New York City is one of the most expensive vacation destinations in the country, mostly because the cost of living in the city is so high and tourists are plentiful. Hotels in the city are the most expensive per night in the country, which is where most of your travel budget will go. Fortunately, there is a lot to do in New York City without having to empty out your wallet at every turn and still have a good time. It all comes down to narrowing down what you want to see and do and then scouting out deals beforehand with a little outside the box tourist attractions to fill in the itinerary.
If you want to travel to New York City, but need to stay on a strict budget, use these tips to see the city for less.
New York City is Big, So Lump Outings Together
New York City is a big place and when you start making your travel plans you might not be paying attention to where everything is. Public transportation makes it easy to get around faster and see as much as you can in a day, but it can add up when you have to take multiple trips within a day. Before heading out, look at a map and determine where every attraction on your list is. Lump outings together to limit the number of times you need to get on a bus or the subway in a day, when things are close together, you might be able to walk to and from each attraction too.
Always Look for Reduced Admission Deals
There are always reduced admission deals for just about every attraction and show in New York City. Before your trip sign up for groupon and other deal sites with New York City as the target market. Snag these deals before you get to town in order to save up to 50% off admission fees. If you arrive to town without any advance coupons, you are not entirely out of luck. Many hotels, museums and attractions will offer deals the day of, mornings or have set free days.
Explore the Outdoor Living Spaces Like the Locals
Locals live here for a reason, and one of those reasons are their outdoor living spaces, where they can relax in state of the art parks. Central Park, the High Line and the Downtown Boathouse are just a couple of urban playgrounds where you will find locals spending their afternoon or morning. Take some time to explore these parks and people watch in one of the busiest and most interesting cities in the world.
Consider an Alternate Attraction
Everyone has an idea of what they should see and do in New York City, but if you try to do all those high priced attractions you definitely will not be staying on budget. Swap out a couple attractions with alternatives that cost a lot less. Instead of taking an expensive Lady Liberty boat tour, ride the public ferry that serves as a source of public transportation for the local workforce and runs the same route as most of the expensive boat tours. Want to catch a show on Broadway? There are more places to catch shows than just Broadway, and they are a lot more budget friendly. If you absolutely have to see a Broadway production, discounted tickets can be purchased the day of for the matinees.
Take Advantage of the Free Tours
New York City is filled with options for free tours and different ways to see the city if you just keep your eyes open. There is actually an extensive, and popular, network of pedestrian tours led by locals that focus on just about everything. While the tours are free, the guides do accept tips, but they are still a great budget option that will give you an insiders look into the city.