If you’re a budget traveler, you know the importance of saving money. And when it comes to visiting New York City, there are plenty of ways to do just that. In this article, we’ll explore 10 budget travel tips that can help you save money while still having an incredible time in the Big Apple.
Use Credit Cards Instead of Exchanging Currency
When visiting New York City, you’ll find that most places accept credit cards. This means you don’t need to exchange your currency. However, if you do need to withdraw cash, skip the airport and currency exchange places in Times Square, as they offer terrible rates. Instead, use an ATM to withdraw money, as you’ll get the best rate. Just make sure your debit card company doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Shop for Souvenirs in Chinatown, Not Times Square
If you’re looking to buy souvenirs, skip the Times Square shops that charge upwards of $20 for an “I Love New York” t-shirt. Instead, head to Chinatown’s Canal Street, where you can find the same t-shirt for just $5. Plus, other souvenirs are also cheaper, allowing you to purchase ten items for the price of one in Times Square.
Visit During the Off-Season to Save Money
The best time to visit New York City to save money is during the off-season, between January and March. This is when the city has the fewest tourists, which means lower prices and fewer crowds. Just be sure to bring a coat, as it can be very cold during this time.
Take the Subway Instead of Taxis
Instead of spending money on taxis Use the subway system with an unlimited MetroCard. If you get a weekly one, it’s only $32, and you can use it an unlimited number of times. This is much cheaper than a $32 taxi ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
Book an Airbnb Instead of a Hotel in Times Square
Hotels in Times Square can cost an average of $350 per night in New York City. Instead, consider booking an Airbnb outside the city for around $70-80 per night or less. Be sure to read reviews and look for Superhosts for the best experience.
Eat at Food Carts and Trucks Instead of Restaurants
Eating at food carts and trucks can save you a lot of money compared to dining at restaurants. For example, an empanada can cost as little as $1.50. Check out our video on budget restaurants and places to eat, where all items are under $9.
Take Advantage of Happy Hour Prices for Drinks
Drinking in New York City can be very expensive, with a glass of wine costing around $12-16, depending on where you are. To save money, take advantage of happy hour prices, which can be as low as $6-8 per drink.