NYC Annual Events Provide Inspiration to Preschedule Vacation

Research Shows Planners Take More Vacation and Are Happier

New York City (January 25, 2018) — NYC & Company encourages all Americans—including meetings delegates, leisure and business travelers—to take part in the U.S. Travel Associations’ Project Time Off initiative National Plan for Vacation Day, which encourages employees to request PTO for the entire year on January 30, 2018. In support, NYC & Company has curated celebrated annual events, insider tips and an editorial guide to provide consumers with the necessary insight to plan for a 2018 visit to NYC.

“It starts with each of us encouraging our friends, family and colleagues to schedule and take the entirety of their vacation,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “I make sure to lead by example and plan time off so I can return to work refreshed. Internally, we also encourage our entire staff to take their allotted time off, through initiatives including a PTO planning party, scheduled for January 30, 2018.”

Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners. Project: Time Off’s The State of American Vacation 2017 report found that planners use more of their time, take longer vacations and are happier.

For those on a budget, planning for winter travel to NYC means taking advantage of affordable hotel rates and value programs such as NYC Restaurant Week®, NYC Broadway WeekSM, NYC Must-See WeekSM and NYC Off-Broadway WeekSM. Insider tip: Savings are best on the evening of Super Bowl Sunday, February 4, in 2018.

Those looking to plan trips to NYC in the first quarter can also consider planning a visit to coincide with iconic events including Lunar New Year celebrations, Valentine’s Day, New York Fashion Week, Black History Month and the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, among others.

This is soon followed by the Easter Parade. Insider tip: the best place to watch the procession is from the area around St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Sport’s enthusiasts can plan to get their heart rates up on an active adventure to NYC. Yankees and Mets season openers in April, New York Liberty WNBA games and the TD Five Boro Bike Tour in May are highlights of the spring.

Travelers who prefer cultural experiences to vigorous adventures should plan for a visit in May. This is the month when Randall’s Island Park hosts Frieze New York (an outdoor tented art festival). The sixth edition of NYCxDesign also takes place across the five boroughs from May 11 to 23, followed by the Museum Mile Festival.

Revelry surrounding the Puerto Rican Day Parade and NYC Pride Week always bring the heat in June. Insider tip: World Pride will be hosted by NYC in 2019, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, so plan accordingly and save the date.

In the third quarter, Broadway and cultural performances in NYC become more accessible and affordable thanks to free outdoor series like Broadway in Bryant Park, New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Biannual programs NYC Broadway Week and NYC Off Broadway Week also return, offering value with 2-for-1 tickets.

Insider tip: For those looking for additional Broadway-inspired activities, the Hudson Theatre—originally opened in 1903 and reopened as a Broadway theater last year—is now offering the public affordable historic tours and its Ambassador Lounge is also available to rent for private events.

Serving up summer’s end, the US Open will take place August 27–September 9, 2018, with the world’s best tennis players converging at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Insider tip: Tickets for the first tier of matches are relatively easy to come by.

In the fall, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade draws visitors from around the world. Insider tip: On the Wednesday night prior to the parade, the balloons are blown up in the blocks surrounding the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side—an unforgettable site to behold.

Soon, the holiday cheer takes over NYC, with the Radio City Rockettes high kicking into the hearts of visitors. Insider tip: Visitors can go behind the scenes of the Christmas Spectacular and even meet a Rockette with these stage door tours. Finally, the iconic ball drop annually delights over 1 million dedicated visitors who gather in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

For vacation-planning purposes, a comprehensive list of annual events in NYC is available here:

Regardless of the time of year, there are many reasons to plan to vacation in New York City, the capital of everything. Locals, too, are encouraged to consider the events taking place across the five boroughs and plan staycations when finances and other limitations do not allow for far-flung retreats. According to the U.S. Travel Association, in New York City alone, there were a total of 37,476,602 unused vacation days, and 53% of employees left unused vacation days resulting in a total of $7,835,064,106 in untapped economic benefit. 

“America’s vacation deprivation shortchanges the time we invest in our personal relationships, undermines our performance at work and threatens our economic well-being,” said Katie Denis, chief of research and strategy for Project: Time Off. “In 2018, Americans need to plan for their bucket list, instead of the to-do list.”

To help employees get their vacation days on the calendar, Project: Time Off created a vacation planning tool. By simply entering the number of days off earned, users can plot out their trips or vacations for the year, export to their work or personal calendar and share with their family and co-workers.

NYC & Company also offers trip-planning tools on its consumer website, which help travelers decide in advance where to stay, what to see, how to get around, how to convert currency and more. Insider tips: Planning a visit to NYC over a US public holiday is a surefire way to get the best hotel rates. Lines at attractions are shorter and restaurant reservations are also easier to come by in these periods, when locals head out of town to visit family. Sunday nights are also ideal for finding deals on accommodations, as business travelers have not yet arrived and leisure travelers have already departed.

As for how lifestyle, travel and news-focused media outlets can get involved, covering the initiative on January 30 and sharing the original articles on social media with the hashtag #PlanForVacation will amplify the voice of the industry throughout the nation. Thanks to the Plan for Vacation Thunderclap, media outlets are also able to join in the conversation with a prescheduled, predrafted post on Twitter and Facebook on January 30 at exactly the same time, with a goal to begin trending on social media.

Assets are available for download here:

About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official destination marketing organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit

About National Plan for Vacation Day:
National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on January 30, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year at the start of the year. Launched by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative in 2017, National Plan for Vacation Day provides an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for vacation. In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation. Learn more at and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation.



Contact: NYC & Company/Rachel Peace 212-484-1270