Should I stay or should I go now?
August 14, 2015 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Possible NYC trip by myself with limited cash...

So I already bought the ticket but some of my work was cancelled which limited my spending money. I have about $500.00 after hotel to spend 6 days in NYC...I usually stay at Pod 51 but found a cheaper hotel. I am traveling alone and would like to go but the other half of my brain says to cancel the ticket and stay home....I have done all the touristy stuff in previous trips and would like to just wander...any suggestions or should i chuck it. Staying at AmericINN but not familiar with the hotel, worried about bedbugs.
posted by irish01 to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Scrap the trip, cancel the flight, and use the credit to fly somewhere else new, cheaper, and more personally exciting to you in a few months.

Use a bit of the money you would have spent in NYC to treat yourself at home in the week you would have spent there. Maybe even spend a night in a nice local hotel just to mix things up a bit.

New York is a pretty expensive place to go if you're not especially excited to be there.
posted by phunniemee at 6:52 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'd go! ~$85 a day is enough for me to wander around, have some cheap eats, and have enough left over to go to bookstores, parks, museums, window shopping, etc. As for bedbugs, they also shack up in fancy hotels, so a budget hotel is probably no greater a risk. I'd brush up on my bedbug sleuthing and prevention tips and just take precautions (this is what I do no matter which hotel I stay in).
posted by quince at 7:04 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would do it, because I looooove love love NYC and have a ton of friends there to hang out with. I think you can have quite a lot of fun with $500 in spending money! Go to the new carousel at the battery ($5 or so). Eat a slice or pizza for lunch, less than $5. Go see a movie at the IFC and get a big box of popcorn. Call or go to a metafilter meetup. Go to a grocery store and buy a bunch of protein bars and stuff like that for snacks and lunches. The metropolitan museum of art is only suggested admission, pay them like $1 and wander around. If you drink, go to a bodega and get a soft drink, go to a liquor store and get a bottle of booze, and put the booze in the soft drink in the bathroom (don't drink this right in front of a bartender and buy at least one cheap beer/mixed drink!)

That said, if you're not into it, yeah, cancel. But if you're into it, $500 is definitely enough to have a pretty solid amount of fun, if you don't mind doing things solo.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:07 PM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

43 years old. Thankfully I don't have that problem of limited cash flow (see old age). But seriously - I would just check into one of the new and modern hostels even at my age and take a freebie.

Life is about the journey. If you feel that your standards will get in the way of what could be a fantastic experience. Well my friend, you just need to stay home. All the time.....
posted by Funmonkey1 at 7:22 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Forgot to add, my wife would probably tell me to go and explore as well :)
posted by Funmonkey1 at 7:26 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Always go to New York if you have the chance.
posted by Gotanda at 7:35 PM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Agree, just go! Grab a copy of Time Out New York and look up all the free events. So many. Here's their standing list of free things to do.

When I travel (I'm a cheapskate) I almost never eat sit-down lunch or breakfast. In NY you can grab an egg sandwich or bagel and coffee in the morning, no more than $8 or so. For lunch, a slice of pizza, or order small 1/4 pound portions from a deli and snack on a bench, or go somewhere like Grand Central or Eataly that is a glorified food court and graze on a few small items. Dinner, you might want to plan to sit down. Alcohol/drinks would be the expensive part, but you can look around for bar specials like $2 pints or similar, or buy your own supply, if you want to have a few drinks at the hotel. A 7-day metrocard is only $31: transportation solved. With hotel covered, you've solved the hardest part of any NYC trip, moneywise. Go, and have a great time just wandering. It's a luxury to be able to just roam and take in the street life - a luxury you probably wouldn't allow yourself if you had a ton of money and felt like you had to hit all the high points. Roaming around the neighborhoods looking for fun without a ton of cash to spend? What better way to imagine you are a real New Yorker?
posted by Miko at 7:55 PM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you're talking about soon, you're going to go in as perfect the weather gets in NYC. You could go to the Bronx or Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The Central Park Zoo and other places in Central Park.

Walk around the Lower East Side and splurge on a pastrami sandwich at Katz's (big enough for two meals). There's a lot of cheap food around the city.

There's the High Line (free) and the new Whitney Museum. Then walk down the west side piers (free, beautiful views). Take a bus down to the Statue of Liberty (you said you've already done the usual tourist stuff so we should assume you've taken the ferry to Ellis Island?)

I love to just walk around various neighborhoods. Go to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. Coney Island. City Island in the Bronx. Go to some of the beautiful brownstone neighborhoods in Brooklyn. There is always a falafel sandwich for a cheap lunch.

Go to Red Hook, look at the Statue of Liberty from there. See really old houses in that neighborhood.

I could keep going.
posted by DMelanogaster at 7:57 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would go. Tons of websites that have schedules of free or nearly free events.

Bring good shoes for walking -- when you're a tourist, you often need to pay to sit. Sit in a cafe? Buy a coffee. Sit in a restaurant? Buy a meal. Sit in a museum? Buy a ticket. Wandering around neighborhoods is the best and totally free, but can be tiring on your feet.
posted by missmary6 at 7:58 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You can have a great time in New York on that amount of money.

For starters, there's no better city in the US for wandering. Head to the outer boroughs! White Plains Road in the Bronx has a great Albanian community; have some burek! Some of the best Indian food is in Ozone Park, Queens, and it's cheap to boot. Visit Snug Harbor in Staten Island, after a great (free) ferry ride. Visit Greenwood Cemetery, and see which of New York's 19th-century elites finally made it to Brooklyn.

If you want to see a show, why not try off-off-broadway? Plenty of theater around for $10 or $20. Or if you want comedy, Upright Citizens Brigade shows are $5, $10 on Saturdays.

Just don't drink too much or take any taxis and you'll be golden.
posted by goingonit at 7:58 PM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]

If you come now, the Fringe Festival is on - 200 plays, 20 venues, 2-1/2 weeks, $18 a ticket. (One show was written by a Mefite!)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:41 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

If canceling your ticket, could there be a change fee? Unclear what kind of ticket you have to get to NYC... Amtrak would not be so tricky to change, but if you are flying there could be a $200 change fee for any airline other than Southwest. Something to consider when weighing the cancel/not cancel options.
posted by belau at 8:28 AM on August 15, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you all, I am going to go then...the suggestions are fantastic and very much appreciated. Like I said I've done a lot of touristy stuff so this will be very interesting, a great big thank you again.
posted by irish01 at 1:32 PM on August 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Definitely go! NYC is amazing and even living here you never run out of things to do. $85 is plenty every day.
Also free, the American Museum of Natural History and the Met are pay as you wish any time. On Saturday evenings beginning at 5:45 pm last tickets at 7:15 pm, the Guggenheim is pay as you wish. All fantastic places.
posted by shesbenevolent at 7:28 PM on August 15, 2015

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