Traveling to a new city is one of the best ways to experience a new culture. In fact, most cities are like mini countries unto themselves—they have their own cultural quirks and slang words, their own inter-city divides and rivalries, and, most likely, a cherished dish.
Cities are the place for travelers to explore cultural stopovers like museums and landmarks, along with restaurants and nightlife. Public transportation makes it a breeze to zip from one end of the city to another. Along the way, more than a few unexpected surprises tend to abound. Best of all, cities provide all the modern amenities that we’re used to.
But there’s one drawback: cities are expensive. And, the bigger and more famous that city is, the more prices are likely to rise. If you’re heading to one of North America’s most expensive metropolises, peruse our list below to check out a few budgeting tips that are tailored for each destination.
As one of the most popular stopovers in the US, Las Vegas has an endless reel of excitement to offer. But these shows (and ticket prices) are geared toward tourists, which means advice on how to budget in Sin City abounds. Here are a few of the best suggestions to keep in mind:
Budgeting in the City of Lights:
· Waive resort fees like swimming pools—or, if you don’t, take full advantage
· Target locations off the Strip to cut prices in half
· Buy flights and book lodging during the off-season (July, August, & December)
NEW YORK CITY
The Big Apple regularly welcomes over 65 million visitors. While most people will want to spend their time in Manhattan over Brooklyn or the Bronx, the key to saving money in NYC is finding locations off the beaten track.
Here’s how to do that in the Concrete Jungle:
· Research cheap food before you travel—and budget accordingly
· Eat where locals eat for delicious and affordable meals
· The falafel food cart is your friend
As the cradle of technology and a growing center for fintech, budgeting in San Francisco is an art. However, the city’s long history as a center of counter-culture means it remains a top destination for domestic and international visitors. Just be sure to budget for that flower hat on Haight street.
Here are a few other budgeting tips for SF:
· Consider lodging outside of city limits, including Oakland
· Always use public transportation
· Explore the city’s parks and other free locations, as the area is known for its stunning ecology
Toronto is quickly becoming a top destination thanks to how well-rounded the city is. It offers some of the best sports cultures in North America, along with plenty of green parks for nature lovers. It’s got it all—especially those wince-worthy price tags.
Budgeting in the Great White North:
· Search out discounts for events, like ToTix for half-priced theatre tickets
· Spend time in Toronto’s beautiful parks
· Head to museums on Fridays when the city offers discounts on entries
The party never stops in Miami—and it’s been that way since the 80s. The city offers an unbeatable blend of tropical life, Latin influence, and an active (and beach-centric) lifestyle. But
if you want to dance the night away in North Beach, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Saving money in Miami:
· Rent a bike instead of a car
· Sample local cuisine from mom-and-pop establishments; it’s delicious and affordable
· Take a locally guided tour to get to know the city
As one of the most famous locations in the world, Los Angeles is a top destination. It welcomes around one-third of the number of guests as New York City. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s much cheaper. And, given the city’s sprawl, it’s also less accessible.
So, how can you budget in LA? Here’s how:
· Create daily itineraries based on neighborhoods to minimize transport costs
· Spend a day (or two) exploring beaches and hiking the hills
· Travel during the offseason (September – December, mid-January – March)