New York City is one of the world’s most famous cities, with it’s large population and influx of tourist much like London it has a reputation for not being the cheapest place to visit. I paid for our November trip as a present for my boyfriend’s 30th, so after I’d paid out for all that I was of course a little nervous about how much money we’d spend when we got there. I did some research and with a bit of trial and error as there always is when traveling to a new place, here are six things I found really helpful.
Skip the guided tours and download one online
Go to any big city and chances are there’s books and online guides to touring the place alone, without the need for an expensive tour guide. I did some googling and found a really great self guided tour of Central Park which clearly explained where to go and what you were seeing. It meant we could do it at our own pace and it didn’t cost a penny!
Oh CityPASS how I love you, let me count the ways. I won’t go into too much detail on this as I wrote a rather lengthy post about it here but needless to say you save time and money if you are hitting the tourist spots with this pass.
Book tickets online
This one sounds obvious but with the amount of people I see not doing it, it seems worth mentioning. If you know where you are going beforehand, booking online often offers discounts over just turning up on the day, and you don’t have to wait inline to buy tickets. Even if you don’t like to pre-plan too much and go with the flow, just before you step into that museum or attraction, jump online and check it isn’t cheaper from their site. You might be able to buy it right there for less then walk right in!
Eat and Play Card
If you plan on eating out and shopping while you are in NYC this is the card for you. I contains a whole list of restaurants with varying discounts that you get just by showing the card, and some of them even include discounts on alcohol too! Not only this but you can get discounts on popular NYC stores also, including the famous Macy’s and Bloomingdales as well as discounts to attractions and much more. It’s a great all rounder. It’s not free, it costs £16 but if you think you are going to use it more than twice you will probably save money. If you’re from the UK you can purchase yours from AttractiionTix who kindly sent me mine.
Get walking and/or use Citymapper
Coming from London one of the biggest surprises for me was how walkable New York City is. The grid system makes it really easy to find your way around and it’s actually a surprisingly small city. We managed to walk from Battery Park as far south as you can be to our hotel in Midtown, near Times Square, in around an hour and a half. I am sure you could walk from top to bottom in the city in less than four hours. If you’re not good with directions like me use Citymapper, I rely on it for everything in London, it shows you all the possible ways to get to your destination along with the cost. It will get rid of every fear you have about using public transport in a new city. The app is totally free and it will stop any need you have for jumping in one of the famous yellow cabs.
Look in tourist centres for free maps and discounts
Any tourist information centre and most hotels should have not only maps to give out free of charge, but they often include discount vouchers for various attractions, shops and restaurants.
Traveling to New York City is never going to be the cheapest of holiday’s but with a few simple measures you can save money. As the saying goes, if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.
If you have any money saving travel tips I’d love to hear them!
The New York CityPASS and the Eat and Play card were both given to me for honest review.
P.S Want to see more of my NYC adventures? Check out my short travel vlog