I just came back from NYC and I wanted to pass on some of my money saving strategies. I saved money on everything from dining, roaming, hotels, attractions to my cell phone bill. It is easy to spend a ton in NYC with the exchange rate and higher Manhattan prices and after many trips I've been able to put more "sweet" into visiting the big apple!
1. Hotel and Flights: I always stay in boutique hotels because they are awesome. I like to find a place that is on a side street with a hip crowd, fancy cocktail bars, and really dark hallways so I can't get my key in the door. I search the web for the best places and then wait to see which ones have the highest ratings for the cheapest amount of money. Booking your flight AND hotel in Expedia or Travelocity can actually save you money. Or use all the points on your loyalty credit card and save some bucks!
2. Eating: I LOVE to eat when in NYC and there is no better place to enjoy everything from high to low cuisine. I'll pick the hottest restaurants that I want to hit and then I strategically plan my trip around that meal. Pick one or two expensive places and then eat out at the awesome markets, deli's or grab food at a grocery store and eat it in the park the other nights. You'll average down your overall dining bill but will still hit that hot spot. If you go for lunch instead of dinner you'll save even more but miss some of the beautiful people.
3. Exercise: I know it sounds crazy but when I'm in NYC I hit up all of the trendy yoga, spin and bootcamp studios. I love going to Chelsea and Tribeca to workout with super models and actors. Who would have known that they sweat too? If you have a Classpass.com app you can book all of these classes for just the $89 a month fee for the app. Or for free you can jog along the great tails and routes or take a stroll along the high line. Just keeping to the streets will burn off calories and save you money in NYC. Make sure you're dripping in designer fitness wear.
4. Getting Around: Don't take Uber or Taxis - MetroCard it! When you get a MetroCard it's only $2.75 a ride (plus $1 for the card) from LaGuardia on the subway or JFK and the NJ Rail will bring you into Manhattan from Newark for only $12. You can get a 7 day unlimited MetroCard for $30. I spent a total of $28 on travel just by walking or using my MetroCard. That is less than one taxi ride into the city from Newark.
5. Sights: If you time the museums and art galleries properly you can get in for free. The Moma is free Fridays after 4 p.m. and there are passes so that you pay one fee to be able to visit all of the museums. There are sites with lists of completely free or pay what you can museums that you can hit up for some culture and sexy people watching. Just search for them!
6. SmartPhone: Leave your phone's roaming off while you are away. The plans that the big Telecom's offer are horrible and using it like you do at home will leave you with a HUGE bill. There will be free WiFi in your hotel, in the museums, department stores and every coffee shop on every corner. Live off of the FREE WiFi and save a ton. Plus if you place your destinations in Google Maps on your phone it will still show you where you are without using any data.
You'll love the Big Apple even more when you can save time pinching pennies and spend it exploring one of the most exciting cities in the world. Do you have your own tips? Add them in the comments below.
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