If you follow my blog for a while, you know that one of the highlights here is related to explore the city on a budget. New York is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world – to live and to visit – but my mantra is: with research and information, you can save a lot! Of course, this will require more planning, but if the budget is tight, know that you can save money in many ways. And today I bring 10 tips that will help you in this mission!
1. Think outside the box when choosing where to stay! I think the biggest mistake people make is to think that the only possibility of accommodation in the city is limited to hotels in Times Square. And that’s not true. If you arethe kind of person that does not give up staying in a hotel, the tip is to search other areas of the city. Long Island City, located in Queens, is just a few subway stops from Manhattan and about 10 minutes from Midtown. The area is full of hotels with cheaper rates than Manhattan – and more convenience, such as larger rooms and even breakfast. Check out some options:
- Best Western Plaza
- County Inn & Suites
- Farfield by Marriot
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Quality Inn
- Red Lion
In addition, still talking about thinking outside the box, the tip is to use Airbnb and rent a room or an apartment. The advantage of Airbnb is usually the price and also the experience of living a more local vibe. When you rent a room you will be sharing space with the host and one of the cool things is the exchange of experiences and the different tips that your host can give you.
To conclude, another idea to save money is to consider a hostel. This is often the choice for those traveling alone, for the possibility of interacting with people from all over the world. Many people do not like the idea because they like privacy – but, it’s good to remember that there are hostels that offer private rooms!
2. Use public transportation! It seems obvious, but a lot of people have no idea how convenient is the public transportation in New York – and I think it is important to emphasize and reinforce this since there are those who only stay in Midtown simply because they are afraid to use the subway! Contrary to what happens in cities like Miami and Orlando, Florida, in New York, you do not need to rent a car. Aside from the city’s traffic being tricky at different times of the day, parking can be quite expensive. The truth is that in New York, you have to walk a lot and explore every corner of the city. Organize your script into large areas and use the subway to get to them. Do not forget that the city also has a very good bus system.
3. 3. Want to take a cruise but your budget is tight? Enjoy a ride on the NYC Ferry, a boat transportation system that connects a lot of areas of the city. For only $ 2.75, you can choose one of several available lines (and still make a free connection from one to another). My tip? The ER line, through East River, passes underneath three iconic bridges of the city. Guarantee lots of photos and sighs.
4. Esqueça o táxi – use aplicativos – Nova York conta com uma frota gigantesca de carros que operam no sistema dos aplicativos. Além do Uber, o mais popular de todos, há também o Lyft e o Juno. Mas se você quiser economizar mais ainda com esse tipo de serviço, a dica é usar o Via! É um plicativo de corridas compartilhadas, que faz trajetos inteligentes e rápidos. Vale lembrar que todos esses aplicativos aceitam pagamento somente via cartão de crédito. E para você que já quer chorar a cobrança do iof, lembre-se: ao usar táxi, é necessário deixar gorjeta de, no mínimo, 15%. Considerando que a alíquota do IOF é de pouco mais de 6%, ainda vale a pena usar os aplicativos!
Forget yellow cabs – use apps – New York has a lot of options besides yellow cabs. You can use Uber, the most popular of all, and also Lyft and Juno. But if you want to save even more with this type of service, the tip is to use Via! Via offers shared rides through smart and fast paths. It is worth remembering that all these apps accept payment only by credit card. Remember: when using a taxi, you must leave a tip of at least 15%.
- Use LAURAPERUCHI code for $10 on Via.
- Use hbmmh code to get $15 on Uber.
- Use LAURANYC to get $15 on Lyft.
- More information about ride apps.
5. Group tours are cheaper than private tours – exploring the city with certified tour guides is a great way to get to know the city and have a richer experience of local knowledge. If the idea is to have this experience without compromising your budget, look for group tours – try Free Tours by Foot (don’t forget to tip your guide!).
6. Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and enjoy views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. It is totally free. This Ferry connects Staten Island and Manhattan – up to 1415 passengers. Obviously, the distance is not the same as the tours on paid boats, but I’d say it’s a pretty satisfying view. Maybe you can not get that classic photo with the Statue close to you, but I guarantee it’s worth it. Also, we must not forget the incredible view to the Manhattan skyline. Even if you go visit the Statue of Liberty – take advantage of this free opportunity to see the city during other times of day – at sunset, for example.
7. Try your luck on the Broadway lottery. The online lottery for Broadway shows is a great way to get tickets for amazing musicals and plays for about $30 per ticket – which is very cheap for this kind of show. As the name suggests, this is a lottery, and, as you know, depends on luck, that is, there are no guarantees. This is a great choice for anyone who is open to any musical option – the trick is to try every possible lottery. Visit Broadway for Broke People website and see the options that show Digital Lottery and click for details and fill your entry. Remember: the important thing about lottery is consistency! Put reminders every day on your cell phone so you do not forget to try.
8. It is not just about fast food – Here on the blog, there are several posts with tips for affordable restaurants. Click here and explore the content. Save the ones that interest you on a list, to have options when you are hungry. Also, download apps like Yelp and do a search by filtering through price range ($$$). Want another tip? Many restaurants in the city have special prices for lunch on weekdays. Search Yelp for Lunch Special to find restaurants with special prices.
9. Tax-free for clothing and shoes – There is no tax for clothing or footwear priced at less than $110 in New York. It is worth noting that rates are calculated per item. That is if you buy $700 in clothing and shoes and no item costs more than $ 110, your purchase will have no tax. If there are any items whose price is more than $110, only that item will be subject to tax.
10. With planning and research, you can save a lot more! My e-book New York on a Budget is a comprehensive guide focused on tips to save on the city. There are more than 90 pages, divided into five main themes: hotels, transportation, tourism, food, and shopping, bringing together a lot of tips. It features a complete content with tips that go beyond the traditional New York script. Click here to know more and check the opinion of those who have already tested and approved! It’s not an expense – it’s an investment!
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.