6 Ways To Plan a Trip to New York City On A Small Budget

New York City is the place to be if you’re looking for a great time, whether it’s a quick weekend trip or a month-long holiday vacation. With its world-class restaurants, thriving art scene, and a great number of shopping centers to explore, it’s already a given that NYC is a fun and expensive destination.  

However, that doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy this exciting and famous metropolis on a small budget. If you’re interested in finding out how you can visit and experience New York City without spending too much, here are some tips and tricks that can go a long way in stretching your finances: 

Take The Bus 

Air travel may be fast and convenient, but it can also get quite expensive depending on the time of the year you’ll be visiting the metro. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get to NYC aside from flying. You can drive, take the train, or ride a bus.  

Driving your own car could work if you’re traveling with friends since you can all chip in to pay for gas and toll fares. However, take note that you’ll most likely end up walking or taking buses to get around NYC, so you also need to consider where you’ll be leaving the vehicle for the duration of your trip. That’s why most tourists coming from nearby states prefer to take the bus so they won’t have to worry about finding a garage for their car. 

If you’re from Massachusetts, maybe Boston, Cambridge, or Chelsea, you can book Boston to New York bus tickets in advance to already factor in your fare expenses. You can do the same when it’s time to go home, or better yet, book round-trip tickets so you don’t have to worry about anything else when the trip is almost over. 

Plan a Trip to New York City

Plan your outings in advance

Whilst we all want to visit NYC on a budget, it’s also good to be realistic and accept that there will be some things that will cost money that we just can’t leave the city without experiencing. That being said, you can be clever about it and choose to plan your outings in advance by getting tickets to events ahead of time.

If you’re a fan of musicals you can’t go to New York and not go see a Broadway show, reading more on this website is a sure way to save money and get to experience NYC your way.

Be Practical When Choosing The Time Of The Year To Visit 

Although New York is a popular destination all year round, you can still pick an ideal time of the year that’s less crowded and possibly more affordable. January to March are usually cheaper in terms of hotel rates and airfares. If you’re not too keen on visiting NYC for Christmas or other iconic annual festivities, you might want to consider planning your trip during these months. 

On a side note, be sure to pack the right clothing based on the time of the year you’re visiting. You don’t want to end up shopping for more clothes just because you came unprepared for the weather.

Compare Hotel Prices 

Another significant expense you need to prepare for is your Manhattan hotel. It helps to book hotels in advance so you can take advantage of early-bird discounts and promos. You can try comparison websites to check hotel prices and rates.  

You should also consider the hotel’s location, knowing how expensive taxi fares can be. You may want to find a convenient spot where everything you need is accessible enough, better if within walking distance. The Upper East Side is suitable enough for museum lovers and those who wish to spend more time in Central Park. If you’re hoping to be closer to shopping destinations, pick a hotel somewhere in SoHo or the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

Explore NYC’s Cheap Eats 

Tourists in New York city eating hot dogs

Manhattan may be home to expensive restaurants and gourmet cuisine, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to satisfy your cravings on a tight budget. There are plenty of street vendors and diners that offer delicious, clean, and affordable food enough to match your palate. Additionally, you can find pizza stands on almost every corner, with a slice as cheap as USD$1 each.  

NYC is also filled with hot dog trucks that offer the best hot dogs. On the other hand, Bagels make an affordable but filling breakfast option, and if you want to save on drinks, you can carry around your own water bottle whenever you’re out and about. 

List Down Free Things To Do In NYC 

For sure, you won’t run out of free or affordable things to do while in the Big Apple. You can have a picnic at Central Park, watch the sunset at the Brooklyn Bridge, or visit the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. You can also explore Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Bryant Park, Coney Island, and the New York Public Library. 

When getting around NYC, it’s best to take advantage of public transportation since it’s cheaper and more convenient. A nearby subway station covers almost all the places you want to visit, so you don’t need to worry about where to get off. You can also download ride-sharing apps as an alternative to expensive cabs. 

Final Words 

Whoever said New York City is an expensive place isn’t lying. However, that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits for those visiting on a small budget. With a few tips and tricks, like the ones mentioned above, you can absolutely survive and enjoy a low-cost trip to the Big Apple.  

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