New York City is one of those places everyone should visit at least once. A day in the city won’t do, either. You need to explore everything the five boroughs have to offer, hit all the famous sights, dine in style, and return to a luxury room for some relaxation if not shuteye—recall that it is the city that never sleeps.
But what exactly does a trip like that cost? Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. It depends on many factors: your length (and type) of stay, the size of your travel party, your destination of origin, and the number (and nature) of activities, to name a few.
Let’s simplify it. Say, you’re taking a domestic flight to NYC and staying for seven days and seven nights by yourself. Your initial budget, with no additional expenses for theater or sports tickets, could look something like this:
That adds up to $2,013 and covers basic transportation, lodging, and food.
Of course, that number significantly increases the more events you tack on, and if your family or friends join you.
Instead of focusing on how much you should budget (and it’s best to plan to spend more than expected) for your trip, narrow down a tight itinerary and stick to it as best as you can.
Important Budget Considerations
Before you pull out your calculator, it’s important to nail down the basics of your trip by answering these questions:
- How many people are you traveling with? Any children?
- When would you like to go?
- Are you looking for a luxury stay or a budget hotel room?
- How long are you staying?
- Are you interested in eating at high-end restaurants or sampling street food?
- What activities would you like to do?
- How do you plan to get around?
Once you have confirmed answers, start to map out your budget, and don’t be afraid to get into the nitty-gritty.
For example, do you want to go to a specific Broadway show, or just experience a Broadway show? Regular ticket prices range from $20 to $175, so if you want to get in the door, you can at a decent rate. If you want to see ‘Hamilton’ or ‘Rent’ from a luxury seat, however, be prepared to spend a pretty penny.
Premium prices apply to sporting events as well. Regardless of the quality of the teams, ticket prices to see the New York Knicks tend to exceed those to watch the Brooklyn Nets. The same is true of the New York Yankees and Mets. If you just want to catch a ballgame, pick the latter. But if you consider a trip to Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium a bucket list item, you’ll need to account for a higher expense in your budget.
Then there’s dining. It’s one thing to subsist on fare from hot dog vendors and food trucks. It’s quite another to hit a different upscale steakhouse with a sweeping view every night. All to say, it doesn’t hurt to explore menus (especially for those picky eaters), and identify your nights out well ahead of time.
Ways to Extend Your Budget
Now, if you look at your potential itinerary and see nothing but dollar signs flying across the screen, don’t panic! There are ways to get the most bang for your buck without sacrificing entertainment.
For starters, invest in a MetroCard. For just $33, you can ride subways and buses the whole week. (To give you perspective, that cost is the equivalent of two shorter cab rides.) That will allow you to explore the city during the day and reserve the taxi or ride-shares for select evenings out--especially if the whole family is in tow.
Another crucial purchase is a 7-day New York Pass, particularly appealing to sightseers. Consider that a ticket to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building is $75 for one adult. A ferry ticket to explore Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty is $23.50. If you and your significant other want to see multiple attractions, the bill adds up.
Well, at $299 for adults and $199 for children, the New York Pass covers entries for those landmarks, as well as a number of museums, including the Guggenheim, Museum of Natural History, MoMA, and the Met.
You’ll also save money just by leaving Manhattan. Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are all filled with terrific restaurants that significantly beat the prices of those found in Times Square.
Finally, the best way to maximize your budget is to do things that are free. It costs nothing to stroll through Central Park, marvel at Grand Central Station, people-watch in Midtown Manhattan, or settle in at historic Greenwich Village for a while.
You may find that your favorite New York activity was one you didn’t pay for.
Get the Most Value by Working With a Travel Advisor
Let’s return to the initial question: How much does a trip to New York cost? Although we’ve covered ways to set and extend your budget, there’s one thing that we haven’t really touched on: Cost doesn’t equal value.
Really, you should build a trip that will have everyone in your travel party talking for years at the best available price to you. That’s difficult to do on your own.
So why go at it alone? InteleTravel Advisors are here to deliver a trip of a lifetime. They’re walking, talking experts in all things New York. They can tell you what spots you need to hit. Perhaps more importantly, they’ll also share the ones to avoid. A reservation at that trendy restaurant? You got it. A ticket to Broadway? Done.
They’ll work to understand your preferences, and have exclusive access to discounted rates and upgrades. You just might find yourself in a luxury room at a general price.
For a trip to the city that never sleeps, why lose sleep planning it all? Stress less, travel more, and rest easy by contacting an InteleTravel Advisor today.