in the day. Same goes for Christmas or Hanukkah—travel that day so you don’t stuck in the chaotic holidaze.

4. Breathe!

You’re on vacation! You’re finally free of deadlines, meetings, and your stuffy office. Follow these traveling tips and you’ll be grubbing on that pumpkin pie in no time.

Plan smart and make your travel plans well in advance to avoid the big holiday rush.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Simplify Your Thanksgiving Travel Plans

The Thanksgiving holiday is unquestionably the busiest travel event each year, with notorious transportation setbacks, increased traffic on the road, and travel obstacles meeting commuters at almost every corner. But with a little of forethought when planning your Thanksgiving journey, you can ease travel headaches whether you are heading home or leaving for a drama-free experience. Despite your destination, you will be thankful for these Thanksgiving travel tips.

Flexible Early Birds

Make travel plans early, especially during the busy Thanksgiving holiday. The busiest travel days are Wednesday and Friday, since Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday. If you can fly on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, you will find better fares and fewer travelers.

Travel Light

Pack only what you need. Try not to get distracted by the holiday season when it comes to efficient packing. To help you stay focused, create a packing checklist for everyone traveling, listing appropriate clothing and personal care items. You can find free printable packing checklists online, or just create your own list on a piece of blank paper.

Choose the Best Days for Driving

All statistics point to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as the worst travel day, with the heaviest traffic falling between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. If you have to drive that day, try to start out before 2:00 PM or after 7:00 PM to avoid the peak holiday rush. The same information applies to Friday, especially as the Black Friday crowds increase annually. Unfortunately, now Tuesday and Saturday are becoming increasingly heavy travel days. However, Sunday has traditionally up to 60 percent less traffic than Saturday.

Stay Informed

Unless you are traveling to a warm destination, bad weather can upset your carefully planned travel arrangements. Staying informed of travel conditions for each of your destinations, especially if you have a plane change, can help you stay on track. Checking online travel sites and installing smartphone apps can alert you to changes that airlines make last minute. The sooner you are aware of potential travel issues, the more chances you have to find suitable alternatives.

Holiday Road

Thanksgiving Day traffic is a breeze. In fact, it usually has the least traffic of the entire week. However, with low gas prices, more people are driving this year. For that reason, plan out an alternate route, have a connected navigator to avoid distracted driving, and start out at an awkward hour. Consider resting all day and leave at 9:00 PM. Even better, get a good night’s rest and leave at 6:00 AM Thanksgiving Day.

Save the headache of traveling on peak days during the Thanksgiving season. Plan smart and make your travel plans well in advance to avoid the big holiday rush.

Fall Foliage

It’s Almost Fall in New York City!

With so much going on in a city that never slumbers, it’s hard to plan your Fall excursions. Here are some exciting ways to spend your getaway.

  • Fall Foliage – Take in New England’s natural beauty during its most prized time of year. Blade, bike, or simply wander beneath the autumn foliage in Central Park, a prime location to view the season at its finest. Stop by the New York Botanical Garden, home to some of the city’s oldest living trees.  NYBG also offers the Haunted Pumpkin Garden (September 17th – October 30th), where award-winning sculptors carve the country’s largest pumpkins into masterpieces.
  • Cider Week – Cider is the flavor of Fall. From October 21-30th, NYC restaurants host a week where you can sip on New England’s finest cider ales, from Foggy Ridge Cider to Farnum Hill. Eateries such as Murray’s Cheese Bar and Astor Center offer tastings of this Fall staple as well as pairings of cheese and pasta dishes.
  • Halloween – Get your costume ready! New York’s Halloween Parade is one of the biggest annual events in New York, with over 50,000 witches, vampires and ghouls who attend each year. Bands and dancers will be performing as well as talented artists. If you want a more family-friendly holiday outing, Boo at the Zoo at the Bronx Zoo is a spooktacular experience. There will be a hay ride, face painting, storytelling, exciting creatures and more fun activities for the family to enjoy.
  • Macy’s Day Parade –  November will be here before you know it, and that means Thanksgiving! This parade is an annual tradition that presents monstrous balloons of every popular cartoon character you can think of, from Pikachu to Spiderman. On ground level you can see cheerleaders, clowns, floats, and celebrities. Before you stuff your face this Thanksgiving, venture on over to a world-renowned New York experience.
  • Film Festivals – New York City offers an endless array of film festivals in the Fall. The New York Film Festival takes place from September 30—October 16th and showcases work from film legends. The festival is celebrating its 54th year of bringing the spotlight too films both big and small.
nyc travel advisory

