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5 Free things to do in New York

Most of you who follow me over on social media will know that I recently went to New York on a girls trip for a few nights. We had the most amazing time and I wanted to share some of it with you, in the hope that if you ever chose to visit then you'll have some tips and tricks to help you on your way.

This post is the first in a series that I will be sharing over here so keep your eyes peeled and stay following if you want to read more. First up; 5 Free things to do in New York

(1) This is not only free but it was actually my top thing on our itinerary, I absolutely loved it. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge. You should expect the walk to take about an hour (two hours round-trip) as you will be stopping along the way first to get the gorgeous views of Brooklyn but then central Manhattan behind you. Don't forget to take your camera along to capture some nice views of the Manhattan skyline that you obviously wouldn't get from within the city.

One thing I would note is that if you decide to start on the Brooklyn side and walk toward Manhattan, be sure you know how to actually get on the bridge, it can take some time. Failing that ask someone :)

Once we were there we headed for a rooftop bar to soak up the sunshine and watch over Manhattan. Definitely a highlight for us!

5 Free things to do in New York

Best rooftop bars new york

Is the brooklyn bridge free

(2) Ride the Staten Island Ferry. This actually something we had planned to do after being given the tip numerous times. However the day we were due to do it it was so foggy that we wouldn't have seen good old Lady Lib anyway so gave it a miss. We were very lucky to have a helicopter ride planned over the weekend so didn't feel too hard done by but it was definitely something we would have done had we had the time and weather for it.

The trip between Staten Island and Manhattan takes about 25 minutes, and doesn't cost a penny. You'll get views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of lower Manhattan.

(3) Another of our favourite things to do was to head to Grand Central Station. This was pretty much on our doorstep and we visited numerous times. Our favourite time was first thing in the morning (usually pre-7am thanks to jet lag!) and we would head downstairs under the cavernous pillars for coffee and a croissant. It has such a lovely feel about it and feels somewhat nostalgic, no doubt from the endless films that feature it. Grand Central Terminal is one of the world's most famous train stations, and also among the busiest apparently at rush hour time, we didn't experience this as we loved the quietness.

Staten Island Ferry

(4) Walk Central Park. I mentioned in an earlier post about the weather and sadly as well as the fog we had rain. A whole day of downpours. Our plan was to cycle the park and take it all in but the weather just put us off completely. Instead we got a big brolly (thanks to the lovely concierge at The Plaza as we walked past!) and had a wonder through the park until we ended up at the Boathouse for a hot chocolate to warm us up. On a nice day you could easily spend a few hours in the park people watching, looking at the big fat squirrels running about and enjoying the free street entertainment in there. Even on a miserable day we sat and listened to some musicians.

Boat house Central park

(5) The area around Ground Zero. This is a different side to New York, one that will make you stop and reflect for a while. Where the Twin Towers once stood,a beautiful pool structure has been built in their footprints, with engraved names of all the victims of that awful day. It is a beautiful yet heart wrenching site but one I would urge all tourists to head to if they get chance.

How to Save Money When Buying Furniture for Your First Home*

Have you just bought your first home? In that case, your bank balance is probably a little bit depleted. Of course, you still need furniture for your home. More than likely you are wondering how to save money when buying furniture.

First of all, make a list of what furniture you need. Keep the list with you at all times and tick each item off when you have found the right piece of furniture.

How to Save Money When Buying Furniture for Your First Home
Image not my own

Great Places to Pick Up Furniture

IKEA is not the only place you can pick up cheap furniture. Still, it is a good idea to look out for special offers in your IKEA store. You can normally find furniture offers advertised on the IKEA website. Offers change from week to week, so check out the website on a regular basis. Don't forget to sign up for the IKEA Family Card which will give you further discounts.

Carboot sales are great places for picking up cheap furniture. You may not be able to find major pieces such as beds and kitchen tables. However, many car boot dealers try to get rid of smaller pieces like bedside tables and smaller bookcases.

Charity shops are an endless resource for many new homeowners. Many of them do sell furniture and most of the time, the furniture is of good quality. On top of that, you can find little knick-knacks to compliment your furniture buys.

How to Save Money When Buying Furniture Online

Saving money when buying furniture online is not difficult. Leading discounts sites like Groupon and Wowcher often have offers on furniture. You may even be able to save money when you buy furniture on eBay. Stick to your local area to avoid delivery charges.

Shpock is a cool app which can be used to find stuff for sale locally. You can find everything from sofas to kitchen chairs. Best of all, you deal with the seller directly and transactions are easy to complete.

Finally, don't forget to set yourself a budget. It is easy to spend too much money on one particular item, and you want to make sure you get value for money as well as great furniture.

*This post is a collaboration