New York on the Cheap


New York on the Cheap

Spending time in the city that never sleeps can be a quick way to blow through your holiday budget. With so much on offer in New York City you’re never short of things to do – you’re almost guaranteed to run out of cash before you run out of activities! To make the most of your trip, some careful planning can go a long way in making those dollar bills stretch that little bit further – without compromising on your fun in the Big Apple.

Off-season travel

Travelling during the quieter months of the year is always a good way to save on airfares, and if you’re prepared to get a little chilly then you can score great flights and hotel deals during winter. With the Christmas and New Year crowds usually heading home by the middle of January, we find February, although freezing cold, a great time to pick up well priced flights. The colder months also usually mean shorter queues and smaller tour groups, making things better priced and more efficient for your time.

NY Subway Metrocard

When in Rome… well, in New York you need to ride the subway! For just $31USD you’ll get seven whole days of unlimited metro rides, getting you almost anywhere you need to go. A subway station is never far away, especially around Manhattan, so if you’re visiting a lot of museums, buildings and galleries, hop on the subway to your next destination and save some precious money rather hailing a cab. You’ll only need to take the subway twice a day during your trip to cover your costs!

In the middle of the East River lies Roosevelt Island, a now residential and business community that was once the location of hospitals and prisons. The main transport to Roosevelt Island is on The Tram – gliding you from East Manhattan over the river. Use your weekly metro card to access the tram and enjoy the unique vantage point of soaring over the busy streets to a less celebrated part of NYC. An interesting stop where you can see the ruins of a smallpox hospital, a lighthouse, parks and beautiful views across the water back to the upper east side of Manhattan.

City Tour Passes

There are many options available these days for ‘combine and save’ deals, and the CityPASS New York combines a variety of popular attractions into one ticket, with some big savings attached. If you were planning on visiting all of the included locations anyway (like the Empire State Building, the 9-11 Memorial Museum or the Statue of Liberty), choosing a pass with the flexibility to enjoy over nine days will save you around $100, and is a great way to skip queues. The CityPASS New York covers some quintessential NY experiences that are lots of fun, especially for a first-time visitor to NY – we loved our trip to the Top of the Rock. The convenience of pre-purchasing means less worrying about budgets for each attraction, and more time enjoying your holiday!

Free Entry and Pay As You Wish Attractions

Many museums and attractions around New York offer a weekly or monthly time where entry is free, so it’s worth checking your itinerary to check for a time that lines up for you! Save $25 for adult admissions to the Museum of Modern Art by popping in on a Friday afternoon, when admission is free between 4pm-8pm. Be prepared for crowds and make sure you don’t miss anything by working out what exhibits you really want to see.

Many other museums around New York also have a dedicated ‘Pay What You Wish’ timeframe – a perfect option if you have more time than money on your trip. The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum offers this on Saturdays 6pm-9pm, the Guggenheim Museum from 5.45pm-7.45pm Saturdays, and the Whitney is Fridays from 7pm-10pm. Other locations, such as the beautiful Grand Central Terminal have free walking tours every Friday Saturday and Sunday. Don’t miss out on the whispering walls, and some unrivalled expertise on many of the buildings’ hidden details.

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McKean Studio

About the Author McKean Studio

McKean Studio are Joshua & Megan McKean, a Sydney based husband and wife creative team travelling the world together, one country at a time. With backgrounds in Industrial Design & Visual Communication, combined with a love for travel, their creative pursuits focus on working to make souvenirs better and bring the excitement of travel back home again.