NYC Travel Advisory: 4th of July

The July 4th travel weekend has officially begun, and with 43 million people expected to travel this weekend, its safe to say there will be crowded roads and airports. New York City will be no exception as we host the 40th anniversary 4th of July fireworks show during one of the most exciting weekends to be in the Big Apple.

Many of you will be relying on GO Airlink Shuttle to pick and drop you off at the airport this weekend, and don’t worry we will be there. This weekend may require a little extra patience as our drivers experience traffic delays and overcrowded airports. A few things you should be aware of:

  • Airport Construction: Both LaGuardia Airport and JFK Airport are currently going through some heavy construction. This is causing delays within the airport, for both arrivals and departures. More specially, JFK Airport Terminal 5 is seeing delays up to 45 minutes once you are on the airport property. For arrivals, GO Airlink is doing out best to get you in a van, with our friendly drivers in a timely fashion. We will get you to Manhattan safely as you relax and cool down in our comfortable vans. For departures, GO Airlink has planned extra time while dropping you off to account for the heavy delays within the airport. Please feel free to give us a call at (212) 812-9000 with any questions about your pick up, or if you want to be picked up earlier.
  • General Traffic: As we mentioned above, this is a very heavy road traffic weekend. Please have patience as our drivers try their best to get you to and from your locations in a timely fashion. In situations like this, the main goal is to drive safely and keep our customers as comfortable as possible.
  • Have Fun: Traffic is just a small piece of your weekend! Although that hour long delay might seem like forever, its really just a small party of your thrilling weekend in the Big Apple. There is plenty to do this weekend like double decker bus tours or planning out the best spot to see the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks spectacular.

Thank you for your patience and enjoy your weekend! if you have any questions at all, please feel free to give our customer service team a call 24/7 at 212-812-9000. Happy 4th of July!

New Years Eve Times Square

New Years Eve in Times Square

It doesn’t get much more iconic New York than New Year’s Eve in Times Square. This yearly celebration has come a long way since party goers started celebrating in the area as early as 1904. In 1907 the New Year’s Eve ball made its very first appearance at One Times Square. The first ball was made out of iron, 100 light bulbs and wood, was 5 foot in diameter and weighed nearly 700 pounds. It is safe to say the current ball has a few upgrades which includes a computerized LED lighting system and is covered in Waterford Crystals. Not only has the quality changed but it’s size too – it weighs almost 12,000 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. The ball currently takes 60 seconds (which perfectly coincides with your countdown) to descend 141 feet to start the New Year.

Way down below on the city streets you can find an estimated one million people in Times Square from all over the world ready to ring in the New Year. However, the celebration wasn’t always in  midtown. In the early 1900’s people would gather at Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan where they would ring a bell to signify the new year. As more vibrant buildings were being built up in midtown, people started to make their way towards this area for celebrations.

Now tourist and locals alike gather from the early morning to find the perfect spot to take it all in. Usually in festive hats and noise makers in hand, the excitement can be overwhelming. Star-studded musical performances and appearances take black throughout the night as everyone patiently waits for the official count down to begin.

