Tuesday, 4 May 2010

New York: On a Shoestring

For those with limited time and a student bank balance, here is an idea of how to keep your purse intact without burning a hole in it:

The Essentials

So getting to New York consists of a six-hour flight to JFK Airport, costing from £250 to £350 depending on how early you book, therefore get in as soon as possible. October to December seems to be the peak time, but also the most festive and cold period; expect snow and lots of it.

Just before you leave, it’s always a good opportunity to check out New York’s subway routes. This is going to be your horse and carriage for the next few days. In 2008, the fare for a 7 day pass MetroCard was $21, but has been increased to $27 this year. It is value for money, as the MetroCard gives you unlimited subway and local bus rides until midnight. Guard it with your life.

Now comes for the clincher, and not usually for the faint-hearted. But if you are strapped for cash, then your best bet for a few nights accommodation is to try out www.couchsurfing.com. You may just get just a sofa or if you are lucky, a bed for the duration of your stay; however, it is a great way to meet locals, get firsthand advice and save a bit of money for the finer things in life.

Otherwise, if you are looking for a more private affair, hostels and guesthouses are the cheaper option. Typically they range from £13 for a dorm room or £24 for a private room, but will set you back a bit. Check out www.hostels.com for some great deals online. It’s best to have a look beforehand, to get the cheapest deals, and you are able to use a Maestro card in some places.

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