How to Visit New York City as a Backpacker

New York City Backpacker

The Big Apple has a reputation as being one of the world’s more expensive cities. This reputation is not undeserved — you can easily spend hundreds of dollars a day if you are not careful. Hotels are often overpriced and dining spots can put a dent in your wallet before you even arrive at the main course.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to avoid the exorbitant prices of New York. In this post, we will describe a few of them.

Take a different approach to your accommodation

Who says you have to stay in a hotel? It may be the most convenient accommodation option, but it’s also the most expensive, especially in New York. Instead, go for a hostel or if you are really interested in saving money, try couchsuring, which is completely free. You can check out for more on that. Another good idea to consider would be to actually rent a short-term apartment. You can find good New York apartments by using a site like Only Apartments. In the end, this can be one of the most cost-effective options because you can also save money on food costs if you can prepare for yourself in your own kitchen.

Make careful dining choices

Speaking of food, this is another area where you can save a lot of money. There are plenty of tourist-oriented restaurants in the city that want nothing more than to give you an excessive bill for poor quality food. Steer clear of these places. Instead, check out food blogs and sites like menupages and Yelp to get a good idea of what restaurants are good and relatively affordable. Also, consider venturing out to lesser known boroughs to try some of the city’s excellent ethnic food options, which are often less expensive.


It’s true, New York’s yellow cabs are just about everywhere and it can be awfully tempting to flag one down whenever you need to go somewhere. However, your transportation budget will quickly go through the roof if you take this approach. Thankfully, New York City has one of the most efficient transport systems on earth in its bus system and subway. A ride is highly affordable and if you take the subway, you will avoid much of the traffic that can keep you waiting in the cab.

New York can easily be the most expensive city you ever visit, but it can also be highly affordable if you make smart choices. Hopefully this post turned you onto some ideas and strategies that you can put into play on your next visit. Please leave your own advice for readers in the comments below.