The Big Apple is one of the world's top tourist destinations and if you are flexible with your dates and don't mind a bit of staying on a budget, New York doesn't have to be as expensive as you think.
Being the most competitive flight route in the world, flights to New York from London are very competitive but you'll be able to find a deal or two every so often. Flying on a Monday and booking three months in advance, you can get a three night break in New York for just over £500 excluding food and sightseeing. If you aren't staying a Saturday night, be sure to book your hotel and flight at the same time, otherwise prices skyrocket.
Flying with American Airlines to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, our trip started at London Heathrow. There are a number of different ways to get from the airport to Manhattan but by far the cheapest is the subway and AirTrain at just a few dollars each way. I picked the Tribeca Blu Hotel in Lower Manhattan, close to Little Italy, SoHo , Tribeca and Chinatown. This 2.5 star hotel is basic but rooms are modern, clean and comfortable and have their own bathroom, something that not all budget hotels in NYC offer. Each room also offers plasma TVs, MP3 docking stations and fire wireless internet access.
The only time you will end up spending at your hotel, however, will be to sleep as there is so much to explore in this gigantic city and plenty to do for those on a shoestring budget.
If you've not been to New York before, Rockefeller Center and Statue of Liberty are a must. If however, you really need to keep your wallet in your pocket, New York is full of free things to see and do. Central Park for a start is a must, even just to see where parts of Home Alone 2 were filmed. Staying on the entertainment theme, check out the famous Friends building located on the corner of Bedford and Grove, close to the Tribeca Blu Hotel. Carrie Bradshaw's apartment is also in the area. Then of course there are Grand Central Station and Times Square which are iconic New York locations that you shouldn't leave without seeing.
Visiting New York to many can seem quite daunting when there is so much to do and there is often so little time but many just enjoy soaking up the buzz of the city. From the shoppers on Fifth Avenue to the views from the Empire State Building, this city will have you mesmerised.
This trip cost £517 per person on a room only basis. Getting to New York for less than £500 is possible if you are staying in hostels, many of which are centrally located throughout Manhattan.