New York City has a wealth of free and low-cost options for senior travelers. While lodging and restaurant meals can be pricey, with a little creativity, the Big Apple can be an affordable travel destination.
New York City is easily accessible via air, bus or train. Unless you plan on staying in New Jersey or the outer boroughs, traveling by car and parking in NYC can be a real nightmare. Consider parking your car and using public transit. Fortunately, there are many options.
Travel by bus is not limited to Greyhound. A number of smaller carriers such as Megabus and others can be found through www.gotobus.com or www.megabus.com. In general, the smaller carriers are clean, convenient, cheap and safe. Particularly for travelers from upstate, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC, buses are a great alternative.
NYC is serviced by three airports. However, taxi service from LGA and JFK are expensive. A cheaper option is to take AirTrain from JFK and the public bus (transfer to a subway at 125th street) from LGA. The most convenient option however, is to fly into Newark Liberty. From Newark, the Airtrain service offers convenient and frequent service to New York-Penn Station.
Amtrak, NJ Transit and LIRR service New York City. While more expensive than bus travel they are comfortable and convenient, although sometimes time consuming.
Where to Stay
Although tempting to want to be in the heart of Times Square, frequent subway service makes stays throughout the city convenient. Also, PATH service into and out of Jersey City and Hoboken make stays in nearby NJ convenient as well. For Manhattan lodgings, consider hotels with shared bathroom facilities such as the Larchmont Hotel for greatest savings. Another off beat option, bring along your RV and park it at the Liberty Park Campground, which is located just across the river and close to PATH (transportation to NYC).
New York City abounds with cheap eats. Check outhttp://newyork.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/cheap_eatsfor a list of restaurants offering affordable fare (but don’t forget to call ahead, NYC restaurants disappear quickly). Also, use restaurants.com to purchase coupons and plan out affordable and tasty fare.
The subway is safe, fast and convenient, and buses run on regular schedules. Buy a one day unlimited fare card to travel like a real New Yorker and pick up a subway map. At the Times Square Visitor Center, you can print out itineraries, maps and ask any travel related questions. You can also plot your route at www.hopstop.com.
Senior Friendly Attractions
One thing about New York is that you must walk a lot. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and take bathroom breaks anytime you see a clean and available bathroon. Other than that, opens for seniors are unlimited. Most museums offer reduced price senior admissions. A list of free admission days for museums is found here:http://gonyc.about.com/cs/museums/a/museumdeals.htm. Also, consider purchasing a one-week membership to Club FreeTime at www.clubfreetime.com which lists tons of activities, festivals and free concerts for visitors of all ages.