Almost 70 million people visit New York City every year. That number seems to grow almost constantly.
And you know what? We don’t blame all of those tourists.
New York is a heck of a place to visit.
The city features incredible food, music, art, culture and a skyline that’s to die for.
If you’ve never been to New York because you’ve always thought that you were priced out of this city’s expensive cost of doing business, we’ve got you covered. As it turns out, as with all places, visiting New York can actually be quite affordable.
Below, we share with you a few expert tips that’ll allow you to plan a cheap trip to New York!
1. Take the Train
New York features one of the most sophisticated subway systems in the United States. This incredible interconnection of trains was born out of necessity given how busy New York’s streets can get.
Since New York’s trains are both reputable and frequent, we recommend that you rely on them for all of your transpiration needs. That means skipping ride-shares and of course, skipping taxis.
Even if you’re not a train-taker where you come from, getting acclimated to public transit in New York City is well worth the effort given the cost savings that you’ll enjoy.
2. Grab a Slice
Eating in New York can get insanely expensive. The good news is that food in the city doesn’t have to cost more than your car payment if you look hard enough.
In tons of neighborhoods, you can find delicious pizza by the slice for around a buck. Hot dogs are also a cheap New York specialty.
Bottom line… If you don’t mind pizza and hot dogs, your cheap trip to New York ambitions are going to come to fruition a heck of a lot easier.
3. Revel in the City’s Free Activities
New York has a virtually infinite amount of free activities.
You can people watch. You can stroll through central park. You can pop into a world-class museum on any one of its free museum days.
If you’re on a budget and still want to have a blast in the city, you’re not going to have a problem so long as you’re open to doing a little bit of research!
4. Compare Your Lodging Options
Lodging is where New York is really going to try to bite you. Hotels can get extremely expensive, even during the week since business travelers keep demand up.
Your best bet here is to put in some hardcore work comparing options. Use hotel browsing tools, hotel finders and homestay locators like Airbnb.
Getting aggressive with your searches should allow you to see more than just premium hotels so that you can find affordable accommodations.
5. Keep an Eye Out for Happy Hour
Do you like to grab a drink during your day? Most of us here do too.
The problem with that is that alcohol can get very expensive in New York City. To keep your cheap trip to New York dreams alive, you’re going to want to take a break from alcohol, buy some from a grocery store to drink in your hotel room or keep an eye out for happy hours.
Happy hours typically occur mid-week from 3 pm to 6 pm. There are a number of spots throughout the city that offer great deals on domestic drafts and well-drinks during that time.
6. Check Out Groupon
Want to watch a Broadway show? Thinking about riding the elevator up to the top floor of the Empire State Building?
To save money on activities like that, check out Groupon.
Groupon always offers great deals on everything from food to fun. A quick browse of the site could easily save you $20.00 – $60.00 on whatever you’re planning to do during the day.
7. Go to China Town for Souvenirs
We’re not big on buying souvenirs. They tend to cost a ton of money and get shoved in a drawer somewhere only a few days after bringing them home.
If you’re into souvenir-buying though, we recommend that you relegate your shopping to New York’s Chinatown.
Chinatown businesses are typically run by Chinese immigrants that are able to import knick-knacks for cheap. They then pass those savings onto you which can help keep a ton of money in your pocket when you buy that Statue of Liberty figurine.
8. Pick a Slow Season
It’s hard to find a time where New York is naturally cheap. There are times though that you should avoid that will predictably drive up New York’s prices.
For example, New York during Christmas/New Years is price suicide. All hotel rates will go up during that time and prices on food and other services can double to take advantage of the influx of tourists.
In our opinion, it’s best to visit New York just before or after summer to enjoy decent weather and low crowds.
Wrapping Up Our Cheap Trip to New York Tips
Planning a cheap trip to New York isn’t a pipe dream. It’s something that’s entirely possible if you’re willing to put in a little leg work and get creative.
We hope that our tips have gotten the wheels turning in your head as to how you can save some money in the Big Apple without sacrificing having big-time fun!
For more advice on how to get the most out of your travels without spending the most money, check out more of our content on Stayful.com