NYC Walking Tours with Professional Photographers

I recently discovered this company in NY with a very interesting idea. A walking tour accompanied by a professional photographer. Not only do you get to see the views of the Brooklyn Bridge, but you’ve got a portrait with the skyline as a backdrop. I was very impressed by their New York  image gallery. Seems like they specialize in couples – so definitely a nice idea for  Romantic Getaways In New York.

They are mentioned on tripcart, in the New York City Tourist Attractions section, under Guided Tours in Manhattan. For TLV2JFK, the company was kind enough to provide a description of their service – now I ask my readers to share their experiences.

“PhotoTrek Tours (www.phototrektours.com) offers private walking tours of New York City with your own personal photographer/tour guide. Guests are captured in all their own photos with NYC landmarks such as Central Park, Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge as backdrops. Our tours have a 4.9 out of 5 star rating with over 400 reviews to date.

Guests will also discover insider’s secrets, off the beaten path places for dining, shopping entertainment and more. Your native New York guide will also show you how to use the New York City subway so you fell completely at home in New York to navigate the rest of your stay.

Guests will receive a CD-ROM delivered within 24 hours with dozens of professional quality photos of themselves in New York City.”

Here are some of their work:

Times Square by PhotoTrek Tours

Central Park by PhotoTrek Tours

 Brooklyn Bridge by PhotoTrek Tours

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Israel Airfare for Passover

TLV2JFK presents the 2010 Pre Pesach Price Planner for those taking the family to the states for Passover. The sooner you start hunting for tickets, the better. Right now ElAl, Delta and Continental are charging around $1500 for non-stop. Adding a stop can get you down to about $1200 and even down to about $1000 if you are ready to spend a night somewhere and trek from one airport to another. Here are some tricks to help in your search:

  • Orbitz is easiest to use for the big picture
  • AA is best for finding alternate dates – but make sure to indicate “All carriers” on search
  • ElAl site often has lower prices than shown elsewhere
  • Children pay about 10% less – usually best to see that on the airline site
  • AlItalia comes up with great deals if you can catch it (was $800 for pesach, last week) – but not on their site! Use Orbitz. And take a day off in Rome or Milan.
  • Prices go down a bit if you can return the week after Pesach
  • Forget about free tickets from Israel, but if you can pay your way to Europe – you may have some luck using that free ticket.

And finally, an idea that most of my readers (and my family) will ignore. Royal Jordanian via Amman.

You can find these flights by “including nearby airports” on Orbitz (not on Kayak). A random search today turned TLV to Amman to JFK (non-stop) and then return to Amman for under $800. Thats a savings of about $400 per person. But, you have to make your way back to Israel from Amman. Its a 4 hour drive to Aquaba and a simple crossing into Israel. Make the trip less painful by spending a day in Petra in Jordan and a day or two in Eilat. It will cost less and the kids get to miss more school. In another post I will discuss Jordan and the option of crossing directly at the Allenby bridge.

A word about passover destinations in the US. If you have to go to the catskills, take a day off for the local attractions,  like the  Kykuit Rockefeller Estate. If you end up in Disney, you can save money at the Prime Outlet Orlando Mall.  LA is a good passover destination – check out the Fun Things to do in Southern California.
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SmartPark JFK Parking – Every 7th day free

We decided to give our readers a promo for JFK long term parking. Try it out, post your feedback and tell them we sent you! Here is what SmartPark JFK has to say about JFK parking to the TLV2JFK community:

How smart are you? Pay less for JFK Airport Parking and get more.

June 9, 2009 was the official launch of SmartPark JFK website. The answer to all your airport parking woes.

Easy as 1… 2… 3 to locate at: 123-10 South Conduit Avenue, South Ozone Park, NY 11420, only minutes from JFK Airport. No nonsense, service with a smile to meet all of your 24/7 airport parking needs.

Bringing back the concept of the way it used to be. At our facility you will be received immediately by a member of our highly trained staff on an interpersonal level.  At SmartParkJfk, our priority is for you to be our guest not just another number.

In a rush? No problem. We will expedite all of your forms and paperwork for you and you will be on your way within minutes. A 5-7 minute ride door to terminal. Tired of the old broken down shuttles, no worries, our new, state of the art, plush shuttles and skilled valet drivers will have you riding in style.

As of late, the surrounding parking facilities along with the port authority are raising prices. In this time of economic hardship, we here at SmartParkJfk want to work with you.

We are on a separate road (pun intended) and have lowered our pricing via our “Smart Summer Stimulus Special” from $14.00 per day to a low $12.00 per day, adding only NYC (10.375%) parking tax. Stay with us for 6 days and every 7th day that you leave your vehicle with us, it is a FREE parking day for you.  Go to SmartparkJFK  and make a regular reservation then click here for Special JFK2TLV Coupon for every 7th day free rate.

Running late, flight delays, no worries, we have No late fees for arrival within 5 hours of your confrimed scheduled vehicle pickup.

The 5 Hour Grace period

Online Reservation:

If you make a FREE online reservation, please note that the check in time chosen online will almost always differ from your “Actual” check in time. So, your 29 hours starts from the “Actual” check in time at the SmartPark JFK airport parking facility.

