A guide to the city on a budget
Anyone who knows me, knows I have a huge love affair with New York. I recently took a trip out there with Korey (him working, me playing) and arriving back there felt as normal as returning to Galway. I’ve actually been in such a funk since leaving, I can only bring myself to write it up now.
This place can either be done on an absolute budget – or you can baller it out. I managed to swing both in (thanks to himself). The only way I’ve ever really travelled before has been on a small pocket. This would include couch surfing, dodgy, dirty hostels (always a fun time though), long bus rides, street food and basically winging it. I LOVE this though because a) I don’t make a million dollars and b) the people are always awesome that you meet along the way. So for this post, I’m going to focus on ‘economy traveling’ and hopefully it’ll give some tips on how to navigate around!
Sleeping on a Budget
I arrived a day before Korey did so I looked in to some of the local hostels. I found a gem of a place out in Queens called the Local NYC. This place had great reviews on HostelWorld and it did not disappoint. The staff were incredible, there was a bar with a free drink included, it was social and clean. On top of that, it’s only 7 minutes from Manhattan on the subway and 5 minutes from the stop. The view as well that you get of the New York skyline was breath taking! I got a reservation for a 6 bed dorm for $30 but got upgraded to a 4 bed.
Eating on a Budget
- There are delis everywhere you look. But one that I fell in love with was TableTime located really close to the New York Public Library. The service was quick, food was fresh and there’s seating included.
- If you want the treat of going to the boathouse but can’t commit to the full dining experience, there’s an express café attached. You can get a bite to eat here and some coffee with a view of the lake (separated by the main dining area) but a beautiful sight all the same.
- The Creek and the Cave – A Mexican restaurant over near Sunnyside Queens. I had the best vegan enchilada there! Totally affordable with a great selection
- Hit those street carts – nom nom nom!
- If you’re really looking at saving $$$, switch your sandwich to a bagel, for some reason they’re always a couple of bucks cheaper (they’re so much nicer anyways :)!
There is a bunch of free/ affordable things to do in the city. There are the obvious ones that you can find on Trip Advisor (or Google) but here would be some that I’ve found out over the years:
- Museums: The Metropolitan Museum, MOMA and the American Museum of Natural History have listed ticket prices on their websites – but these are suggested prices, give what you can 🙂
- The theatre: You can get tickets to shows at a discounted price on the day if you get there first thing in the morning (I got some before for $30 and started queuing at 8am!)
- Travel: Buy your subway ticket in bulk, it’ll save you $$$ and reuse your card! If you’re not a fan of the subway, there’s a new car service called Juno (like Uber but cheaper and the drivers make more!)
- Walk: I can’t say this enough to people. The public transport system in NYC is amazing but getting outside in the hustle is a whole different experience. You’re able to take everything in and for the most part, everything is walking distance.
- Groupon – keep an eye out on Groupon, Living Social etc for any great deals in the area – there’s a bunch!
- Top of the rock: Instead of spending $30 + on a ticket, head to Bar 65 for a drink and get nearly the same view!
I’ll follow up with another post in a couple of days with some awesome spots we hit up and some funny experiences I had when I was there! In the meantime, I’ve uploaded some pics in the gallery – I took a million photos on this trip lol!