5 Affordable places to eat in New York

Most certainly one of the most interesting and enjoyable cities in the world, New York is also one of the most expensive, whether it be the cost of hotels, restaurants, transport and major attractions. Naturally, when it comes to food (and all of the above) the best way to cut down on these cost is by using restaurant discounts for New York but there is also the option of searching out some genuinely cheap places to eat.

Here is a list of 5 affordable places to eat in New York:

Joes Pizza

New York is famous for many things, and none less than Pizza. You can find great pizza for ten times the cost in world class restaurants next to Times Square, but searching out a genuine, local pizza parlor such as Joes Pizza in Greenwich Village. Not only do Joes ensure the finest an freshest produce with Italian tomatoes and the highest quality cheese, but they also keep their prices to a minimum and you can easily leave Joes without spending more than five bucks.

7 Carmine Street, @ Bleecker Street, New York

restaurant discounts

Il Bambino Panini, Astoria

Located in Astoria, this is another Italian themed eatery which is a touch of class for under $10. Separating itself from the crowd by serving their dishes in the form of Tapa’s, Il Bambino Panini is known for providing incredible variety when it comes to types of bread and cheese in particular. An ideal place to start the night, with cheap drinks to go with the tasty affordable eats.

34-08 31st Avenue, Astoria

Los Tacos #1

Expect a busy counter with a line up of regulars waiting for their daily dose of Taco heaven. Los Tacos is not only delicious, but an establishment serving generous portions for very low prices. Again, for less than $5 you can enjoy some fresh tortillas filled with the freshest ingredients, from avocado, succulent meats, colorful vegetables and creamy sauces. Not the most famous Taco restaurant in New York, and the many hundreds of satisfied regulars will be hoping it stays that way.

75 9th Ave, New York, NY

restaurant discounts

Crif Dogs

If you are genuinely looking for something quick, cheap and cheerful, look no further than Crif Dogs where the famous American hot dog has never been dressed so well. These may be priced at half the cost you might expect, but Crif’s do not cut corners and every serving is covered in tasty fillings to accompany the juicy dog itself. Several sides are also available including some stringy and strangely satisfying waffle fries.

113 St. Marks Pl ,New York

Amy’s Bakery

Open every day, filled with the kind of food you would expect to accompany the title of the cafe. Amy’s Bakery offers a wide range of home cooked food, tasty sandwiches and an assortment of fresh cakes. Quiet and unassuming, this bakery is a quaint place to enjoy breakfast, coffee or lunch and always with a low price attached to some food of high value.

672 Ninth Ave, New York

Aside from the cheap places to eat in New York, it can still be an affordable city to visit when using restaurant discounts, along with the many other special offers available through a Travel membership club. You can start a free trial for these discounts today with Hotels Etc.

How to spend a weekend in Chicago

Named after the full-of-hot-air politicians in the past, the Windy city is undoubtedly one of the best weekend destinations in the US, from the incredible array of world class restaurants, the fascinating Field Museum, the green and leafy Lincoln Park, to the endless designers stores and enormous shopping malls.

Here are few ideas for how to spend a weekend in Chicago:

Have breakfast at Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen

Both a celebrity haunt and a favorite for the “regular” locals, Manny’s is the best place to have breakfast in Chicago. It may very well look like a old rundown taxi rank coffee shop but this is certainly part of the appeal with Manny’s and strangely, one of the reasons it does so well. Expect huge corned beef sandwiches, pastrami on rye and hearty soups.

Take a photo with “the Bean” aka Cloud Gate

On a summers afternoon on weekends, this unusual sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor can feel like the centre piece of a major concert. Abstract art at its best, Cloud Gate is situated on AT & T Plaza in Millennium park right at the foot of some towering skyscrapers. It’s not just an unusual site, the reflections and trick photography opportunities make it one of the great free things to do in Chicago.

Visit the Zoo in Lincoln Park

Few cities around the world can claim to have a free Zoo in a luscious leafy park like Lincoln. Located a short bus or train ride from the city centre, Lincoln Park is a spacious green haven in the city suburbs of Chicago. One of the most amazing attractions at the Zoo are the giant polar bears, which you can view from side windows around the enclosure which can almost feel as though you are in there with them.

Have lunch at the top of the Hancock

The John Hancock is arguably the most recognizable sigh in Chicago and not only can you reach the top for amazing views, but you can also have lunch in a world class restaurant while you are up there. A reservation is required during holidays or peak times and prices can be a little high so make sure to have restaurant discounts with you before you go.

