Last summer I was off to the States for a short three-week trip, during which I covered a few major cities at either side of the coast. And New York City was my favorite. My stay at New York for five days was managed under $350 comfortably, covering most of the city and at leisure. New York isn’t that expensive as it seems, if you research well and cut on a few attractions that burn a massive hole in your wallet.

Here’s a four point guide that will help you to plan your trip better. If you are travelling alone or a bachelor this might be very useful.

  1. Watch that belly

    As an Indian, I carried lots of packed food with me, which did help me a lot. It filled in for my midnight munchies and evening snacking. Apart from this shopping at the local groceries help to cut down on the food budget. If you are living in a hostel with kitchen facility, you can also cook your own meal. Usually I used to shop for fruits at the local market to go with a glass of milk at night.

    A variety of restaurants also provide economic meals. For instance if I needed to munch on something light, my preferred place would be McDonald’s which has a $1.5 burger on their menu.

    Food carts all over the city also provide with tasty meals ranging from over $4-$8, these includes meals like chicken over rice, Hot dogs or Subs.  One can save a lot by avoiding restaurants, as they charge a lot. Typically in an Indian restaurant, a meal for two comes out to be around $30. Compare this against my total expense on food at NYC, which was just $50 for five days.

  2. Use Local Public Transport 

    One thing I was very clear from the beginning was not to take any cabs on hire or a car on rent. It takes up a lot of from your wallet, plus it comes with multiple hassles if you are particularly renting a car.

    I stuck to the 7 – Day Unlimited Pass by MTA. This MetroCard allows one to travel unlimited times by a Metro or Bus for a week at only $31. This is a super saver. Just compare it with the $7 you pay for a single Uber ride.

    New York has a very good connectivity through its Metro, hence it seems as a viable option. Plus you can always walk down a couple of blocks until your destination.

  3. Buy the City Pass

    This comes a life saver. You save about 42% on tourist attractions which include Empire State Building Experience,  American Museum of Natural History, MoMa, Top of The Rock, Guggenheim Museum, Statue of Liberty and much more. This pass comes for about $114.

    This not only saves on pocket but comes with added advantage. You can skip ticket lines and head straight for the entrance. It’s valid for nine consecutive days after your first attraction, hence you can complete the city pass at leisure. Purchasing is very easy,you can do it online or at any of the attractions included in it.

    Guggenheim Museum, one of the attraction offered in the city pass. A paradise for art lovers.


  4. Prefer Hostels over Hotels

    I stayed at the Broadway Hotel n Hostel, 230 West 101 Street, Broadway and I must admit it was very impressive. For the price I payed, the services were exceptional and the hostel was clean. They charged me about $25 per night which is far less than any hotel. Usually hostels may charge ranging from $20-$35 depending on the location and services it may provide.

    If you are a tad more bit adventurous, you can try Couch Surfing, it’s a great way to interact with the local community too.

    My hostel was located at Downtown Manhattan and was really convenient as well as accessible.

    There are a myriad of other ways to save on cash at NYC but these points pretty much sum it up. NYC is a beautiful city to explore and the people so diverse. Take out some time and explore this city on foot. It surely will be a memorable experience.

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Published by Dhairya Sathvara