New York is a grand city, which makes many people have the impression that to really enjoy it requires a lot of money. However, just like most other cities globally, anyone can have a good time, even if they’re visiting New York on a budget.
Visiting New York on a Budget
Depending on where you are coming from, there are several ways to travel to New York. You can drive, take a train, or catch a flight to get there.
The fastest and most convenient mode of transport is by air. The three airports that serve the NYC area are The JFK International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark International Airport.
These airports make it possible to access the city, and there are several online sites where travelers can check for affordable flights all year round.
If you opt to take a train to travel to New York, there are two main train stations in the city: Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station.
Trains help cut traveling costs significantly and are a comfortable way to travel. The train schedule is reliable, and there are many trains from Boston to NYC that visitors can rely on for convenient travel.
You can also travel to New York by road if you’re coming from other towns and cities in the United States, either by bus or a private car.
The road option might be more extended and unappealing to people who do not enjoy traveling over long distances. However, it is the more affordable choice to use, and a road trip is always exciting with a lot to see along the way.
While in New York, make sure to get a metro card for an unlimited 7-day or 30-day pass, depending on the duration of your stay.
The metro card will help save a lot of money while making the commute within the city quite affordable. If the city metro is not an option, use an Uber instead of hailing a taxi from the street. It is much cheaper.
Visit During Off-Season
If you like the idea of visiting New York on a budget, it is best to go during off-peak seasons when prices are relatively lower than other times of the year.
The off-peak travel season is January to April, and later in the year between September and November, excluding holiday dates.
During lower-travel seasons, travel fare is cheaper, and booking a hotel or Airbnb is also reasonably priced compared to the busy seasons.
Where to stay is one of the price factors to consider for anyone planning to travel to New York. Hotels in New York are not cheap, and even during the low season, the cost of accommodation may still be on the higher end.
For visitors who do not mind, the most affordable accommodation is finding a room in a hostel which will still cost close to $100 for a night for a very basic room.
Visitors can look up options such as Airbnb to find something that suits their budget or save up before travel and stay in a more enjoyable environment in a hotel at a higher price tag.
It is easy to spend an arm and a leg for entertainment while in New York. However, there are several cheap activities to try out while in New York that still offer a great experience without paying any fees.
One completely free thing to do, and you need to include it in your itinerary, is visiting Central Park. As a tourist, you can go there for a walk, a picnic, or just for sightseeing. You can also opt to take long walks across the Brooklyn Bridge or the High Lane.
Sticking to free activities can sometimes limit the experience for tourists. To have better experiences and visit more places, visitors should consider getting a New York CityPASS. It might not be the cheapest thing to pay for, as adult fees start at around $132, but it is worth the amount and saves up to 41% in admission fees.
The CityPASS allows access to some of the best tourist attractions in the city, such as the Empire State Building, or a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and more.
Another added advantage of using CityPASS is a shorter waiting time. Usually, there is a separate queue for holders of the CityPASS, which is often faster and more convenient than waiting in the main line.
Finding fantastic food in New York is not always expensive, and there are many places to find budget meals depending on what you would like to eat. For instance, there are food trucks all over the city which sell various budget-friendly meals.
New York City is also famous for $1 pizza slices, and an excellent place to look is Joe’s Pizza. However, it is not the only establishment that does this, and you can find many more that offer affordable pizza. There are food apps that help you order it online.
Papaya King hotdogs are inexpensive and delicious and you can try Los Tacos No.1 for amazing affordable tacos. You can also find a broad range of food in Chinatown at pocket-friendly rates.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a lot of money to visit New York City. By following these tips and proper planning, anyone can visit the big city and create lifelong memories on a budget.