The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. The Capital of the World. Center of the Universe. With all these appellations given to New York City, it must be on the bucket list of many people, both Americans and non-Americans. Unfortunately, the price of a New York City vacation and tour can be as high as the new One World Trade Center. That is, if you do not know where to look.
The first place to look into is how to get to New York. For those living in neighboring states, a bus ride is the cheapest way to go. You can find discount buses that are clean and comfortable on the Net, with some even featuring Wi-Fi. Trains are also an option, although long distance train travel can prove to be more expensive than flying. Riding a bus or train coming to the big city gives you the advantage of not having to pay for parking garages that are prohibitively expensive, not to mention having to deal with the near-impossible task of parking in New York City streets.
Once in New York, you’ll need a place to crash. There is a site called CouchSurfing.org whose members offer their couches, floors, or spare bedrooms free for their traveling members. Membership is global but in New York, there are about 4,000 of them. Check out their site before leaving. Apart from a free place to sleep, they can probably offer you great advice on how to see their city.
If you would rather pay for the privilege of sleeping in someone else’s home, visit AirBnB.com. They offer the same kind of sleeping arrangements as the CouchSurfing members, except that you get to pay a minimal fee.
Eating in New York can be pretty stiff if you like to eat in posh restaurants. Many New Yorkers, however, will tell you that the best way to experience local culture and food is to look for cheap eats, because that is what most of them eat. Just look around the corner and if you see people queuing at a food stand, join them. A visit to Chinatown is probably the ultimate in saving on food, yet Chinese dishes are known to be delicious and scrumptious.
A place to sleep in and to eat often make up to bulk of a tourist’s expenses. With the above options, you can probably extend your stay in New York City for a few more sleepless nights.