No city in the world evokes as much awe and excitement as New York. Most people who have secured a USA Esta dream of visiting this city. While the Big Apple seems like a beautiful adventure, it’s also challenging to explore, and a visit can be expensive. Luckily, some travel hacks will help you save money and maximize your time there.
Do Your Research and Prepare Ahead
The best way to ensure that your New York trip runs smoothly is to research and prepare. Check relevant websites that can provide information about places you can visit for free or gives discounts. You should also plot out your itinerary. There’s too much to see, and a robust schedule will help you make the most of your USA visa and your time in the city.
Tip # 1: Don’t stay in the city center. Staying at a hotel on Times Square will cost an arm and a leg while booking a place in the outskirts requires transportation. Your best option is to find a hotel outside of Midtown but in a neighborhood that’s near prime city spots. If you’re on a tight budget, look for hostels and rental units. Couch Surfing and AirBnB are also options to consider.
Take Shortcuts to Save Time and Money
Even though it has a reputation for being one of the priciest cities in the world, New York is still a tourist-friendly spot. You’ll enjoy the city more by doing the following:
Tip # 2: Avoid the cab. Start your trip on a positive note by skipping the taxi from the airport. Take the AirTrain instead, and you’ll save about $50. It’s a cheaper and faster alternative. The downside is the stairs you have to climb.
Tip # 3: Get a pass. You’ll get a better feel for the city by taking the subway. It also opens up a significant part of New York and the surrounding suburbs to you. Get a free map near the main stations and start exploring. If your Esta allows you to stay longer than a week, an unlimited metro card is a godsend.
Tip # 4: Put on your walking shoes. New York is a walkable city. Manhattan’s beauty can be appreciated better if seen on foot. There are even free walking tours conducted by locals. So put on your most comfortable pair of walking shoes and go!
Learn How to Cut Corners
This city is awash with fancy and famous restaurants, and every cuisine seems to be represented here. Here are two secrets every NYC native knows.
Tip # 5: Take Advantage Food Trucks and Stalls. New York is one of the best places in the world to enjoy street food. There is a multitude of food trucks and stalls that offer fresh, delicious, and affordable food. If you see a line for a food truck, fall in and see what the fuss is. You won’t regret it.
Tip # 6: Indulge in Fine Dining Without Going Broke. If you must experience fine dining in NY, go to lunch instead of dinner. There’s a large discrepancy between their prices, and lunch is relatively cheaper than dinner, even at the same dining establishment.
See Famous Attractions for Free
The Big Apple is a melting pot of cultures, and the famous attractions that dot the island are as diverse as the people living there. More importantly, some of these renowned destinations can be explored for free, like Central Park, the Bronx Arts Museum, Coney Island Boardwalk, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park and Promenade.
Tip # 7: See the Lady for Free. You can pay homage to the Statue of Liberty for free. Merely take the Staten Island Ferry, and you can view her at your leisure. Plus, you can visit any time, as the ferry runs 24/7.
You can’t come to New York without doing a spot of shopping or two. Contrary to what a lot of people think, you can leave the city with a bag full of goodies without becoming a pauper. You need to shop smart.
Tip # 8: Don’t be Afraid to Grab Discounts. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe, shops like Nordstrom Rack and Century 21 are the places to go. Macy’s is always a treat, and if you have your international ID with you, they’ll give you a 10% off coupon. You can even secure some discounted Broadway tickets from the TKTS booths in Times Square or downtown Brooklyn.
Traveling to New York City doesn’t have to be expensive. The city is very accommodating to travelers and offers numerous passes for tourists. Take advantage of the local government programs, follow these tips, and you won’t regret getting that ESTA Visa.