Cheap Ways to Travel New York City
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
We’ve all heard the fairytales of fortune and exploration in the Big Apple.
The shoddy Brooklyn apartment; the dour, introverted nature of the MTA patrons; the upper east sides and their nanny diaries...
We look to New York as the capital of the world atop its empire state, and we hope that we can get just a moment of the wonder those lucky 8 million folks are privy to each day.
And we’re also aware of the immense expense it takes to live, for even just a day, in the city that never sleeps.
After spending three days as a broke, post-grad student, I found that it’s not as difficult as it seems to get the most out of New York for less.
If you’re traveling to New York on a budget, it’s best to get your fill of the City and all its wonders with its free daytime parks and excursions. Visit Central Park, or my personal favorite, the recently developed Domino Park, nestled along the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s a quick 30-minute train ride from bustling Manhattan — load up at least $15 on your metro card for the day — and, aside for the most delicious $5 ice-cream cone, it is completely free. This six-acre green hub, inspired by the 19th century Domino Sugar Refinery (see photo), is equipped with steam-gardens, picnic space and urban structures for the little ones to play out their heart's content.
If you’re up for a bit of cultural insight, stroll along the streets of New York City and visit the famous Macy’s Herald Square superstore, equipped with all the Guccis, Lauders, Lancomes, and Kardashian-Jenners you could want.
If you're looking for more ways to explore New York City, troll the town's vibrant academic sector for the day and get involved in the wealth of activities offered at NYU, Cornell University, Juilliard and Columbia - some of the top ivy league colleges in the United States.
As the daytime is swept under the bridges of the Hudson River and the night emerges, you’ll be amazed to find a digital wonderland in the heart of the city, made from the stuff of the Hollywood films themselves.
You’ll be amazed at the twinkling lights, the marijuana stands on the curb, the impatient taxis and the Uber drivers eager to cancel your trip in favor of that $5 payout.
Feeling extra adventurous? Explore the labyrinth that is the New York City Subway system. Here, you’ll find aisles filled with talented individuals just hoping for someone to stop and revel in their passion with them.
If you’re traveling on a budget, pack a lunch, otherwise, find a way to squeeze $30 into your excel spreadsheet and head over to the millennial magic that is SoHo, south of Houston Street — one of the top places to see in New York. Explore galleries, take on one of its many eateries or simply grab a drink at a local restaurant (my favorite is Pera Soho’s Cucumber Cooler with Gin, cucumber juice, cilantro and lemon — see photo).
If the only reward you’re given from New York City is the concrete jungle itself, be glad that you’re able to be amongst the quirky and stylishly fashioned, and enjoy the décor brought to you by the people themselves.
There is a plethora of things to do in New York City, you just have to be open enough — and creative enough — to find them.