Watch the Chicago Cubs or even just visit Wrigley Field

If you are lucky enough to visit during the baseball season and manage to get your hands on a ticket, make sure to take in a game at Wrigley Field. Alternatively, it is possible to take a guided tour of the historic stadium which is not only a great chance to get an insiders view to the home of Chicago baseball, but also a way of finding out about an integral part of this city.

Have dinner at Alinea

Okay it may be the most famous restaurant in Chicago, but when you have restaurant discounts and the experience is this good, it’s hard to ignore. Alinea is akin to walking into an art gallery where everything is edible, the chefs make an art out of cooking, literally and food has never tasted so good. Do yourself a favor and try this sublime eatery out at least once in your lifetime.

Catch a sunset at Navy Pier

What better way to end a weekend in Chicago than to watch the sun go down at Navy Pier. Although it is admittedly a little more spectacular to watch the sun rise in the east, this happens pretty early in the morning, and we are assuming you will want to check out Chicago’s notoriously fun nightlife, for which you need only enter the nearest downtown bar, and you will know all about it.

You can avail of restaurant discounts with Hotels Etc who are currently offering a FREE trial which provides access to travel discounts, car rental discounts, hotel discounts and more.

When life gives you lemons, take a vacation

“He was a walking refutation of that dogmatic statement, Mens sana in corpore sano. His was a sound mind in an unsound body. He proved the eternal paradox of things. He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Marshall P Wilder.

Mass production, mass consumption, mass disillusion; earning a living is hard, nobody said it would be easy, but nobody said it would be this hard either. We live in a modern world with endless options and decisions, something made increasingly difficult in the past two decades with the arrival of the online world and the increased amount of competition it has created among peers.

Truth is, frightening statistics have already proven that this mass build up is not only happening, but increasing,  and it is also the number one reason for mass disillusion or even depression. It doesn’t take very much to understand how busy life has become either, it seems more people are working more overtime, and less time off is naturally leading to less enjoyment in life. While earning a living, being successful and progressing a career are all admirable, the value and benefit of taking time out from this busy lifestyle, should not be ignored.

On the contrary, statistics are on hand to show that people who take more time off work and travel on more vacations, are more satisfied and less stressed. Even if the past few weeks or months have been hectic, even if you have worked every hour of every given day for eight months, having a vacation to look forward to and then utilize to distress is worth far more than any monetary value placed on the vacation.

So why do people not take more vacations? Essentially, this will rarely come down to lack of vacation leave or workload, after all a year is a long time and realistically, everyone can afford to put work on hold for 7 – 10 days to take time out.

The reason most people do not take a vacation is budget, as everyone knows that vacations cost money. However, regardless of whether you are working for minimum wage or a high flying senior investment manager, a vacation is affordable for anyone who looks in the right place. Unfortunately most people still see this “right place” as being a booking engine such as Expedia, Orbitz or another major travel brand when the truth is, these websites no longer offer the value they once did. No, since the arrival of the new rate parity laws, travel brands are no longer able to offer varying prices across different distribution channels which in essence stops them from offering any real discounts or special offers.

The solution? Today the only real way of finding genuine hotel discounts, travel offers, or affordable vacation packages is through a Travel membership club which offer discounts of up to 60-80% to their members in return for a minimal fee. These membership clubs may seem like newcomers to the travel industry but actually, they have been around since the 1970’s and Hotel Etc is one such club who have a five star trust rating, 4 million members and the highest number of repeat customers.

Vacation packages are quite affordable in the modern day but should that be slightly out of the current budget, membership with a travel club is the single best way to find the cheapest hotels or most affordable vacation packages. So next time you feel work gets on top of you or life seems to be moving too fast, for too long; organize your time off, sign up for Hotels Etc, take that vacation  you deserve and leave the phone at home.

It really is true; when life gives you lemons, take a vacation.

Negril: An affordable vacation in the Caribbean

Although an economically poor country, Jamaica has a reputation for fine hospitality and vibrant nightlife, while also offering a comfortable destination with top quality resorts and an affordable vacation in the Caribbean.

Being the main source of income for local businesses and individuals alike, Tourism has helped Negril evolve into one of the most sought after vacation destinations in the Caribbean and this is partly the reason why,  it has a reputation for treating new arrivals and return clients like royalty. Such hospitable terms can be found in the best resorts in Negril, as well as in each of the bars restaurants and attraction in the immediate surroundings.