If you think one million people in Times Square is a lot, think about the one billion people who watch the events that unfold in New York City from their televisions. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which is now hosted by Ryan Secreast is synonymous with New Year’s Eve. Other networks you can find alternative broadcasts like New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly or CNNs’ New Year’s Eve Live. These programs allow everyone to feel part of these iconic New York City events without leaving your house.

No matter where you are this New Years, everyone here at GO Airlink NYC wishes you a very happy and healthy New Year.

The 5 Biggest Myths of Thanksgiving Travel

The 5 Biggest Myths of Thanksgiving Travel

It’s true that the holidays are among the busiest traveling periods of the year, but there are several misconceptions associated with the season. Common wisdom has lodged certain ideas into the public’s collective consciousness, but in reality many are exaggerated—or simply not true. Here are five myths about Thanksgiving travel, debunked and demystified once and for all.

Myth #1: Gas Prices Go Through the Roof

Notwithstanding uncontrollable global and geopolitical factors, the price of gasoline does not typically increase near Thanksgiving. In fact, the demand for gas usually drops enough throughout the month of November that prices are rarely lower at any point during the year. Of course, you can also choose to share ride expenses by carpooling when possible—which is a bonus for the environment, too.

Myth #2: Airport Delays Are at Their Worst

Experiencing a delayed flight can be brutal; there’s nothing quite like being stuck in an airport with hundreds of other put-out holiday fliers. Contrary to popular belief, however, Thanksgiving does not produce the most air travel delays—inclement summer and winter weather are responsible for grounding more airplanes than anything else. On average, flights in November experience delays about three percent less often than those which depart in the first eight months of the year.

Myth #3: The Day Before Thanksgiving is the Worst Day to Travel

Whether it’s the worst travel day is still up for debate—but it’s definitely not the busiest day to be on the road. It’s certainly true that the volume of travelers increases substantially around the holidays, but the Wednesday before Turkey Day is only among the ten most busy each year. In reality, peak summer traveling days (namely Fridays) put the most cars on the road during any 24-hour period.

The trick to avoiding the pain of Thanksgiving gridlock is to steer clear of peak hours; try to stay off the road between 3 and 5 p.m. for best results.

Myth #4: Frequent-Flyer Miles Are No Good

Even as blackout dates have started to disappear from frequent-flyer programs, restrictions still remain in place to limit travelers during peak seasons. In most cases, your air miles cannot be redeemed for tickets on sold-out flights, so the trick is simply to schedule your trip around the crowds. If you’re willing to leave a day or two earlier than the masses, you’re much more likely to score a good deal when redeeming your rewards.

Even if economy seating prices aren’t looking too savory, don’t forget to check on business and first-class tickets. There are often deals to be found that many people have overlooked.

Myth #5: Alcohol’s Off the Menu

The holidays tend to inspire celebratory moods, and so many adults will be inclined to enjoy a drink or two with dinner. For most people, this means drawing straws to decide who’s going to play the role of designated driver. You do have options, though—share a ride with family or friends headed the same direction, or even consider a hired car service if you’ve got a whole group going to and from the same locations. Get your plan in place well in advance to make sure you’re not left out in the cold—or worse yet, forced to play DD.

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks in New York City Viewing Spots.

Where to Watch the ‘39th Annual Macy’s Firework Spectacular’!

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. Today, in 2015 on July 4th, Americans and visitors alike, celebrate with fireworks, parades, festivals, and barbecues surrounded by friends and family. In New York City, there’s an infinite amount of different Fourth of July events going on and the one that takes the cake is certainly going to be the 39th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. It is the largest fireworks show in the United States and if you’re not here in New York City to catch it live, it is broadcasted across the United States along with tons of musical performances.

The first Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show was in 1976 in celebration of the nations’ bicentennial. Since then the show has been outdoing itself year after year. At approximately 9:20 pm on July 4th, you’ll get to see 25 minutes of fireworks in all their glory. The show will take place at two locations on the East River – the Midtown area and the South Street Seaport. This is making for a bigger show which means even more spots for everyone to view the fireworks.

