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How Much Money Should I Take on Holiday to New York?

How Much Money Should I Take on Holiday to New York?

If you are wondering which city to prioritise for your next holiday, New York should cross your mind- for a lot of good reasons. If you have been travelling for long enough, you must have realised that costs vary from place to place.

Depending on what you intend to do, where you stay, what form of transport you use and what you eat, you can spend say £150 in one city per day and pay double that amount in a different town.

This post is specifically designed to let you in on a little secret of how much you will have to spend during your stay in New York.

You will realise that New York, ranked the 4th most expensive city to live in back in 2013, and is not a very pocket-friendly city. However, the goodies it brings with it is worth the big budget.

Average cost per day

To enjoy a comfortable and fun stay in New York, you will need to spend at least an average of £180 per day. Let’s break it down for you:

1. £80 for entertainment per day. These include costs on bars, visiting attraction sites and other exciting tours
2. £70 per day for eating out
3. For transport purposes, you will need about £50 per day
4. If you love shopping, you need at least £115 per day

Cost of food and drinks

Food and drinks alone will cost you an average of about £70 per day. However, personal preferences should be put into consideration here. People prefer different kinds of meals, which come with different price tags, so the best we can do is work with averages.

The restaurants you eat from will also determine how much you can spend although the differences aren’t that significant. Most fast food restaurants will cost you something between £10 to £15 for a main dish, drink and a dessert.

Smaller restaurants or Deli’s, which sell meat, pizza, and pasta will also cost about £10 to £15. A full meal may, however, go up to £30 for a single person.

More prominent restaurants are quite expensive although most of them have complete menus, which usually cost somewhere between £70 and £100 per person. Although it is uncommon, some hotels in New York may include breakfast in their room rates.

So, for an average cost of three meals a day per person, you will be looking at approximately £55 to £70.

Cost of Transport

The first form of transportation you will experience when you set foot in New York is that from the AirPort to where you are planning to live. Some of the most popular airports in New York include JFK, Newark and La Guardia, so the high chances are that you will be using one of these.

If you are looking to save some cash, you will want to consider public transportation using the Airtrain and subway. This way, you can spend about £16 for one person or double that amount if you are two.

Alternatively, you can go with a taxi shuttle, which will cost you about £23 or £90 for a couple. If you want a private experience, feel free to take a limousine or taxi, which will cost you anything from £50 to £170 for a single trip.

If you are planning to stay for a week or more, you might want to consider getting an Unlimited Metrocard at the cost of £32. However, if you don’t want a metro card and would like to pay in cash, you should keep in mind that you can only use coins.

The advantage of a MetroCard is that you will have unlimited transport between several buses and subway for 2 hours after which you pay again. Paying in cash will require you to get a bus ticket every time you take a bus. For everyday transport, a bus ride will cost you about £2.50 a trip.

If you prefer air transport, below are the costs between JFK Airport and other airports in New York:

JFK to LaGuardia Airport- £95
JFK to Newark Airport- £145
JFK to Manhattan- £95
JFK to Bronx- £110
JFK to Queens- £95

Cost of Accommodation

Due to the large number of tourists that visit New York City, accommodation rates may change monthly. For a low-tourist season, you can find a room for £150 which goes up to £300 in peak season. The hotel where you stay and the services provided will also determine how much you are going to pay.

Cost of Entertainment

New York presents many opportunities in terms of entertainment. It is quite rare that you will miss out on your favourite past time activities. From exciting tours, visiting attraction sites, museums, watching an NBA game to enjoying exhilarating helicopter flights, there is no way you are going to be bored.

If you are visiting NYC for the first time, then buying a Pass such as the New York City PASS for £122 should be a top priority. This will allow you to pick any five major attractions or museums you would like to visit. Some of the scenic attraction sites and museums to put into consideration include the Museum of Modern Art, popularly known as MOMA, 911 Memorial and Museum, and Central Park.

If you are a fan of sports and would like to see an NBA game, tickets go for anywhere between £26 and £40. A baseball game will cost you between £20 and £25 while tickets for football games go up to £50. For exciting shows and plays, you can pay Broadway a visit for a cost of up to £90 per person.

Staying in New York City even for a day does come with a lot in terms of expensive, but if you look at what it has to offer, all the financial hassle is worth it. Having prior knowledge of what you will be expected to spend is crucial.

This guide will hopefully go a long way in helping you prepare financially for your next trip to New York. You should also keep in mind that there are other extra costs that are not covered here, meaning that your budget shouldn’t be too strict.

Holiday ClassEstimated Amount Needed Per Day (Per Person)
Budget£250 Per Day
Mid-range£400 Per Day
High-end£1,000 Per Day
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