I am always trying to find inexpensive ways to travel. I have been finding cheap tricks and inexpensive ways to take trips more and more that’s why I was able to visit NYC twice in the last month. My last trip to NYC only cost $231 that’s including the flight and our room for 3 days. We packed our day and found things to do that were free or cost us next to nothing. I’m going share how to plan a trip to New York City for extremely cheap!
How to get there:
Of course taking the China or Mega bus is cheaper… but not that much. It also takes up a lot of your time. How can you benefit from cheaper bus tickets? Well split them up, create your own layover. I usually purchase a bus ticket to DC then from DC to New York and split them the same way for my return ticket (4 tickets total). This causes your tickets to be cheaper. Also if you catch them at a good time Mega Bus runs ticket deals for $1, $5, or $10! If you have an extra $20 check the mega bus site and see if they are running any deals. They currently have a few $5 and $10 tickets to NY from Washington. I’ve purchased tickets to New York for a $1 just because they were a steal, even if I didn’t plan on going! But if you have a lil extra cash go ahead and get the plane ticket. I’ve paid as low as $120 for my plane ticket and yup they are sometimes cheaper than that if you catch them!
You already know what I have to say! Sign up for an Airbnb account. Say I referred you and you can get $35 dollars off by clicking here. My friend booked our trip to NYC, received $35 off and our room total came up to $218 ($109 apiece) for 3 nights! This time we stayed in an apartment that we shared with multiple people. I’m not going to lie even though I have stayed in several Airbnb’s where there were other guest in the building, it is always my last choice. However, for me, it has always been a positive experience. The apartment had about 5 bedrooms and two bathrooms, we never even saw the other guests and the house was immaculate and cleaned everyday. Even though I do not prefer this type of Airbnb it does have its pros. (I'll have a post about this soon so Stay Tuned!)
Free & Cheap Things to do
Dover Street Market - FREE
If you came to do real shopping, walk around Dover Street Market. If you’re a fashion fiend like me, Dover Street Market is like a museum for all the current fashion brands. It's 7 stories of awesomeness carrying brands from Supreme, Rick Owens, to Gucci. I was in awe the moment we walked in.
Vezzo Thin Crust Pizza
After you are finished gawking over clothes you can’t afford walk up a block to Vezzo Thin Crust Pizza. We couldn’t get over how horrible service was in New York until we met the awesome ladies at Vezzo. They made incredible pizza suggestions and were very helpful instead of brushing off our touristy questions like “How sweet is your tea?” They were the first place to offer us simple syrup so we could get our sweet tea fix. Sit outside and people watch and don’t be afraid to try their unique gourmet toppings on your pizza. I had the Zucchini and marinated diced tomatoes for lunch and it was amazing.
The Met & Central Park
The Metropolitan Museum is a site to see inside and out and the price to get in is based on whatever donation the Lord places upon your heart. It’s a humongous building on the edge of Central Park that you can’t miss! We spent two hours inside and I swear an hour alone we spent in the Egypt Art section. I like to read museum blurbs so I feel like I was in this area the ENTIRE time. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to go through the entire museum or even see Central Park before it got dark, but the museum is technically in Central Park so it would be a great stop again next time and a easy way to plan your day.
Statue of Liberty City Views - $18
Skip the Empire State building and the Top of the Rock for those prices ($32) you can enjoy the overhead view of New York on your plane. Instead pay $18 which is half the price, kill two birds with one stone. and cruise to the Statue of Liberty. Now the Statue of Liberty itself is not worth it. The pedestal the statue sits on is larger than the Statue. However, views of the city riding the Statue cruise and once you reach the island are amazing! You get an amazing view of Brooklyn, New York, New Jersey and Ellis Island. You can also take the Staten Island Ferry which is free and has great views of the statue and city. However, because it is free it is often packed.
Stroll thru my Favorite neighborhoods - FREE
Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown! They are all beside each other. Walk through Chinatown, where you can get authentic foods and cheap goods. Get all your souvenirs in Chinatown because you can haggle prices and they have all the same things the expensive stores have. There will be people whispering things in your ears like “Gucci Purse, Designer Purse, Designer Watch.” Avoid them, unless you wanna follow them to a secret room to view knockoffs just say no thanks and keep walking. Turn the corner on Lafayette and go to stores like the Kith pop up shop that will be there until the end of the year, or Uniqlo a Japanese company that specializes in amazing textiles and clothes. Any street in Soho has the cutest boutiques and stores ranging from Supreme, Bape, Chanel, to Forever 21; all fashion styles and price points can be found in Soho. Turn another corner and go eat authentic Italian in Little Italy.
Times Square- FREE
Me and Times Square have a love hate relationship. I hate the amount of people and the street performers can be annoying. I love how humongous the stores are. The 4 story Forever 21 often has clothes that other Forever’s don’t. AVOID AVOID AVOID eating in Times Square, its like eating at an amusement park. The prices will rape you because they know you are not going to eat anywhere else… silly tourist. Just get off at 42nd and Times Square and walk around shop enjoy the lights but do NOT eat!
Instead eat at restaurants that are not located in touristy areas like Blockheads. It’s a Tex Mex joint with amazing huge burritos and if you go during their lunch menu everything is 11.95 including your choice of drink or frozen margarita. I meant to take a picture of it to share with you guys but... you know how that works. The service was great and it wasn’t too far from the Empire State Building and Manhattan Mall.
I hope that this post is enough advice for you to plan your own trip to New York this cheap.The tricky part is finding someone willing to go with you to help split the cost of your room. Even though this post is specific to New York City a lot of these simple tips can be used to travel other places (like don't eat in touristy areas). Tell me about your visit to NYC and your cheap travel tricks!