Unassuming and easy to navigate, the town of Negril offers a nice introduction to culture in Jamaica, where spicy chicken is synonymous in the local cuisine and the constant flow of reggae music on this western point of the island. And then there are the beaches, Negril consists of an incredible 7 mile stretch of white sands along Norman Manley Boulevard with an enormous bird sanctuary on one side, and the Caribbean ocean to the other. Few places in the world can claim such a pristine stretch of beach, and it makes for the most scenic place to catch a sunset, or even as sunrise.

Jerky chicken is arguably the most famous of all Jamaican dishes and while delectable in itself, it is not all there is to the food on offer in Negril. Coco bread is a simple delight, while the sauces are nothing short of unforgettable and on an island where vegetables and fruit are so easy to come by, you can expect only the freshest ingredients infused within every meal. Many chicken shacks line the streets by day, but if you want the ultimate food experience, most of the resorts will have the highest caliber of food, produced and cooked by some of the worlds most capable chef’s.

As with any vacation, the hardest decision will usually come down to choosing a particular resort and this is no different than with Jamaica, as the options are staggering. While many people will seek out a mid range resort at a low cost, the trick to finding the best vacation deal is always by using hotel discounts, and purchasing the best quality resorts, at the same affordable price. Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, Sunset at the Palms, Sandals Negril Beach and the superb Hotel Riu; these are just a few of the best resorts in Negril, and with hotel discounts, you can find them at the lowest price.

Negril as a town is quite primitive and symbolic of the slow economy which still exists in modern day Jamaica, but the resilience of the locals, vibrant atmosphere, fine foods and amazing resorts are all reasons which make this part of the Caribbean such an alluring destination for a vacation in 2016. White sandy beaches, top quality hotels, friendly staff and relaxing surroundings; Negril resorts are notoriously high in standard, but with hotel discounts, they are very much affordable.

Hotel discounts for Negril can be attained on Hotels Etc. Sign up now and start saving on your next vacation.

5 reasons to take a Caribbean vacation in 2016

At this time of year many people are still putting together their last minute plans for vacation, or planning ahead for later in the year, but the obvious, and difficult decision, is always in terms of where to go. While the US is full of great places to get away for the weekend or take an adventure, let’s face it; nothing beats the excitement of boarding a plane and taking off for some place tropical.

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Here are 5 reasons to take a Caribbean vacation in 2016:

Variety and quality of resorts

Few places in the world can rival the Caribbean when it comes to the variety of resorts; from the budget vacation packages on Aruba, to the high end luxury hotels in Punta Cana, there are options to suit all styles of travel, all budgets and standards.

In fact, it is not just the variety of resorts which is so appealing, but rather the quality. Whether you decide to go all out and book Live Aqua in Cancun, the more modest Barcelo in Punta Cana, or something even half the cost, you can usually expect a high standard in the Caribbean, with spacious rooms and friendly staff.

Affordable Caribbean vacations

As mentioned above, there are many affordable options in the Caribbean and some islands are less popular, and cheaper than others. However, the real advantage when you book a Caribbean vacation online is not just the selection or the number of providers offering to help you out; but rather the re-emergence of travel membership clubs.

Hotels Etc is a travel club which offers their members a simplified process in which you sign up, pick a destination, and make huge savings. Yes, it really is that simple. Hotels Etc provides hotel discounts and vacation packages with between 60 – 80% off. You can sign up for a free trial here.

Things to do in the Caribbean

Another highlight of a vacation to the Caribbean is the wide variety of things to see and do. White sandy beaches are synonymous with every destination, but there are also many options to take adventure tours and participate in local activities.

Volleyball, golf, tennis, scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating are just a few of the activities available from most resorts, while there are usually some excursions to parks, reserves or natural attractions in the nearby area.

The beaches and relaxation

Maybe this should go without saying, but it certainly should not be ignored; the Caribbean is home to many of the finest beaches in the world, where white powdered sands stretch on a far as the eye can see, next to an alluring ocean, with several shades of blue.

The beaches in the Caribbean are the ultimate place to unwind, relax and forget about the stress of modern day living. With no distractions and the soothing sound of the ocean, this truly is the highlight of any Caribbean vacation.

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All Inclusive savings

Hotel discounts and package offers are the best way to get your vacation off to the right start, but all inclusive resorts can also play a big part in the success of a vacation. With so much included in the cost of an all inclusive vacation, planning a trip could not be more convenient; food, drinks, spa treatment, laundry, even tours; an all inclusive vacation in the Caribbean is hands down, the easiest way to save on costs, and the best value for money vacation.

Sign up now for Hotels Etc membership and find out how 4 million members are getting their dream vacations, at affordable prices.