Ask a New York City Expert: Meet Lucy Mui, Travelocity’s NYC Market Manager
Editor’s Note: Periodically, we’ll be featuring a Q&A with our resident destination experts at Travelocity, the Travelocity market managers. Market managers are locals to their destination and experts on everything and anything related to tourism in their markets. Please welcome them to The Window Seat.
Lucy Mui is one of the market managers for New York City. She has been with Travelocity for over 10 years and New York City is the most ideal market for her because she is a native New Yorker. Lucy is in the perfect industry because she loves to travel and experience new cultures and foods. So far she has been to over 40 countries and has managed to avoid eating bugs and anything Andrew Zimmern would eat on his show. Some of her recent trips were to Nepal, Budapest, and Laos. When she is not jetsetting around the globe she enjoys dining out because there are so many great restaurants in New York City, hiking (to burn those calories from dining out), and spending time with her family. One of her favorite parts about being the New York City market manager is that she gets invited to most of the new Broadway shows and has seen many shows for free. The Great White Way is a quintessential New York experience for both native New Yorkers and tourists alike.
Lucy at Everest Base Camp, another item checked off her travel bucket list.
TWS: If you had to pick just one thing that makes New York City special, what is it and why?
LM: There is always something to do in this city because it truly is the city that never sleeps. Our subways run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During the day you can experience great culture in our fine museums and galleries and at night dine on some of the best foods available. If you are not into museums, then just wander aimlessly thru the many ethnic neighborhoods here. I guarantee you will not be disappointed or bored in New York.
TWS: What’s the best time of year to visit NYC to get a deal? Pros and cons of visiting at that time of year?
LM: January is the best and most affordable time of the year to visit New York. Many people stop traveling this time because it is right after the holidays, but this is when you will find the best bargains here. Hotels generally are half their normal price and you can stay at a 4 star property for under $150. Also, all of the department stores will be having massive sales to get rid of all their holiday and winter stock. It will be cold and possibly snowy here in January, but tourists can just pack a toothbrush and a credit card for their trip and buy a whole new winter wardrobe while in New York!
TWS: What’s the secret to getting a deal on hotels in New York City?
LM: Book early! Hotels generally will have better deals when you book early. Many deals are non refundable though so it is best to have your travel plans confirmed before booking your room. Also, if possible book your flight and hotel together. Hotels give great discounts when the room rate is bundled with a flight because they know customers will generally stay longer and are less likely to cancel their booking.
TWS: Tell us your number-one favorite restaurant in New York City and what menu item a visitor has to try.
LM: One of my favorite places to eat is a place called Big Wong on Mott Street in Chinatown. It is a greasy spoon type Cantonese restaurant where you will share tables with others and where good service is not their number one priority. However, they make one of the best roast ducks I have ever had and you can get a meal for 2 for under $30. The skin of the duck is perfectly crispy with just the right amount of fat underneath. You bite into the duck and you get that perfect balance of crispy skin, fat, and lean meat with a hint of Chinese five spice and star anise flavor. You can wash the duck down with a bowl of hot congee (rice porridge) which is traditionally eaten for breakfast, but there is no time restriction at Big Wong. Your taste buds and wallet will thank you for visiting Big Wong.
TWS: What’s the most common misconception about New York City?
LM: Everyone thinks New York is a super expensive city to visit, but they are wrong! Accommodations will be expensive no doubt, but you can save in other ways. There are many ethnic neighborhoods in this city and each one offers some of the best and cheapest foods you will find during your trip. Also, there are lots of free activities in New York. You just have to do some research ahead of time. Pick up a Time Out New York while here or subscribe to Living Social, Groupon, or any of the deals emails so you can get some great dining or activity deals before your trip. This New Yorker is a big fan of these emails. Just check my purse for all of the evidence!
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From time to time, the Window Seat publishes articles and blog posts written by guest authors to give you a fresh perspective on the world of travel.