Despite common misconceptions, it is possible to enjoy many of the great things New York City has to offer even on a more modest vacation budget. It is important to remember, when planning a vacation, that budget is often the most important factor in deciding what activities should or should not be included in your family’s plans.
The good thing is that you can still present your family with many fun and wonderful options while following a fairly strict budget. First of all, paying for lodging in advance is a concern you won’t have during your stay. Finding a hotel room that has microwaves and refrigerators can go a long way toward limiting your expenses. You can also save money by filling up water bottles at the hotel instead of buying new water bottles, bringing snacks from home for the kids, and eating at nice restaurants that offer lunch menus and switching to cheaper or fast food restaurants in the evening.
Another thing to remember is that you don’t have to buy every picture taken of your children while in New York. Think carefully about what photo will mean the most to your child years from now, and let that be the photo you buy. Use your camera to capture other memories of your time in New York for a fraction of the cost. Be sure to bring plenty of spare film (if you still use a camera that requires film) and batteries from home, as they are likely to be more expensive to replace in New York.
Another good idea to save money during your stay in New York would be to buy the New York Pass. It may seem quite expensive, but you can buy a 3 or 7 day pass that actually gives free entry to many attractions in the area. The investment will quickly pay for itself if you plan to visit the attractions to which this pass gives you free access. You will find a great choice of museums and zoos, as well as discounts at some of the gift stores.
New York is a great city for shopping. It’s not such a great city for shopping on a budget. If shopping is too much of a temptation for you, you should avoid it. While there are some wonderful and interesting stores to see and experience, if you can’t get in and out without spending money, it would be best for your vacation budget to skip them altogether. If you can resist temptation, there are many malls and stores that not only offer delicious merchandise, but are attractions in themselves.
If you have children, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities offered for free in and around the city. Search the Internet during the planning stages and I am sure you will find many activities that can be enjoyed by everyone as a family and fall into the category of fabulous freebies. Many of the city’s museums also offer free admission on certain days of the week or at certain times. Other museums offer “pay-what-you-want” admission, so that no one misses out on the wonderful experience that awaits inside.
New York City is also home to many national parks, some of which have great historical significance. Admission to these national parks, including the Statue of Liberty, is completely free and the family can enjoy their time there while gaining a deep sense of history.
Regardless of your budget, you can afford to have a great time in New York if you take the time to carefully plan which events you will and will not attend based on your budget. Remember to plan some really nice events and reward yourself for being so budget conscious during your trip. After all, this is a vacation, even if spending is limited.