Walk-in Reservation:

A walk-in reservation confirmed check-in time starts your 29 hour clock.

We are here for you and with you to make the anticipated, mundane and usually stressful travel experience, stress free.

Do you own a GPS navigation system; even better, your car will drive you right to our door, just look up to see our Signature cartoon smart, Einstein logo.

Our facility offers an all inclusive service from drop off to pick up with your baggage handling to the terminal if you so choose.

Also added for your convenience is our colorful, yet simple, user friendly website with the easy to see “reserve”, it is as easy as click and reserve, done!

Look for the signature cartoon Einstein logo.  Why Einstein logo you may say, Einstein was intelligent and smart and so are you for using SmartParkJfk.

spjfktlv

Enjoy your beach vacation in NY or Israel!

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Discount Orlando Disney Tickets from UK Website

Yes, you read that right – contributed by an avid reader who just bought 77 days of disney!

Getting discounts on Disney Orlando tickets are almost impossible. Prior to this post we knew of two ways – 1) Be a Florida resident and 2) Spend a day in a time share presentation (and a lifetime getting out of it). Now the third:

BUY TICKETS ON THEIR UK SITE WHEN THE EXCHANGE RATE IS FAVORABLE!

Example:

Seven Day park hopper adult ticket is $328 on their US site and 219 GBP on their UK site, which is equal to $306 at the pathetic rate of 1 GBP = $1.40 ( a few weeks ago). So, monitor Forex 24/7 and save yourself  some money in these recessionary times.  No need to monitor the Euro or the Canadian Dollar – they only sell tickets in dollars and pounds (maybe Yen, also).

Also note that not all types of passes are offered on both sites.
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More Israel Airfare Deals – ElAl, Air France, Delta, Everyone

It seems like the weak economy combined with drop in price of oil left the airlines with no choice but to reduce fares. ElAl’s website and promotional emails list so many deals – I have to pinch my computer to make sure I am not dreaming.  Besides the ElAl Spontani deals ($599 to US), they have deals valid on election day only, deals for residents of the south, etc.. I gave up trying to make sense of it – but you can buy tickets for as far off as the summer and get prices hundreds of dollars lower than last year.

The European carriers seem to be in the $650 to $800 range to New York. Air France has the lowest airfare between Israel and New York and you can spend some time in Paris, to boot. And Delta can do the trip for $775, includes luggage, fuel, water, pillows, the works. The jet age is back!

Equally amazing – Delta can get you  to the West Coast or Orlando for $800.

I will have to update the status of using ElAl Bonus tickets. The fuel surcharge went down, but the spread between bonus (“free”) tickets and paying got much closer.

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ElAl Great Fares – $199 RT This Weekend (Jan 16)

I am definitely a fan of the
ElAl Spontani and they have some very good fares to Europe for this weekend. Flights leave Thursday night or Friday morning and return Monday or Tuesday. Great idea for people working with the US. Monday is Martin Luther King Day Day and Tuesday is Inauguration Day, so it is a good time for a long weekend.

$199 destinations include Brussels, Budapest, Rome, Madrid, Prague, and more.

And, unlike most ElAl offers – there does not seem to be a catch. The flights are priced Round Trip, no extra charges and they actually have space available. Only caveat – its pretty cold in Europe these days.

Send me a postcard.

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A look back at 2008, for the TLV to JFK frequent flyer

A look back at 2008, for the TLV to JFK frequent flyer.

Airfare shot up with fuel prices but didn’t really come down. But there have been some good fare sales lately on domestic flights. To save money, airlines charged for everything – from pillows to bags to water to food to movies. That is here to stay.

Free ticket mileage levels went up, and it is as hard to use as ever. Less people are flying, but less planes are flying also. Tickets are available for those willing to make a large effort.

ElAl continues to get away with whatever it wants. Miami, Los Angeles disappear and re-appear from their schedule at will and code share relationships are annulled and consummated, at will. To be fair – if you can read Hebrew and can spot the few pixels ElAl devotes to their “Spontani” offers – you can get a decent last minute (could be a week) fare. And “free” means about $500.

The web gave consumers the power of travel agents. Now, consumers need that, plus the patience of Job and the brains of Albert Einstein (or at least David Mirchin). Navigating between the online travel agents (like Expedia and Priceline), the suppliers (like Jet Blue, Turkish, Continental) and the meta search (Kayak) and playing them one against the other can save $100’s on a ticket to the US. We did. Times 6.

Car rental companies used $147 oil to upsell full tanks. Now they are back to their usual scams. Beware the $13/day GPS. The Zipcar model is starting to be adopted by the big car rental companies.

I discovered airport lounges, in case anyone cares. I also discovered Sequoia trees in Manhattan.

And I stand corrected on one post – you cannot get a free ticket for your 18 year old just by getting a Visa card – could be the tightening of credit or the fact that she has no credit history – but my 18 year old was rejected. Sorry kid – no free trip before the army!

Advice for 2009 – keep on reading this blog and spend time in a spa in Catskill, NY or seeing the San Francisco tourist attractions or just find a few fun things to do in New York City.
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