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Amazing things to do in New York City without spending too much!

 This article was written in collaboration with the Flights.com campaign – Unboxing the next travel experience

Among the thousands of self-esteem and motivation quotes that we see on our social media channels every day, there is one well-known: collect moments, not things. As cliché as this may seem, it is so true! Science has even proven that this is more than a beautiful quote to be used on that Instagram caption. Investing your money in experiences increases the chances of leading a happier life, according to several surveys conducted over the past few years. One of these surveys, led by Thomas Gilovich, from Cornell University, United States, revealed that when we buy something, we are happy because we have achieved something we wanted, but only for a particular time. This is because it is one more thing that we adapt to our habits. Soon, we will forget about it.

A lot of people take some time to figure this out. In fact, none of these thousands of things that we think we need will be so important in the future. Just stop and think a little about the best memories of your life so far – they probably involve people, moments, and experiences, right? Experiences enrich our souls and our hearts. They make us reflect, grow, mature. I still remember my move to the United States. I always wanted to live abroad, and it all happened very fast. When I knew that we would move here, I was euphoric. After the joy of the first moment, I freaked out. I had an apartment with furniture I loved, the clothes I wanted to bring with me, dozens of shoes, books, cosmetics. In a few weeks, all right, I realized how stupid I was to worry about those things. I was moving to New York! The experiences matter. And I learned so much during this wonderful journey … I have changed so much – for the better, I believe – and deconstructed so much in me! That’s what I’ll always remember if I ever leave New York: the places I’ve known, the things I’ve learned, the flavors I’ve tasted.

That’s why I loved it when Flights.com invited me to write about its latest campaign. The main theme is that buying the latest and greatest things (whatever that may be) won’t make you happier, but experiences (like traveling) will!  This has a lot to do with the way I travel today, because although yes, I like clothes and cosmetics, what my husband and I love most in New York is the possibility to know many different places and also to have contact with various countries through fantastic restaurants. No wonder when we go to another city, our travel itinerary is focused on this: fabulous restaurants and places. To celebrate this campaign, I’ve listed below some incredible experiences in New York that do not cost much (and, sure, cost less than the price of that new smartphone!).

1. Trapeze class – it doesn’t matter if you will repeat the experience or not. The class that I took at Trapeze School here in New York was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. Impossible to describe the feeling of freedom and satisfaction of being able to repeat the movements. Besides that, from April to November, the school has a location at Pier 40. It’s amazing to fly with the One World Trade Center and Hudson River views. Check out my post about it.

2. Cooking class – one of the things I love most is cooking. I love researching and testing new recipes, and I like to prepare special dinners for my husband and my friends. Food connects people. It’s such a special moment! The Brooklyn Kitchen offers more than 30 individual classes. How about learning how to make pizza or pasta here in New York? Check it out.

3. Lavender Farm in Long Island – Lavender by the Bay is a lavender farm located in Long Island, specifically in East Marion in NY State. It is New York’s premier lavender farm and one of the largest in the USA.  A family-run farm, it has been growing the highest quality lavender on Long Island for over 15 years. The farm has planted twenty varieties of lavender across seventeen acres of farmland, yielding over 50,000 plants for cultivation. One of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever been. Check out my post about the farm. 

4. Kayaking – besides the fact that this activity is fantastic, it is free! Yes, free kayaking in New York, without spend a penny. Hudson River and East River have unique spaces for this practice during the summer. And this is another activity to add on your to-do list during the warmer months. The experience is excellent! It is a delight kayaking and still has as a bonus the beautiful view of Manhattan. I felt amazed to be there contemplating all that beauty, enjoying a cool breeze, and further reinforced my idea that this city is fantastic. Check out my post about it.

5. Having a drink on a rooftop – one of the best things to do here in New York is visiting the rooftops. Located on the terraces of the city’s buildings – mostly hotels – they are bars that have a privileged view of the city. There are countless rooftops in the city, and the best thing is that there is always have a new space opening. My favorite here so far is WestLight rooftop which is at The William Vale, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The views are breathtaking. Think about this: views, sunset, and drinks. You don’t need more!

6. Pasta tasting – Lupa restaurant, owned by chef Mario Batali, who is also behind Eataly, offers a Pasta Tasting Menu, with five kinds of pasta. All the pasta are homemade. The experience is delicious! Check out my post about it.

7. Picnic at Central Park – Few simple things in life are as great as sitting in a park to relax, read a book, and eat delicious snacks. And I always recommend this kind of thing to anyone visiting the city during the spring/summer season.

8. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge –  Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges around the world – and the first built to connect Manhattan to Brooklyn, almost two kilometers long. It was inaugurated in 1883 – 13 years after the construction started. Today, on average, 120,000 vehicles cross Brooklyn Bridge every day, and 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 cyclists. Crossing this bridge is mandatory for those coming to New York for the first time – and worth repeating if you have other opportunities.

  • 9. Cherry blossom season  – Spring in New York is magical. Between the end of April and the beginning of May, we have the cherry blossom season, and you will see flowers in the city. And one of the most beautiful places to see this magic of nature is the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. During the blooming season, the area of the Cherry Blossom is the most crowded. I could spend a day there,  just taking pictures of the flowers. They are so many trees and they are so beautiful. Almost too good to be true – but it is! Check out the best places to see the cherry blossom.

Do you like this post and the New York experiences ideas? Don’t forget to visit Flights.com to book your flight and having amazing experiences!

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