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  1. #1
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    Default NYC, SFO and Hawaii with a 2yo - babysitters

    Hi ladies! So we're going overseas for the first time with our two year old next month. After the year we've had, we really really need this and we really need to get the hell out of our lives right now.

    Any general tips or words of advice for New York, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, or Hawaii with a 2yo please? And has anyone managed to find a babysitter in any of those places please?

  2. #2
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    In NY get the hop on hop off bus. They are awesome. I took myself to NYC for 10 days in 2012 and had a ball. I flew to Buffalo and hired a car and drove to Niagara Falls for the day..
    I made the mistake of getting the tourist ferry to see Statue of Liberty , I would recommend getting the normal every day ferry. I waited 3 hrs in line for tourist ferry.. Big mistake ...Grand Central Station a must see. It's gorgeous and yummy food downstairs ... Be aware that meals are huge. I only ate 2 meals a day .. Breakfast and mid afternoon lunch/dinner. I was never ever hungry .. Li stayed in Long Island and caught train into times sq every day. Loved it. So much fun.. Also go to Rockefeller centre for a walk around ...

    I planned my whole trip through Trip Advisor and the forums there.. Highly recommend it for all the places you are going.. You may even find a babysitting service or person through there. I booked my accomodation through Booking .com after reading hotel reviews on TA

    NYC is amazing

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    omg Louise I did the same with the ferry!!! we queued for ages!!! got there first thing and it was lunch time by the time we finally cleared the airport-like security and got on the ferry!! had a walk around liberty island (I fully recommend the headphones with the spoken history as it was really interesting and informative, and I usually hate that kind of thing) then hopped back on and went to Ellis island to see the museum. that was really interesting too. was a tad rushed towards the end as we had to make the last ferry back but we had a great day. I had no idea there was a normal ferry you could catch out there!!

    we stayed in midtown, a few blocks from Times Square. not the most exciting place to stay (felt like the cbd in Melbourne really lol) but it was a good spot in terms of going either uptown or downtown. we also saw a Broadway show which I fully recommend.

    Rockefeller is great if you go up the top and do top of the rock. better views than from the top of the Empire State Building (there's just clear glass rather than the metal cage) plus you can actually photograph the Empire State as you can see it (as opposed to being on it).

    soooo much to do in NYC, you'll love it.

    haven't been to San Fran or Hawaii but they sound great too.

    love America, hope you have a ball.

    sorry no babysitting tips as we went as a childless couple lol. if you're staying in hotels, my first point of enquiry would be to email them and just ask what child minding options there are around you. or see if the hotel has a crèche?? hopefully they can point you in the right direction.


    oh and always keep lots of dollar bills handy in the states, tipping is a ***** when you don't have small change!!

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    I LOVE New York, but haven't been with kids, so can't comment on that - same with San Francisco.

    I did Hawaii last year when our eldest was 19 months and we had a ball. We did a week in Maui and a week on Oahu, and had such an incredible time. While we were in Maui, we would go to the beach every morning - a different one each day. Our toddler would play in the sand and splash in the water with my parents while we snorkelled, we would go back to our apartment for his nap, then head out for the afternoon when he woke up. We hired a car for the full time in Maui, but only hired for 2 days on Oahu to drive to the North Shore and do some outlet shopping, and used public transport or walked everywhere. All the restaurants we went to were child friendly - never had a problem there. Our kid ate pretty much everything we did, and we found that we could get a good selection of nutritious meals.

    The key for us was to be organized but realistic about how much we could cram into one day. I researched A LOT before we went. There was no point in trying to go and do too many things if it meant that the toddler was grumpy and nobody was enjoying themselves. We limited ourselves to one area or tourist attraction each afternoon, and made sure that we had plenty of stops for snacks and rest, and to let the toddler out of the pram to burn off some energy.

    I imagine that you might have to be super organized with New York, where you could spend a week out and about from the crack of dawn until midnight and still not see or do everything. One of our favourite things in New York was the Museum of Natural History. I imagine that my toddler would LOOOOOVE it.

    Have a wonderful trip - I'm happy to answer any other questions you might have, especially about doing Hawaii with a toddler.

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    Oh and with accommodation, you might find AirBnB or VRBO handy - you can usually get an apartment with kitchen facilities and all for the same price or less than hotels - the extra space and facilities are so handy with kids!!

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    If you stay at a hotel, they usually have a babysitting service. Ask before booking.

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    I went to NY this year with my Mum, no kids though. We stayed on the Upper West Side (1 block back from Central Park), it was great. It was more a suburban area so there were plenty of neighbourhood restaurants and great places to eat. I fully recommend mastering the subway. It is quick, cheap and so easy once you have it down pat. There are subway stops everywhere. We spent most of the day walking around which I guess would not be so suitable with a 2 year old. But our highlights... Staten Island Ferry gives great views of Lady Liberty and is free The High Line is fantastic (in Chelsea, a disused railway line that has been turned into a community garden) Central Park The MET Broadway shows The 9/11 Museum, it was amazing and an absolute must do Catching the subway to Brooklyn and walking back over the Brooklyn bridge (and having a pizza at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn) Just walking around Agh, you will love it. I love NY so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meredithgrey View Post
    There isn't really. There's a free public ferry that goes past the island but doesn't stop.

    I was on the boat to Liberty Island at 8:30am. Had no issues.
    Hubby and I were on the first ferry of the day (can't remember what time), with no queue and no issues. Our flight got into New York at 5am or something, so we dumped our bags at our accommodation, got breakfast with a whole lot of coffee and went sightseeing. The beauty of traveling with kids is that you can often start your day a lot earlier, so make the most of the fact that kids don't usually sleep in!!

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    These are some great tips! Thanks everyone. We're staying on the Upper West Side. I heard that was good with a kid, and very close to Central Park. I'm getting very excited!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally1981 View Post
    These are some great tips! Thanks everyone. We're staying on the Upper West Side. I heard that was good with a kid, and very close to Central Park. I'm getting very excited!
    Not sure when you are going, but hope you have a wonderful time!
    Totally jealous!


 

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