How to Travel to NYC On a Budget in 2023

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New York City is a famously costly place to go to. That’s much more true post-COVID. Prices for the whole lot have gone up. It doesn’t matter should you’re a neighborhood or a customer – you’re going to be paying extra for the whole lot.

Thankfully, as a metropolis with 10 million individuals, there are tons of how to save cash in NYC. Not everybody on this metropolis is a wealthy Wall Street banker. This is a metropolis stuffed with immigrants, ravenous artists, and folks attempting to make it on this planet. As such, there’s plenty of offers — if you understand the place to look.

And, when you understand the place to look, you’ll additionally get the added bonus of getting off the vacationer path and seeing the actual native facet of NYC.

Here’s how to save cash whenever you go to NYC.


busy Times Square in New York City

How to Save Money on Accommodation in NYC

Stay with a neighborhood – Accommodation is pricey in NYC, and with few hostels, there aren’t many cheap choices for a finances traveler. Use a hospitality web site like Couchsurfing or BeWelcome to stick with locals without cost.

Be certain to request as far prematurely as attainable and ensure your profile is stuffed out with data and images. You’ll have probably the most probability for achievement this fashion. Additionally, there are a variety of NYC expat and lodging Facebook teams you possibly can take a look at too.

Redeem resort factors – Be certain to join resort bank cards earlier than your journey can use these factors whenever you journey. Most resort journey playing cards supply sufficient welcome factors to get you a free night time or two simply by signing up for his or her card. There are loads of big-name inns within the metropolis, and you may at all times discover level availability.

For extra on this topic and the way these playing cards work, right here is my submit on journey hacking.

Get out of Manhattan – Everyone needs to remain in Manhattan as a result of it’s the middle of all of the motion, however you’ll find extremely good and cheap lodging in Hoboken, Brooklyn, and Astoria. New York City is nicely related by subway (which runs 24/7), and staying in these areas doesn’t add a lot transit time.

I reside in Manhattan and go to these elements of city on a regular basis. It’s not that far. You’ll save some huge cash as soon as you allow Manhattan (that is true for the whole lot). Check out this submit for extra recommendations on the place to remain in NYC.


How to Save Money on Food in NYC

Eat on a budget – Between the meals carts, greenback pizza slice retailers, kebab locations, dumpling retailers, and low cost eateries (Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai supply the most affordable spots on the town), you possibly can eat actually low cost in NYC. I’d suggest sticking to those sorts of locations for breakfast or lunch after which splurging on dinner. Eater at all times has an incredible listing of what’s at the moment good and cheap!

Bring a water bottle – The faucet water right here is secure to drink, so convey a reusable water bottle to save cash and scale back your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to model, as their bottles have built-in filters to make sure your water is at all times clear and secure.

Hit the pleased hours – Happy hour is one of the best time to get discounted meals and drinks within the metropolis. We NYers love pleased hour as a result of it’s among the finest methods for us to save cash whereas nonetheless going out.  Since one of the best pleased hours are at all times altering, take a look at The Infatuation and Eater for the present finest pleased hours.


hop on hop off bus in NYC in Times Square a good way to travel NYC on a budget

How to Save Money on Activities in NYC

Take a free strolling tour – Taking a free strolling tour is one of the best ways to get launched to town. You get to see the principle sights and ask all of your inquiries to a neighborhood information. Just be sure you tip your information on the finish! Free Tours by Foot is one of the best firm to begin with.

Get low cost theater tickets – Broadway tickets can simply run a whole bunch of {dollars}, particularly for brand new and fashionable exhibits. The TKTS stand in Times Square gives 40-50% off choose exhibits. You must arrive on the counter the identical day to see what they’ve, but it surely’s often a wide array. Be ready to attend in line for about an hour.

Visit the museums without cost – NYC is stuffed with a number of the finest museums on this planet. In addition to the MoMA, many supply free entry on sure days of the week: the Whitney Museum of American Art is pay-what-you-wish on Thursday afternoons, the Solomon R. Guggenheim has pay-what-you-wish between 4-6 pm on Saturdays, the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design has a pay-what-you-wish coverage on Saturday nights.

Do the free sights – New York has loads of free issues to do: wander Central Park, take the Staten Island ferry (which gives views of the Statue of Liberty), see The Museum of Modern Art’s gardens, do the High Line (an elevated strolling path), chill in numerous parks, waterfronts, see the library…..there’s loads to do right here that won’t break the financial institution!

Get a NYC Pass – This customer cross is available in 1-10-day choices and gives free admission to over 100 sights across the metropolis. It additionally gives as much as 50% off of a bunch extra actions. Attractions embrace the Central Park and Bronx zoos, the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, the Hamilton Happy Hour Tour, and rather more!

It’s $149 USD for a single-day cross, $204 USD for a two-day cross, and $249 USD for a three-day cross. If you propose on seeing loads of sights, this could prevent a ton (the Empire State Building alone is $44 USD!).


NYC subway escalator

How to Save Money on Transportation in NYC

The finest  — and actually the one method — to save cash on transportation within the metropolis is to get a subway metro card. You’ll be taking the subway loads, and fares can add up.

Get one of many Unlimited MetroCards and save your self a bundle throughout your journey. The 7-day limitless card is just $33 USD. Even should you aren’t staying all 7 days, so long as you’re taking the subway greater than 11 occasions, the cross can pay for itself.

Additionally, public transportation is one of the best ways to save lots of on attending to and from the airport, as Uber can value as much as $100!


NYC is probably not a finances journey hotspot, however visiting doesn’t have to interrupt the financial institution. There are loads of free issues to see and do, a plethora of low cost locations to eat, and plenty of suggestions and methods you need to use to chop prices and go to NYC on a finances.

With a little analysis and planning, you possibly can simply go to the Big Apple with out blowing your finances. Just comply with the NYC on a finances suggestions above, and also you’ll have the ability to go to like a neighborhood very quickly!

Do you suppose you could possibly go to NYC on a finances?


Guest Post Author Bio

Matt Kepnes runs the award-winning journey website nomadicmatt.com, which helps individuals journey the world on a finances. He’s the writer of the NYT best-seller How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and the journey memoir Ten Years a Nomad. His writings and recommendation have been featured on CNN and the BBC and in the New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Budget Travel, Time, and numerous different publications. You can comply with him on Instagram at @nomadicmatt.



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