How to Enjoy New York City on a Budget!

Oh, the things I googled before heading to NYC earlier this month! :) Including the headline of this blog post, specifically. I love New York City. The energy, the lights, the sounds. It is all so energizing. No one judges you for taking pictures (blog life LOL!) or eating street meat at 2am! It is truly a special city!

Let me kick this off with the reason we were heading to the Big Apple! On Friday night, Team Fox (grassroots fundraising arm of The Michael J Fox Foundation) hosts their annual MVP Awards Dinner. This is an evening event - absolutely gorgeous btw - where the top fundraisers from the previous year are celebrated! Its really an inspiring evening. If you would like to contribute to my 2019 fundraising efforts, please click here to make a tax-deductible donations.

I am going to write a post recapping my trip to NYC but wanted to share some of my top tips to enjoy the city on a budget!

1) Transportation - Normally when I go to NYC, I am just paying for myself to fly, because I meet my family there and they are flying from St. Louis. This year was a little different. JW was going with me and two flights was going to cost us almost $900. YOWZA! So, thankful for good friends - Missy, if you are reading this :), we carpooled to Pennsylvania (from West Virginia) and then rode the train into Penn Station. If taking Amtrak is an option, I would highly recommend taking it. The train tickets were BOGO free so we got round trip train tickets for 2 at a price of $120 or so. Talk about a huge savings!

In addition, Penn Station is right in the middle of the madness so you can walk straight to your hotel. This saves you roughly $100 in cab/Uber fees getting to and from the airport.

And in case you need another reason, you don't need to get to the train station more than 15-20 minutes before your train departs versus leaving for the airport three hours before departure.

2) Centrally Located Hotel - Depending on what you want to do while in New York City, chose a hotel that is centrally located. We stayed in Midtown which was perfect for our plans. We were able to walk to both Times Square and Greenwich Village and the Flatiron District. The only Uber we took was to the Brooklyn Bridge - and then we walked back! Pro tip - wear comfortable shoes! :) Generally, what I have found is that cheaper hotels are a little out of the way and require cab/Uber. Pay a little more for the hotel and you will save on not having to Uber everywhere!

This trip we stayed here. But, I've also stayed here and here.

3) Plan Your Meals - There are so many places to eat in NYC that its actually overwhelming trying to find a place to eat. I had so many recommendations that I couldn't actually choose. Something that really helped us save money was planning out our meals. By this I mean, we planned a big brunch at Sarabeths and then didn't have to eat again until dinner. Two meals in NYC is a lot cheaper than three meals - trust me on that one! Depending on your plans during the day, you could have a big lunch and then grab some street meat on your way back to the hotel! Just be smart about your eating plans and you will stay on budget!

Overall, my biggest tip is go to NYC on an unlimited budget! HAHA! We were cognizant of our budget and had a great time! Be on the lookout for an upcoming post on my entire trip!