With the time, money, and anticipation that goes into your trip to New York City, you naturally want to get the most out of those experiences, forming the best possible memories for years to come.
Today I am sharing my top money-saving New York City Travel Tips. Thanks to TripAdvisor for sponsoring this post.
New York City is one of the most spectacular and most-often-visited cities in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive. Planning a trip to New York City can be overwhelming as you start to add up your expenses. But it doesn’t have to!
I visit New York City a few times a year for both business and fun and have learned a few ways to stretch my dollars and maximize my time.
New York City Travel Tips that Will Save Your Money
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest provider of tours, activities and attractions, with more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide. TripAdvisor Attractions offers something for every kind of traveler; book everything from walking tours, skip-the- line access and theatre tickets to hot air balloon safaris and Everest base camp treks.
Why book on TripAdvisor? Because booking attractions in-person, after arrival, can be risky – there’s no reviews to read, there’s no “big picture” overview of what’s available, some attractions may be unavailable at short notice or come with an hours-long line. You can even purchase your tickets on their app saving you even more time – and money!
When planning my trip to New York City last month, I used TripAdvisor to purchase tickets to the Phantom of the Opera. Yup! You can even get tickets to a Broadway show. It was easier than standing in line to get tickets and our seats were amazing. And they didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Getting to and from New York City.
If you are within driving distance of the city, park in New Jersey! I used to swear on driving into the city and parking but we all know parking in the city can be costly, even if for a short amount of time. Instead, I park at the Secaucus Train Station, hop on the train, and I am in the city within about 15 minutes. Parking at the train station is significantly cheaper and, the best part, have valet parking!
Or you can take the train the whole way or take the ferry! Then you don’t have a car to worry about at all. However, you are then tied to a schedule to get you home. Still cheaper than finding park in the city!
If you are flying into New York City, you are going to have to get yourself into the city. New York has three airports: LA Guardia, JFK, and Newark (which is in New Jersey). Where you fly into will depend on your budget, time, your choice of airline, and also consider the location of where you are staying at in New York.
You can book airport transportation both to and from the airport by using TripAdvisor. Arrive in New York City the easy and stylish way with a pre-booked private transfer service. A professional driver will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to your hotel.
Save money on accommodations.
When I plan a trip to New York city, my hotel is the one place where I’ll pay a little more. I want a hotel in convenient location, be roomy if I am traveling with my family or friends, and has all of the amenities we like in a hotel. Hotel prices in New York City can surge to over $1,000 a night and that is just not in my budget.
This is where reviews come into play. When searching for a hotel, I look at their reviews on sites like TripAdvisor. These reviews are insider tips. Check the dates of the reviews to make sure they are recent. Hotels in New York City are always undergoing renovations so reviews from a year ago may not currently reflect the hotel.
After looking over reviews, narrow down the neighborhood of the hotel. If your plan includes a lot of activities near Time Square, you don’t want to stay downtown. You’ll end up spending more on the subway or cabs to get you to your planned activities. Keep those things in mind when looking at hotel prices!
If you are going to be going all over the city, see if your hotel is located near a subway station. This will save you walking time to get to and from the subway.
Want to see a lot in one day? Take a tour! This is the easiest (and most economical) way to see New York’s top sights. A guided tour will help you get your bearings for the city with a taste of historical commentary. You’ll be a NYC pro by the end of the tour! TripAdvisor has many guided tours to choose from. From tours of the Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island to whole city tours, you can pick and choose how much you are going to pack into your day.
Saving money on food and drinks.
Aside from hotel costs, food and drinks are where your wallet is really going to get hit! You can find food for any budget and taste in New York. How do I save money on food and drinks in New York City?
Skip the chains. When traveling, I have a rule. If I can go to the same restaurant in my hometown, we don’t go there to eat when traveling. Inside, I look for local spots and read reviews! You don’t have to plan out each and every meal but at least plan your dinners. Make reservations if needed and plan your days activities so that you end up near the restaurant.
And when all else fails, you can’t beat a New York slice of pizza! We grabbed two slices of pizza and drinks at a pizza shop near our hotel for under $10! The best and cheapest dinner I have ever had in New York City.
For some, a trip to New York City is a trip of lifetime! When you are planning your trip, write down your must-sees and must-dos. These are the things where it’s ok to let the budget go. Take your savings from the above and put it towards one memorable thing. Whether it’s a fancy dinner or shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue or splurging on horse and carriage ride through Central Park. Those are the things that you and your family will talk about for years to come!