Everyone’s time is valuable and life is short. We all need to take a break from the hectic daily grind of work, chores, and routine responsibilities. Money can get in the way of what we want to do with our time and the less you have, the more restricted you feel. Lower income families tend to experience day to day stressors at an above average level and often find it difficult to experience vacation style travel.
My experience of being a single parent on a very tight income has taught me how to stretch a dollar and find the spark in the accessible surroundings of my home. I am fortunate to live in a culturally diverse and historically rich area that promotes its parks and arts.
The Adventure Begins
I have always enjoyed sharing all of the wonderful things that I have discovered in New York with friends, family and anyone traveling through. It has always amazed me how little people know or even enjoy the vast area of New York State outside of the tiny island of Manhattan (or in layman’s terms—“New York City”.) Check out 10 Outdoor Adventures to Love New York if you’re one of them.
I started my blog with that passion in mind and made sure to incorporate a budget friendly approach to the adventures. My blog ratings are designed to help everyone find a destination that fits their wallet and time constrains. Each and every adventure posted is a destination worthy of a visit due to its natural beauty, historical significance, and/or just plain fun.
In case you didn’t know…
New York City is actually the combination of Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Tourists generally associate New York City with the hub-bub of Times Square, but it actually spans into greater New York, across a chunk of western Long Island and across the water to Staten Island.
Having fun in New York doesn’t have to empty your pockets!
These New York attractions offer days and times that are free to enjoy. This is a partial list of what is out there. Do your research when planning an adventure to find more free admission opportunities.
- New York Botanical Gardens -Grounds Admission is free to everyone all day on Wednesdays and from 9 a.m.–10 a.m. on Saturdays
- Museum of Modern Art (www.momaps1.org)- Free 4-8:oopm on Fridays
- New York Hall of Science -2-5:00 pm Fridays & 10-11:00am Sundays- Free (September through June)
- 9/11 Memorial Museum (www.911memorial.org)-5-8:00pm Tuesdays, Free- (Check in at 4pm, 1st come 1st served)
- National Parks (www.nps.gov) –Fee Free Days in 2019 (There are 35 in New York State!) Some of our favorites: Statue of Liberty , Sagamore Hill , and Niagra Falls
- January 21- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 20- First Day of National Park Week, National Junior Ranger Day
- August 25- National Park Service Anniversary
- September 28- National Public’s Lands Day
- November 11- Veterans Day
Pay What You Wish
These New York attractions offer days and times that you can pay what you wish. There is no minimum so everyone can enjoy an adventure. Do your research and you will find more attractions that offer this option. Here are some of our favorites…
- The Bronx Zoo – pay what you wish on Wednesdays
- The Cloisters -pay what you wish always
- The New York Aquarium (www.nyaquarium.com) – pay what you wish on Wednesdays from 3:00pm to close
- American Museum of Natural History -pay what you wish always
- Seal Walks, CRESCO -suggested donation that’s amenable
Staycations are on the rise
Staycations get a bad rap; but with the rising costs of travel they are becoming more popular. If you consider the size of the United States in comparison to Europe, you can equate traveling to different states like visiting other countries. Each region has its own cultural significances, terrain variations, food specialties, and more. You can even enjoy learning new words with each area’s colloquialisms.
Consider taking a road trip. We found a perfect balance in travel by exploring new areas, spending quality time with each other, and connecting with long distance friends and family. During our travels we choose to stay with our hosts whenever possible. Yes, it does save money; but it’s even more valuable as a way to really develop a stronger relationship. You will learn so much more about each other and locals always know the best tips of the area.
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter what your economic background is— you can find affordable adventure. My life has been enriched tremendously with affordable travel and I have been fortunate to share this with my children. I encourage road trips, train rides, hiking and more to spend quality time with family and friends. My favorite thing about all of my adventures, especially our two week family road trip, has been the interaction with my kids. And believe it or not, I have no credit cards or credit card debt! We travel on a budget and make use of every penny. These memories are priceless!
Visit my Budget page on a few more tips to save money during your adventure. Carpe diem! You deserve it!