With that being said, where should you watch the Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular Fireworks? Think of the Brooklyn Bridge as the centerpiece for the show, so anywhere you could see the bridge, is where you’ll have perfect sight of the fireworks. Remember, you want to grab your spot way in advance so showing up at 8:30pm is not going to work.

  • Manhattan: The FDR Drive is part of Macy’s official viewing spots. There are entry points at Broad Street (ground level), Old Slip (upper level), Pearl & Frankfort, Houston Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, and 42nd Keep in mind these areas tend to fill up the fastest and will close as they reach capacity so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to grab a spot.
  • Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bridge Park is right under the action with the City skyline in the back drop. The good thing about this location is you could spend the afternoon there, lay some blankets down, have a picnic and as the sun starts to set, you’ll end up with a prime viewing spot.
  • Queens: Long Island City is right along the East River, and the higher you can get, the better. Queensbridge Park or any of the various parks along Center Blvd will get you in on the action. As we said, the higher the location the better – so, check to see if you can get ticket to one of the rooftop parties in the area. Both Z NYC Hotel and Ravel Hotel will be hosting exciting parties.
  • By Sea: CitySightseeing New York offers a first row seat to the fireworks along with great music, food options and a cash bar. There is no doubt it will be a night to remember.

No matter what you end of doing, thanks to Macy’s, this 4th of July is set to be an explosion of fun.

 

This upcoming Sunday get your Easter bonnets and dresses ready for the festivities.

Celebrating Easter in New York City? Egg-cellent!

Although the weather doesn’t seem to agree, it is springtime in New York City! Besides events like blooming Cherry Blossoms and the Great Lawn opening, Passover and Easter both usually fall in the month of April. This upcoming Sunday get your Easter bonnets and dresses ready for the festivities. After you arrived safely to NYC via JFK, LaGuardia or Newark, it’s time to organize how you’ll be celebrating the holiday weekend.

Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival
Give new meaning to your ‘Sunday best’ with the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival. On Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Street see some of the most outrageous hats march in procession. Creativity is not spared as visitors can wander down or just watch the parade along 5th Avenue. The parade route falls right in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral which makes it a great spot to catch even just 20 minutes of the Parade and then head to your Easter dinner. The festival gets “hopping” around 10:00am.

NYC Pillow Fight
Maybe this isn’t exactly how you thought you’d spend your Easter, but on Saturday at 3:00pm it might just be the most fun. From adults to children, everyone grab a pillow and head to Washington Square Park for the 10th Annual International Pillow Fight Day (yes, that’s a thing). After your arms get exhausted from all the pillow fight fun, there will be a donation truck to drop off your pillow where it will go to someone in need.

Easter Brunch
There is an Easter brunch that suits you and your family in Manhattan, we can guarantee it. Many restaurants are offering different deals that include 3-course meals and drinks. The Easter Bunny pays a visit to many of these eateries at no extra charge. We suggest you make reservations as soon as possible as many of these places will fill up fast!

Easter Egg Hunts
Your day won’t be complete without an Easter Egg hunt and there are quite a few going on all weekend. Most of these hunts are free and locations vary throughout the city. On Saturday you can head Uptown to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, or get your hunt on in SoHo at the NYC Fire Museum Easter Egg Hunt. On Sunday after the 9:15am service at the Church of St. Luke, there will be a hunt open to the public (even if you don’t attend the mass). Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island the Bronx also have plenty more Egg-straordinary hunts going on, you can check out this full list.

Don’t Be a Traffic Turkey This Thanksgiving

It is no secret that the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest holiday travel time of the year. In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in New York is notorious for frustratingly long delays as millions of travelers start their journeys on the roads, in the skies, or on trains. This year, make travel safety the first thing you check off your packing list.

Flexibility Reduces Stress

Choose the days that you travel wisely. For example, the two days to avoid driving in New York are the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In fact, Wednesday is known as Gridlock Alert Day. We suggest that you take mass transit whenever possible since streets will be at or over capacity.

