New York on the cheap?

Despite the clean and friendly streets and a number of new attractions, some things about New York City will never change. It’s an expensive city, especially with the state of our sad dollar, but there are ways to enjoy the best of it without breaking the bank.

The cheapest way to see New York? Avoid the city entirely! If New York City is within driving distance for you, consider staying at a reasonably-priced motor hotel across the river in New Jersey. Despite its reputation, New Jersey has several small and pleasant communities with a good selection of motor hotels, all within a 30 minute commuter train or bus ride to Manhattan. Park your car (for free) at your hotel and take a $2.00 commuter bus into Manhattan for site-seeing. You’ll arrive at the newly-renovated (and now safe) Port Authority Bus Terminal, a block away from Times Square.

Most New Jersey hotels also offer door to door tour bus service, which is even more convenient if you like the tour bus experience. A day-long tour of all the major sites in Manhattan (Greenwich Village, Times Square, Wall St., etc) with stops at the Empire State Building and a ferry ride to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty incded will cost you about $60 Canadian, will all admission tickets included.

The bus picks you up in the morning and drops you off at your New Jersey hotel at the end of the day. Be warned, though, that some tour buses sometimes take “the long way home” as they drop off guests further out near the Newark airport. This can turn a 30 minute ride into 90 minutes at the end of the day, so be sure to ask if your hotel is on the direct route home.