How This Mama Afforded a Trip to New York for Three Days
First things first, let’s talk about the reason for my travel and then we’ll get into how this mama afforded a trip to New York for three days.
My friend was going to New York for a week for job interviews and apartment hunting. Her husband was not going to be there the first three days of the trip but was joining her the later three. She asked around for a travel buddy but didn’t have anyone that was interested.
We talked about it and I was able to convince my husband that we could make it work because the ticket was affordable, he works from home too and he always gets to go on trips by himself but I really never get the opportunity. So Mama was not letting this one pass by!!
If we had gotten our tickets four weeks before, we could have gotten them from our own airport for around $187 to $250…
Because we got them three weeks out (the longest possible you can wait for a good deal), we had to fly out of Charlotte which is about a 2hr drive.
BUT I was still able to score a round-trip ticket to New York for $250… That is an insane deal.
I should also mention that we were flying right before memorial day weekend, so the prices were probably a little higher than average anyways.
If you are going to book a flight, make sure you book it at least three weeks in advance. Even more if you want the best deal (and preferably not on a holiday).
As for lodging, our plan was to get an Airbnb but most of them didn’t allow short stays (which I guess two nights was considered). So we weren’t able to book through them.
It was really generous but since my friend had to go regardless if I went or not, because of her interviews, her parents ended up paying for the room. So that was really sweet.
It didn’t cost me anything for lodging.
Transportation was another story...
When we got in to JFK (New York airport), we did a rideshare with Lyft and it was only about $21 around 1 PM when it’s not peak hour and the rates are inflated.
When I had to go to the airport - to leave New York and head back to Charlotte - it was right in the middle of rush hour. So it was $58 to get a Lyft to the airport and I had no one to ride share. Which is a ridiculous price, but I did not feel confident in my Subway directional abilities.
So rather than get lost for hours and possibly miss my flight, I chose the most direct path. It ended up being totally fine and the driver was really sweet and friendly.
I got there in plenty of time and made sure to arrive two hours before because it was New York (a busy airport) and Memorial Day Weekend and a lot of people would be traveling. So, good call all around.
As for overall transportation around the city - we walked. We walked everywhere. First and last days were 6 miles and the day we walked to Central Park was 9 miles! We definitely got our steps in this trip!!
If you follow me on Instagram you saw all the wonderful and delicious food we tried. I didn’t have any meal that was over $10 (except a meal at a brewery). It was our last option other than a chain restaurant which we absolutely did not want.
We did look up a couple places but for the most part we just kind of wandered around to where we wanted to sightsee and found places to eat around us. There is literally food everywhere on every corner. My kind of place!
We only visited places that were free! Some of the truly amazing things of New York would’ve been wonderful to see (museums, top of the rock, a helicopter ride over Manhattan) but we honestly just didn’t have that much time.
Our hotel was right in the middle of Manhattan and near so many great places that we just visited the ones that were close by (the High Line, Chelsea Market, Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Centre, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Park).
I don’t even know what to recommend if you only have 24 hours because it kind of all depends on where you stay and what you want to do.
I will say, if you want to watch Broadway shows and eat amazing food your best bet is to stay in the heart of downtown Manhattan, where all of that stuff is, so you’re not spending all your time commuting.
Yes, it’s going to be very expensive even with an Airbnb if you can find one. And they are technically illegal in NY. But I don’t know how all that’s regulated...
But if you’re going to New York for a specific reason or to see a specific thing, I would just recommend your accommodations being very close to that thing. Especially if you’re going for a very short time. So just save up until you can afford to be near the things you want to see.
In my experience the most expensive thing was the transportation. If we would’ve been there for a week or more, I would’ve learned the subway system. Since we were only there for three days it didn’t really make sense to waste time getting lost on the subway, and everywhere we wanted to go was within walking distance. The only time it hurt the budget was when we were going to and from the airport.
This trip was absolutely amazing and I am so thankful that I got to go and spend some quality girl time with my friend. I would love to come back with my husband, but definitely not with my kids until they’re older.
I honestly don’t understand how people have kids in the city. Especially if they don’t have a car... What if you have an emergency?! How do you get anywhere in all that traffic? It just seems like a very fast pace and not a kid-friendly place.
Unless you live somewhere like Brooklyn, which was very family-friendly to me. I might take my kids to Brooklyn... Have you ever been to New York? What is your favorite place or thing to do?
Airbnb : Get $40 off your first booking AND $15 towards a $50 experience!!
Lyft: $5 off your first ride!