March 5, 2014 by Erin C
I’m proud to say that after many (many) years of planning and saving little bits of money month by month I FINALLY took my dream trip to New York City this past September with a couple of my equally budget conscious mommy friends.
There is something so sweet about planning for something and waiting patiently for it. That was New York for me. I had always wanted to go and for one reason or another the plans always fell through. As you can see however, you just gotta keep on …beleeeeivin We only had about 4.5 days to pack all the stuff we wanted into the trip (a total whirlwind) but it was the most fun I’d had in years!
How did we do it money-wise?
Well, it helped that one of my friends was living there doing contract work so my other friend and I were able to crash at her tiny flat for the 4 nights.
I paid for the flight with points saved on my RBC Visa Avion card. 1 year putting day care and grocery bills on it and voila! Enough for probably 2 plane tickets and tons of flexibility with dates and airlines.
For spending money I put away $50/month to a rainy day fund on and off for a couple of years which left me with about $900 for shopping, food and fun! It’s amazing how fast little contributions add up if you do auto saving. (Learn more Auto Saving and my Top 10 other ways to be Money Smart).
Now… if you ever get to go (or go again) the standards are always a must see:
Statue of Liberty
American Museum of Natural History
MOMA (Museum of Modern Art)
NBC Studio Tour
I used the 3 day City Pass which was awesome because I could race around and see as many things as I could in those 3 days. Totally worth it.
One thing that wasn’t worth it?
The Empire States Building
We even went at night to skip the lines and it was still a total waste of time. The inside looks nothing like you would have seen in any movie (a total sham) and the view was nothing special and we paid extra and went ALL the way to the top. Can you say Rip Off?
But if you want a little something special out of you experience in NYC, here’s what I recommend:
1. Eat some REDICULOUSLY delicious food at:
Gourmet Baked Mac & Cheese delights in flavours like Mediterranean and… (avalable in Gluten Free too!)
San Genarro Festival in Little Italy (mid September)
If you can time your trip for early September like we did the you’ll never have eaten so well in your life. Sweet and crispy cannolis, pasta for days and unlimited meatball vendors to try. A crazy fun vibe that lasts for 11 days and an experience your eyes or stomach won’t forget.
2. Catch a hilarious Broadway Show
We saw “The Book of Mormon” this time around. We paid $225 each for the worst seats in the house and it was worth every penny.
3. See the underbelly of the city by taking part in “The Accomplice“.
The Accomplice is a part theater part scavenger hunt race across the city with a bunch of people you don’t know. Brave seedy bars, crazy crooks, dangerous mobsters and strange Chinatown to accomplish your mission for the mob boss. A super fun way to see the city in an unconventional way. Be prepared for a last minute text for starting place directions.
In the end, I highly recommend a trip to New York City.
There are so many things to see that it’s impossible to do un 4 or even 7 days. That’s why I’ve already begun saving for my next trip there!
Have you been to NYC? What was the best thing you did or saw there?
Tell me all about it in the comments!