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By Nadia El Ferdaoussi

Nadia is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer based in Dublin.

Planning a trip to the Big Apple can seem overwhelming. While choice is a great thing, the options can be endless and it’s hard to know where to start. In this article I’ll cover how to make the most of your holiday budget when it comes to when to go, booking your flights and choosing accommodation.

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Getting there

January - March are the cheapest months to fly to NYC according to Skyscanner. If, like me, you’re conscious of CO2 emissions, keep an eye out for information about the greenest route based on aircraft and other factors. Direct routes are always the best option when it comes to total trip duration, emissions and ease. I’d always recommended flying direct where possible, on my last trip a friend chose to connect in London as it was cheaper, but due to a delay she missed her connecting flight. Not worth the saving in my opinion. I’d only fly via Iceland or Portugal if I wanted to explore a city in those destinations, otherwise direct is best.


Make sure you have the correct visa before you fly. Irish citizens can apply using the ESTA online system to travel to the USA for 90 days or less without a visa. Only use the official government website, as some scams via third party sites have been reported. The cost is $14 and your ESTA will be valid for two years.
Flight options between Ireland and NY can be confusing, so let’s start there. Multiple airlines fly between cities in New York and Ireland, but before making a decision based on price, check out my guide below.

  • John F. Kennedy (JFK - Aer Lingus from Shannon/Dublin and Delta Air Lines from DUB) is the biggest NY airport and is located in Queens. A taxi to Times Square will take 30-60 minutes and cost a set fare of $52, or there’s a connection to the NY Subway. JFK is busy and, in the past, I’ve waited a long time for baggage, smaller airports can be faster to travel through.


  • Newark Liberty International (EWR - United Airlines from Shannon/Dublin and Aer Lingus from DUB) in New Jersey is 45-60 minutes from Times Square in a cab, costing around $70+. There’s an Airport Express bus which takes about the same time and costs $17 for an adult single. I’d usually only choose the bus if I’m alone.


  • New York Stewart International (SWF - Norwegian Air from DUB) is at least a 90-minute drive to Times Square. Coach USA have buses timed to meet landing Norwegian flights, the journey takes around 1hr 20 minutes and costs $20 for an adult single. While it’s further away, the airport is very fast to pass through, so keep that in mind.
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