If you'd like to by-pass NYC, and I think it a good idea, it's real easy. If you're coming up 81 stay on it to I84 and take it up into Connecticut. The only hassle would be Hartford, Ct. during rush hour. Any other time it's OK. If you're coming up 95 you can follow it over the Del. Mem. Bridge and north onto the NJ turnpike. From the turnpike exit. 10 will put you right onto Rt. 287 and you can swing all around NYC and never even see the skyline. Both are easy by-passes and good roads.
If you're on 95 and would like to by-pass the tolls it's also easy but a little more detailed. Let me know and I can give you a route. I think the NJ turnpike toll for me and my trailer was about $12.50 for exit 9 south to exit 1. Yours northbound would be about the same.
Have a good trip and drive carefully