So it just came out that London is the most expensive city in the world — for me that’s kind of a sigh of relief: as much as I love London, New York will always be my favorite child. Remember when you took that family trip to the big apple and stayed in that fancy NY hotel? Now that you’re footing the bill it doesn’t look like sunshine and free toiletries anymore, and that ride to the airport? Ouch. Having a fun New York experience isn’t necessarily dependent on how much money is in the bank or how much your significant other makes, you can have a good time — all the time (Yes, of course that’s from Spinal Tap, but the important thing is that it’s TRUE, OK)
Amy’s Top Tips for Cheap Travels and Fun in Activity
1. Airport transport (New York taxis are not for the faint of heart)
Whether you’re flying to JFK, Newark, or LaGuardia, there’s a better way to get from the airport to the city than a taxi. Try taking the A train if you’re flying into JFK or a bus route from Newark or LaGuardia. Not feeling the public transport? Try the New York Airport Service, which offers a shuttle at a pretty cheap rate if you book ahead of time. On a final note, before you buy your tickets, check out the distance from your destination to the airport — while it might be cheaper to fly into New Jersey, the ride into Manhattan could dig into the money you just saved.
2. Forget Room Service
Hotels give me anxiety: do you leave the towels on the floor or put them back where they belong? Why do they fold the toilet paper like that? Instead of spending an outrageous amount of money on musty room for $300, try using Housetrip New York, and rent out someone’s apartment instead. While the prices of these vary, you can rent out a whole apartment for fractions of what you’d pay for a hotel. Seriously, why do they fold the toilet paper like that? Isn’t that kind of unsanitary?
3. You get a free pass, you get a free pass!
Did you know that many museums in New York have free entry days? That’s right, you can stare at art you don’t understand, but look really smart and cool without breaking the bank! So make sure to look up which ones you want to go to ahead of time to find out when their free day is. Some places, like the Guggenheim just ask for a donation upon entrance on some days, which is totally acceptable considering the rent in New York is too damn high.
4. Eating is always a great excuse to go on vacation.
While you can spend your life savings at some of those world-renowned places that Anthony Bourdain goes to, you can also have an amazing dining experience at some of the smaller, less high brow places. The great thing about NY is that it’s a melting pot of different cultures, you can find eateries from every nook and cranny of the globe– usually at decent prices. Delis, pizza by the slice, and food trucks are also a great way to save money, without giving up the experience.
5. Walk it out.
When’s the last time you took a walk and weren’t following your dog around waiting for them to relieve themselves for the 10th time? Enjoy the buzzing beauty of Manhattan with a walk around town. Peek inside the windows at Bergdorf Goodman’s, have some deep thoughts in Central park, watch the way people move, talk, and greet each other. There is a lot of beauty in simply observing, plus you’re likely to come across a breakdance battle or a flashmob of at some point, they don’t have a lot of those in Kansas.