One Day Trip to NYC On a Budget

A few weeks ago my family went on an unexpected road trip from west coast to east coast. It was a first for my daughter and I and we were thrilled! While we primarily stayed in Connecticut once there, we planned a day in the big apple. I have wanted to visit New York since I was a little girl… how could I miss this opportunity when we were that close to putting a check mark on my bucketlist! So we planned a One Day Trip to NYC On a Budget.


New York City is huge… there is a ton to see and a ton to do. There’s no possible way you can do it all in one day. But if one day is all you have, I have some tips that might help you plan your trip without breaking your bank.


1. Plan to take a bus, subway, or even taxi.

Parking in NYC is crazy expensive. And the traffic and toll roads aren’t my favorite things either. It eats up a lot of time and a lot of money. So I highly recommend taking the train into the city. Tickets are cheaper during off peak hours, so you can try to plan your day trip around those times as well. The subway will take you across the city and taxis are always available.





2. Make a NYC wishlist/bucketlist.

First, my family and I made a list of all the things we wanted to do in NYC while we were there. We knew making the list that we wouldn’t be able to do it all, but with strategic planning, we’d be able to knock several awesome sights off the wishlist.




3. Map out your day trip.

Once our list was made, we pulled up Google maps and mapped out different sights from our list to see how close things were to once another. From there we checked prices and availability of things to determine what we could fit into the day and within our budget. We were able to do knock 9 things off of our wishlist and we did it for a family of 4 for under $200 (including transportation, food, sights). Don’t forget to plan for food and for walking time between different places.




Other tips:

  • check the weather before you go and dress accordingly
  • bring a phone charger…there are plugs on the train!
  • pack snacks and water bottles in a backpack
  • bring a camera for good picture taking
  • an umbrella stroller is a good idea for little ones



What we did on our day trip to NYC:

  • train ride into the city
  • subway to Central Park
  • walk Central Park and play on the playgrounds
  • Times Square
  • Pizza at Bella Vita Brick Oven Pizza
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Rockefeller Center at night lit up for Christmas
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Empire State Building (from a distance)
  • lots of walking and lots of picture taking


Have you been to New York City? What were your favorite places to visit?

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  1. […] more. I constantly have to remind my hubs of this one! (Or read Kara’s post about how to do NYC in 1 day on a budget… otherwise plan to splurge a […]

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