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7 Budget-Friendly Tips To Enjoy A Short Stay In NYC

Anyone who’s been to the city of New York knows exactly how expensive it can be. But even if you’re a first-time New York traveler, you can still take a bite out of the Big Apple on a budget. 

Being Thrifty In NYC

new york on a budget

Accommodations and dining are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are ways on how you can maximize your stay without burning a hole in your pocket:

1. Visit During Off-Season

New York City is a busy location, but it can be very chaotic during the holidays and summers, especially during Christmas because various establishments and structural wonders are filled with people. There are also various activities anyone can sign up for the experience. But if you can get to NYC during off-peak times, that’s when you can truly save up. 

The off-season is when you can experience regular rates in accommodations. Even if it’s not the holiday season, NYC has many budget-friendly lodging and dining options staple to the city all year round. Visit NYC around January to early April and around September to November. 

2. Choose Hostels Instead Of A Hotel

NYC is home to some of the best hotels housing the rich and the famous. But for regular folks on a budget, USD$290 per night is a bad choice. Hostels are making a comeback in New York and these accommodations are only costing about USD$32 to USD$49 per night. There are also ‘poshtels,’ which are just walking distance from Central Park. 

Hostels are often compared to dormitories and are mostly clean. And with that much savings, it can mean more tours and more meals.

3. Look For Affordable Luggage Storage Locations

Have you ever arrived early at your destination only to be turned away because your accommodation schedule is still an hour away? It wouldn’t be much of a problem unless you have luggage to worry about. Some hotels will offer luggage storage informally, and some will be at your expense. The problem is they can’t guarantee the safety of your luggage and they’ll likely charge you an expensive rate for the privilege. 

Fortunately, there are local establishments under one app you can download and make arrangements with to store heavy luggage. You can make reservations at any of these locations in New York City, drop them off, and then pick them up later when you’re ready to check in. The best part? You’ll pay only as much as USD$3.00 for the first hour and only an additional USD$2.00 per hour for large luggage. These locations are dedicated to watching your luggage for you!

4. Experience Affordable Transportation

There are different ways to get around NYC. You can try to get a taxi or call for an Uber or Lyft. But if there’s another ride the city is known for, it’s the iconic subway. NYC’s subway is considered the cheapest way to get around the city. 

Depending on your destination, taxis and Ubers may cost up to USD$60. Taxis are also sometimes difficult to hail. Compared to the subway, a single ride only costs under USD$3.00. If you’re staying in NYC for a week, get yourself a 7-day pass. 

Aside from the subway, you can also try NYC’s Staten Island Ferry to see the amazing view of the harbor if you have time to enjoy traveling over the water. You’ll be able to enjoy a trip and a view of Ellis Island, Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty.

As a handy tip, if you’re traveling alone, you must remember to double-check your documents. Always be alert so you’ll never forget them, especially if you’re switching transportations to get around the city. 

5. Save On Entertainment

New York City is known for its events and Broadway shows. If you’re looking to spend a night out in the city, you can look for low-cost events that are on schedule at the time of your trip. There can be concerts, museum exhibits, music clubs, poetry readings, and more. These events are also a great way for you to experience the city’s culture. 

You can also check offline and online ticketing websites for discounted shows that are active on your visit to NYC. There’s always bound to be a Broadway show that could pique your interest. 

6. Enjoy The City View

If you’re excited about New York’s famous locations, you should be. Not only are they going to make your trip unforgettable but they’re pretty easy on the pocket as well. The Empire State Building and the One World Trade Center have accessible observation decks that’ll allow you to have sightseeing for USD$32. The Rockefeller Center is priced a bit lower at USD$30. 

There are also rooftop bars where you can relax, sip on a drink, enjoy some music, and take in the city skyline. It’s one of the perfect ways to enjoy the city’s nightlife and even more so when you just want to spend some time with a loved one or a friend. 

7. Delicious Dining

Who says you can only enjoy expensive food in New York City? Various inexpensive dining options are catering to different tastebuds. When you’re in a popular city that’s always visited by people from different countries, expect that there’ll also be variants of international cuisine. 

Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, Polish, Mediterranean, and more—the Big Apple has them! And you can even enjoy some of the contents of the menu at USD$10.00 and less. It’s not surprising because NYC is still a place full of working people. 

Falafels, pandan chicken, seafood tacos, cold-skin noodles, burgers, cheesecake, donuts, and pizza—there’s something for every taste bud! New York City is one of those locations where you only need to walk a little distance and you’ll find a food truck at one corner and an ice cream joint at the other. With dining places at close proximities to each other, you won’t be left wanting.


New York City may seem daunting at first, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what the city has to offer. Whether you’re on a business trip, on a stroll, or a little bit of both, you can still have an amazing trip to one of the globe’s best memorable cities.

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