You may still be digesting Thanksgiving dinner and recovering from your Black Friday shopping. But that doesn’t mean the holiday season is over and it’s time to rest. December is one of the busiest months of the year, and it can be hard to find time to make your travel arrangements and finish your shopping. Lucky for you, we’ve made a list of our top dos and don’ts so you can breeze through that part and have enough steam left over to enjoy your celebrations.
When it comes to holiday shopping, NYC is a virtual wonderland. Here’s what you need to do – and what to avoid.
DO go to Santaland at Macy’s
It’s famous for a reason. You definitely DO need to hit up Macy’s Santaland, even though it’s busy and a huge tourist attraction. It also happens to be magical and amazing. If you don’t want the crowds and the screaming kids to kill your holiday buzz, then DON’T go on weekends or in the middle of the day. Get there right before it opens and you’ll virtually have the place to yourself.
DO window shop
Even if you can’t afford to shop in the stores on pricey Fifth Avenue, you can still soak in the holiday fun. Start at Rockefeller Center and walk up to Barney’s on 62nd and Madison. Check this list for all the places you need to see.
DO visit a holiday market
NYC knows how to throw a good holiday market, and they’re located all over the city so you have your pick. Here are some of the highlights:
- Union Square Holiday Market
- Bryant Park Winter Village
- Columbus Circle Holiday Market
- Grand Central Holiday Fair
DO ship your gifts early
Do you really want to stand in line all afternoon at the post office? Of course, you don’t. Get your shopping done early, and get those gifts in the mail! Traffic at the post office starts to increase dramatically beginning on December 10, with the busiest week happening from December 17-23. Check the USPS website for holiday shipping deadlines to make sure your gift gets to its destination on time.
DON’T go to Times Square unless absolutely necessary
Seriously. Don’t do it. It will kill your holiday spirit.
Are you leaving town for the holidays? Those airports can get crazy, so be sure to heed these dos and don’ts.
DON’T wait until the last minute to book your flight
What do you mean you haven’t bought your plane ticket yet? You need to get on that! The best time to book Christmas flights is in October, so make a note for next year. Seriously, though, as soon as you finish reading this you need snag your tickets. Prices will continue to rise as it gets closer to your departure date.
DO consider alternate dates for travel
Speaking of departure dates, if you have any flexibility in your schedule, you can save some serious cash. According to Travel + Leisure, you can save an average of $76 per ticket if you fly on Christmas Eve instead of December 22.
DO give yourself extra time
If you’ve been in NYC for any length of time, you know to expect schedule changes on public transportation. Take that into account when heading to the airport via subway, bus, ferry, or train. If you’re driving or taking a cab or rideshare, be aware that traffic is heavier over the holidays and you can expect delays.
DON’T wrap gifts when flying
You think you’re doing yourself a favor by wrapping your gifts before you leave. But you’re actually just causing a headache for you and for TSA. If something is wrapped in paper, it’s likely that TSA will unwrap it if they can’t tell what it is. Also – don’t bring toys that look like weapons.
DON’T forget to reserve airport parking
Finally, if you’re driving to the airport, book yourself a parking spot before you get there. The NYC Parking Authority has great tips about what’s available, including third-party resources for finding the cheapest spots.
DO contact Platinum Properties
If you’re buying, selling, or renting real estate in NYC, then DO click here or call 646-681-5272 to chat with Platinum Properties. We’re always available to answer your questions. Here’s to a happy and stress-free holiday shopping and travel season!