New York City on a Shoestring

by Louise, Community Manager

Think a trip to New York City isn’t in your budget? That may not be true! We’re specialists at working within a budget, so we know all the tips and tricks for making an NYC vacation affordable. Here are a few of them:

Plan a trip in January or February

Between the post-Holiday lull and the unpredictable weather, rates in New York are by far the cheapest in the first two months of the year. Sure, you might have to deal with some cold temperatures or snow, but with all the great indoor activities available (shows, museums, restaurants) and plenty of climate-controlled tour buses in which to explore the sights, plus our nifty underground transportation system, you can still have a fantastic time!

Stay in Long Island City or Brooklyn

Bonus to staying in Long Island City: Check out this view!

I know, I know – the inclination is to want to stay in Times Square. But seriously: Times Square is loud and expensive. It’s great to stay there and be in the center of the action, walking distance to lots of places, but will it ruin your vacation if you stay a little out of the way? Not at all! The NYC subway system is safe, clean and reliable and will get you from point A to point B in less time than you think. Long Island City and Brooklyn are both great areas to stay, will save you a ton of money, are quick trips to central locations, and will give you a look at REAL neighborhoods of NYC, where people actually live. Seriously, nobody lives in Times Square.

Check Out Free Stuff

Nobody is going to pretend that New York doesn’t cost money, but there are actually a number of museums that you can visit for free either all the time or on select dates and times. The American Folk Art Museum and the Museum of the American Indian are always free, for example. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is free on Tuesdays, MOMA is free on Fridays from 4-8 PM, the Whitney is free on Fridays from 6-9 PM, and the Frick Collection is free on Sundays from 11 AM – 1 PM. And these are just a few examples!

Consider Off Broadway Shows

Avenue Q, a Tony-winning Broadway show, now plays Off-Broadway

I just wrote a blog about this recently, but Off Broadway shows can often be just as high quality as Broadway productions and sometimes are even more lovely and original. Plus, they are much less expensive to see than Broadway shows. So if you want to catch a show but Broadway is going to break the bank, check out the Off Broadway offerings – there may be something just as wonderful or even better to see!

Take a Food Tour

Okay, so I’m partial to food tours because I’m obsessed with food, but if the budget is tight and you’re going to spring for one guided tour, make it a food tour. Why? It’s a guided tour and a meal in one! Most food tours are great neighborhood tours, and you’ll learn about the history of an area from a knowledgeable guide while getting plenty of snacks to boot!

Go For a Walk

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of NYC’s best walks!

So this may not work if you do come in the winter, but if the weather’s nice nothing beats a good, long walk in the city. You never know what you may find, from unexpected outdoor markets to incredible street performers to remarkable public art. Plus, it’s free to take a walk AND it’s a very healthy vacation choice to make. Here are a couple of walks to consider:

  • Head down to the financial district and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. You’ll end up in the fantastic Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, Brooklyn where you can find great playgrounds, stunning views, delicious ice cream and the occasional flea market.
  • Go to the Upper East Side and enter Central Park around 72nd street (or 86th if you’re feeling ambitious) and walk south until you reach the exit at 59th street, then walk down 5th avenue and do some window shopping at all the famous shops.
  • Head to the northernmost entrance to the Highline Park (30th street between 10th and 11th avenue) and walk to the southernmost end (Gaansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District), stopping plenty along the way to admire the beautiful flowers and greenery as well as the fantastic views of the city. Bring sandwiches and drinks and have a picnic along the way!

And of course, the most important tip of all…

Book with New York Guest

We want to help you and what’s more – we know how! We live here, we know the hotels, we know the deals, we’ve seen the shows, and we’ll work with you to create a customized plan that meets all of your needs. That’s what we love to do! Contact us today to start planning.


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Filed under New York Travel Deal, NYC, NYC News and Information, Special Deals

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