Top 5 Ways to Save Money on Your New York Vacation

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Perhaps the most popular city in the world,New York offers not just the big city feel, but does so through various means. Whether you're looking to live in luxury or to have a great trip on the cheap, New York has options for all.

This despite New York City's reputation as one of the most expensive cities in the world.

It's no secret The Big Apple can require deep pockets if you're not careful. Hotels can cost $400 – $500 a night while dining options easily exceed the $35 per plate mark. That is if you aren't careful or budget-savvy.

Luckily for you that's exactly why we are here. A New York City vacation should be enjoyable, not stressful. You should be able to save money and have a good time, and with how diverse NYC is it isn't too hard to find budget-friendly options if you look hard enough.

Avoid Peak Season

As with any major city, New York has peak seasons and low seasons when it comes to travel. High season in New York occurs in two distinct blocks. First there is the summer season of June-August. This comes as no surprise considering the better weather that paves way for more outdoor experiences at New York's multiple attractions. Then there's the winter holiday season between late-November and early-January.

New York constantly typifies the holiday season. With its shopping, decorations and ambiance, the holiday glow of the city is hard to resist. But if you're looking to save some money on travel and lodging avoiding New York at this time of year is necessary.

Don't let that get you down, however. There are plenty of times to visit the Big Apple outside of its two peak seasons that offer just as much experience and beauty. Take, for instance, late September and early October. Visiting New York at this time of the year saves you some money on overnight costs yet still offers much of the same weather and beauty of late summer. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and changing season. Venturing outside of the big city to some of the suburbs offers some breathtaking, natural views!

Earn Those Points and Utilize Mass Transit

Credit cards are both a burden and a godsend. They are a burden when managed poorly but a godsend when managed well.

If you are on top of your credit card finances and have the room in your budget, book your New York vacation on your best points card. By taking advantage of credit card rewards you will boost your ROI, experience New York in better luxury, and have points to look forward to after your trip. Many cards earn double points on travel and lodging. Look for the best hotel and travel deals and those that partner with your credit card company.

When looking for a hotel or travel accommodation, look outside the Manhattan area. New York has a well-developed mass transportation system. You'll be able to easily navigate the city from just about anywhere. Staying outside of Manhattan can save you a huge chunk of change.

Redeem those travel points for future travel, statement credits, or anything else your credit card company allows. Just remember, be smart about spending and make sure you have the room on the card. Not evaluating where you stand with your utilization ratio and balance can get you into some trouble.

The New York Pass

The list of attractions in New York City is long. The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the 9/11 Memorial & Museum- the list goes on and on.

Visiting these attractions and paying individual admission gets costly. Each attraction averages around $25, and some get up to the $40-$50 range.

That's where the New York Pass comes in.

Developed as a way to save big on a trip to the City That Never Sleeps, the New York Pass comes in handy should you want to visit multiple attractions. Paying a one-time fee up front for the pass grants you access to New York's top tourist destinations.

Passes range from a 1-day pass to a 10-day pass. The price varies depending on how many days you plan to use it. The longer the pass, the more attractions you see and the better return on your investment! Passes start at $127 for an adult, $94 for a child, and can go up to $425 for an adult and $215 for a child. Make sure to check the prices before you travel. Sometimes you can find a sale on the pass itself.

Find the REAL Local Cuisine

New York has some of the top restaurants in the world. Eleven Madison Park is a shining example and was recently featured as part of "7 Days Out," a new Netflix show. Rated as the top restaurant in the world, it is just one of the many fine dining experiences tourists are drawn to while in New York.

For those on a budget or looking to save money this can mean trouble. You want to experience New York but these fine dining options can quickly set you back.

Fortunately the food scene in New York is much more than luxury restaurants. In fact some of the best food in NYC is found in small mom-and-pop shops or at food vendors on the street! Slices of quality pizza can be found for $1-$4 in many places around the town and are hard to pass up considering New York's reputation for some of the best pizza in the world.

Other great, budget-friendly dining options can be found through Yelp. You'll be able to filter by cuisine and budget options so you are sure to find a cheap, money-saving dining experience that is sure to leave you satisfied.

Experience the Local Culture

Once you tire from visiting all the attractions on your New York Pass, you may be wondering where to go in the city. There's no better option than local neighborhoods!

New York is a melting pot. Its reputation as the gateway to America is well-known. That's why you'll find distinct neighborhoods and areas dedicated to particular world cultures. Go and experience these! From Little Italy to Chinatown and Little India you'll be able to take in the sights and sounds of other cultures while saving yourself money.