Over Thanksgiving, my husband Taran and I went to New York City for a six day vacation. On vacations like these where all you want to do is explore and check everything off your bucket list, its easy to fall into a mentality of “go go go!” Where you want to see as much as you can as fast as you can! You only have six days and there is too much to see and not enough time to see it all!
Let me tell you that mentality ends with you crying at the Chelsea market because you are so tired, your feet hurt, and it just isn’t fun anymore. It is possible to have a relaxing vacation while exploring a new city!
Let me give you some advice on how to check everything off your NYC bucket list and relax at the same time.
1.Don’t over plan. Make realistic expectations.
Accept that you can’t do everything. There is only so much time and lines are long. Take your list and get rid of half of them. That frees up your time to actually explore and rest when you need to.
For instance, we can across this adorable little Christmas market in Union Square and we wouldn’t have had time to do that if we had scheduled our time down to the last second. That Christmas market was so much fun. There was food and shops anything your Christmas heart desired! We even bought some ornaments to remember the trip by! Spontaniety for the win!
We ended the night going to see the window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue! We are so glad that we let some things go because that evening turned out to be the best and most fun we had the entire trip!
2.Don’t be afraid to take naps.
There is nothing worse than being crabby (from exhaustion or hunger) on vacation. Before we left on our trip, a good friend said to me “Your only job while you’re there is to have fun.” and that really stuck with me. It wasn’t to see all the sights or check everything off my bucket list. It was to have fun. And when you’re at the MET and you and your husband look at each other and can tell you are both thinking the same thing, “I feel dead. Do you? I am so exhausted.” It’s time to go home and take a freaking nap. At that point, it wasn’t fun anymore. Sleep or read or relax until it’s fun. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You can’t have fun if you are so tired. Plus catching some zzz’s in a comfy hotel bed at your hotel is the best!
3.It’s okay to reschedule or skip things.
We scheduled a lot of things to do and made reservations for everything. The NBC Studio Tour, we reschedule three times! My advice? Don’t schedule reservations for early in the morning. Sleep in! Take advantage of sleep. You will be so very tired from walking around all day, you will need your sleep like you never have before. We had scheduled our NBC tour the day after Thanksgiving for first thing in the morning, and that was just plain stupid. We slept right through it. Then on Sunday, we had it scheduled for the afternoon, but we had done so much on Saturday that by Sunday we were so exhausted we couldn’t function.
However, we went back to the Airbnb after the Museum of Natural History for just a quick 30 minute nap which turned into a two hour nap so we missed the tour again. We also missed our reservation at Alice’s tea room and Serendipity. Oh well! We were tired and never made it to those restaurants and it was no big deal! There’s always next time right! We finally made it to the tour the morning we left New York!
4.Visit a bath house.
There is one thing that you must do on a trip where you are hitting the city and exploring and being cruel to your feet. I swear by it. Go to a bath house. We did it on the last day we were there and it was absolutely amazing. Below is a little video that was originally a snap and no cameras were allowed so all I can show you is the lobby. Let me tell you why this saved us on our trip.
We had essentially been walking six miles a day for six days. We had seen so much and had a blast but man were we tired! Beyond exhausted. This bath house was exactly what we needed. It has six pools, each a different temperature and one was a salt bath with a bowl of salt to exfoliate your skin. They also had a sauna and all the cucumber water you could drink. There is something about water with vegetables or fruit in it that makes me feel so relaxed. Can you say complete and total heaven? It was a 90 minute session and when it was over we really didn’t want to leave.
It was the most relaxing 90 minutes I have ever had in my whole life and that is not an exaggeration! It was exactly what we needed. I felt like New York had made my entire body tense with the running around, rushing to catch subways, and the constant shuffle of weaving in and out of people on sidewalks as I tried to get where I needed to go. This bath house was the absolutely perfect way to unwind! I highly recommend it!
What ways do you unwind while exploring a new city?