Stick to Your Departure Plan

Plan your departure early, especially if you are traveling on Wednesday. Traffic tends to become more congested as the day progresses. Packing your car the night before and planning to be on the road by morning rush hour will enable you to be well on your way before the majority of holiday traffic hits the road. If you are returning home on Friday, be sure to avoid shopping areas.

Safety First

Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Slow down and let someone else in the vehicle navigate for you. With lower gas prices, more drivers than usual will be on the roadways. Take your time and pay attention to weather alerts. Above all, we recommend that you keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. It should contain useful items, such as water, snacks, first aid kit, a flashlight, and blankets.

Travel Safety and Your Health

The holidays also mark the beginning of cold and flu season. Exposure to someone who is sick and not catching the illness does not always mean you are in the clear. In fact, you are contagious up to a week prior to symptoms appearing. Keep in mind that others have touched everything you touch. Make sure you cleanse your hands regularly with soap and hot water, and carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces such as doorknobs, armrests, and toilet seats.

Unlike the most recent years when the economy kept people closer to home for Thanksgiving, the attractive prices at the pump and a steady economy have more people making plans to travel on the road this year. The rush hour in New York is anticipated to start about two hours earlier than normal, meaning it could take up to 25 percent longer to get to your final destination this year. The two most useful pieces of advice are to buckle up and remain patient.

. Unicycle enthusiasts and spectators alike can enjoy races, competitions, exhibitions, and a variety of other unicycle sports like basketball and hockey!

Labor Day Week in New York City

Labor Day is important because it marks the end of summer, and essentially no work (not for everyone but you get the idea). In the late 1800s, New York hosted the first ever Labor Day celebration and now over 100 years later; the city continues to pay tribute to hard workers. This year, Labor Day falls on Monday, September 1st and will commence with a weekend-long celebration. Unsure of what to do? Here’s a list of must-go-to events to celebrate the holiday!

Friday, August 29th:

  • Coney Island Fireworks – Catch the last fireworks show of the summer at Coney Island! Don’t forget to get on a few rides and take a stroll on the boardwalk. Surf Ave. & Stillwell Ave. (Brooklyn, NY)

Saturday, August 30th:

  • Sweet Spot Festival Enjoy art, music, food and dance at this uptown festival fit for the entire family. The festival will feature food trucks, artisan and vintage marketplace, free kids arts workshops, fitness sessions and more! Pier I, W 70th St. in Riverside Park South
  • NYC Unicycle Festival The festival’s main events will be held on Governor’s Island for the duration of the weekend. Unicycle enthusiasts and spectators alike can enjoy races, competitions, exhibitions, and a variety of other unicycle sports like basketball and hockey!

Sunday, August 31st:

  • Brazilian Day Festival – Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this festival’s original purpose was to observe Brazil’s Independence Day in New York. Join people from all over the world for a day of Brazilian culture and pride in the heart of Little Brazil!  25 Blocks around West 46th Street
  • The Great NY State Fair – Who doesn’t love the fair?! The last days to enjoy sweet doughy goodness and enjoy the Ferris wheel at the state fair are through Labor Day weekend. There will be live concerts including Kellie Pickler, Brad Paisley and more. (*Note: This is drive out of town) 581 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse, NY

Monday, September 1st:

  • West Indian-American Day Carnival Parade – This annual celebration is held every year on Labor Day and features the popular parade to highlight West Indian and Caribbean culture. Head down to Brooklyn for an unbeatable festival featuring costume bands, masqueraders, decorated floats, food and more. Eastern Pkwy. & Schenectady Ave. to Flatbush Ext.

Saturday, September 6th:

  • Go celebrate at the official Labor Day Parade starting at 10AM on Fifth Avenue and 44th Street! (*The parade will continue up Fifth Avenue to 64th Street)