The falling Aussie dollar has hit travellers to New York City hard.
It’s even trickier to balance the holiday books if you want to enjoy a few of the finer things in life during your visit. Well, don’t despair. Here are some great ways to save on luxury travel to New York.
Generally, room rates at luxury hotels in Manhattan are lower outside Midtown and cheapest in Downtown — as the financial district largely closes down at night. However, you’re still only a subway ride away from the action in Times Square, the trendy Meatpacking District, Greenwich Village and Soho. It’s definitely worth considering, especially when luxury hotels around Wall Street and Lower Manhattan can be half the price of the same hotel brand uptown!
If you want to be a little closer to the action you’ll find lots of great boutique hotel options around NoHo, the East Village, Greenwich Village, even Hell’s kitchen (note: there’s no subway here). Check out New York Boutique Hotels for ideas.
Choose your travel dates carefully. Christmas and fall (autumn) are the busiest periods in New York — and therefore the most expensive seasons to visit when booking hotels. January through to March is generally considered the best value.
When you’re booking a hotel, check for Club Floor rates. Inclusions like breakfast, Internet access, sundown snacks and cocktails can save you big dollars over a week-long stay.
Many of New York’s top restaurants offer lunchtime specials, which are a great way to save on your holiday food bill. For example, Jean-Georges at 1 Central Park West (connected to the Trump Hotel) offers a two-course lunchtime special for $58. Dinner would be three times that. Del Posto — one of the city’s best Italian restaurants — offers three courses at lunchtime for $49.
The happy hour is a time-honoured tradition at many of New York’s finest cocktail and wine bars and can often include complimentary bar snacks, canapés and even tapas dishes. What a great way to save on dinner! Head to www.nyhappyhours.com, where you can search by date and area.
With good planning the New York Pass can save you big bickies — especially the five and seven day versions. There are 100+ attractions included in the pass — including museums, galleries, cruises and walking tours (some of which can be pre-booked online). With entry to most museums and attractions in New York averaging at around $30 for adults, it won’t take you long to rack up quite a saving — especially if you aim to do three included attractions per day.
If it’s not included in your Club Floor benefits, free Wi-Fi is available in many of the city’s parks. Check www.nycgo.com for a complete list.
Here’s another popular way to get a dash of culture in New York on a budget. If you want to see a Broadway show, head along to one of the three official TKTS ticket booths operated by the Theatre Development Fund. The main one is in Times Square. Unsold tickets for that day’s performances go from 25 to 50% off. Get in early for the best selection.
Shopping is one of the great joys of travelling to New York, so don’t less the lacklustre Aussie dollar curtail your fun:
Do you have any tips for ways to save on luxury travel to New York City? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Additional images: Bigstock
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Adam worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.