Visiting New York City is something that every traveler will do at some point. The lights, the nightlife, the food and the crazies you meet on the street are just a few reasons why this city is home to so many art, music and fashion lovers. However, one thing I hear from travelers who visit the city is how much money they end up spending in New York. I know this is true because before I moved here permanently, I used to visit every few months and each time I left, I had overspent the money I saved up for the trip.
Here are a few tips how to visit new york on a budget:
1) Don’t overspend on Airfare: Unless you are close enough to the city where you can take a bus or train, airfare is the most common route one takes to get to the city. Sites like Dealchecker offer affordable flights for travelers heading to New York and other domestic or international locations like Delhi and Sydney. Buying a ticket without checking for deals is a big no-no for any budget conscious traveler.
2) Be Realistic in Your Spending: Although planning ahead works some of the time, there are always going to be added costs here and there. Have an idea of what sort of activities you will be planning. Are you going to see a Broadway show? Where are you staying? Do you plan on eating out every night? Obviously, staying at a friend’s apartment, eating out only once or twice and opting for museums rather than Broadway productions will save you cash. If you do want to do more “touristy” activities like seeing a live performance, take advantage of TKTS and book a discount ticket.
3) Go Where the Locals Go: One way to save money is to treat your trip as if you were a local New Yorker. Being a local myself, I can guarantee you that we are all on some sort of budget. Exploring new neighborhoods uptown or in Brooklyn will instantly save you money. The beer, food and clothes will cost less and you will get to experience life like you actually live there. Instead of grabbing a drink at the famous Plaza Hotel, go a few blocks away and find a Irish pub or get a class of wine at an Italian restaurant.
4) Free and Fabulous: One perk of living in New York City is all of the free activities the city organizes every year. If you plan on visiting during the summer months, you can probably get through the entire trip under budget. There are numerous outdoor and free concerts, festivals and markets to wander through. Museums are usually donation only and for the ones that do charge a hefty fee, find out if they offer discounts. Many museums try to entice new visitors by offering discounted or free entrance on certain nights.
5) Appreciate the Little Things: Even if you spend more than you should have, there’s a high probability that you will still leave New York with positive memories. A lot of New York Moments are completely priceless like seeing street performers in Washington Square Park, chatting with drink and slightly intoxicated homeless people that actually have a lot of interesting things to say and seeing dogs dressed in fancier cloths than their owners.