New York is the referred to as the city that never sleeps, it is also the city that will quickly empty your wallet if you’re not sure where you are going and how to budget in a city where everything seems costly.
Average one bedroom apartments in the city of New York are estimated at $2700 a month! The fact of the matter is: New York is a pricey city, but like anything there are alternatives and ways to save.
Transportation wise, New York City has numerous ways of getting around. For instance the metro system (buses, subways, etc.), the traditional taxi, or uber or some other type of innovative service. Driving is an option but let it be known that driving in New York is almost like driving in a different world, it’s much more complicated (and stressful) than you think. So if you’ve never experienced NYC rush hour or traffic and have never drove in New York then maybe you should reconsider driving… Taxis are quite costly and they’re really only helpful with short distance travel in the city, any longer travels (for example from Manhattan to JFK) can easily cost you $50 or even more depending on circumstances. Tipping drivers also exists so keep that in mind. If you’re new to the city, cab drivers can sniff out tourists and will sometimes go longer ways or cut around the block a few more times just to charge you more, so be aware.
The best transportation for short distance is either walking, or cabs/Ubers, and the metro system (preferably the subway) are great for long distance travel. Often times getting to and from destinations on the subway will cost you $5.50 ($2.75 per way).
New York has lots of different opportunities to get great food, it’s one of the best places to steer clear from chains and go to private owned, independent restaurants and cafes. New York can be expensive so check places like “Open Table” a website that offers over 20,000 New York City restaurants and has options of checking prices, locations and even placing orders for reservations.
If you want souvenirs from New York avoid the stores that are specifically for tourists, stores that have the word “souvenir” in the names of the stores and stores that offer “I love New York” merchandise are usually way overpriced and aren’t made of good material. If you’re looking for souvenirs go to street vendors or places that offer unique things. However saying that I would not use any type of traceable forms of payment (credit, debit) just to be safe.
Regarding to personal safety, New York is a pretty safe city (much better than what it was like in the 90’s) but there are still some neighbourhoods that would be best if you avoided completely due to crime. The meatpacking district (in Manhattan), downtown Brooklyn, and Times Square/Theatre District are some of the worst neighbourhoods for crime (Times square is also bad if you want to avoid crowds and tourist traps). There are many NYPD officers on patrol but be cautious when in any of these neighbourhoods especially at night or when alone.
New York is a one of a kind city, so it’s best to get all you can out of the city that never sleeps. Avoid the crowds, the crime, and instead get the good bites, good views and good experience.