Cheapest Travel and Backpacking Destinations in New York

1. What are the most affordable backpacking destinations in New York?

Some of the most affordable backpacking destinations in New York include:

1. Adirondack Mountains – The Adirondack Mountains offer a variety of free or inexpensive camping options, including backcountry and primitive campsites.

2. Catskill Mountains – With over 700,000 acres of untouched wilderness, the Catskills provide budget-friendly lodging options such as campgrounds and lean-tos.

3. Finger Lakes Trail – This 580-mile long trail offers free primitive campsites along its length, making it an ideal budget destination for hikers.

4. Letchworth State Park – Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this state park offers camping for as low as $18 per night.

5. Lake Placid – A popular tourist destination, Lake Placid offers affordable accommodation options such as budget friendly lodges and hostels.

6. Hudson Valley Region – This region boasts scenic hiking trails and numerous state parks with affordable camping options.

7. Niagara Falls State Park – Camping at Niagara Falls State Park is available for just $20 per night, making it a great budget option for those looking to experience the iconic waterfalls.

8. Harriman State Park – Located just ninety minutes north of NYC, Harriman State Park offers numerous hiking trails and affordable camping options starting at $15 per night.

9. Montauk Point State Park- Located on Long Island’s east end, Montauk offers beautiful beaches and affordable beachfront camping starting at $35 per night.

10.North Fork Wine Country- While not typically thought of as a budget destination, North Fork Wine Country offers affordable rustic accommodations such as cabins and tent sites amidst picturesque vineyards.

2. Where in New York offers the cheapest travel options for budget-conscious travelers?

There are several places in New York that offer budget-friendly travel options for visitors. Some of the cheapest options include:

1. Budget hotels and hostels: Stay at budget-friendly accommodation such as hostels or budget hotels, which can be found throughout the city. Some popular choices include The Jane Hotel, HI NYC Hostel, and Pod 51.

2. Public transportation: Use the city’s extensive public transportation system to get around, including the subway and buses. A single ride on the subway costs $3, but you can save money by purchasing a weekly or monthly unlimited MetroCard.

3. Free attractions: Enjoy some of New York’s free attractions, such as Central Park, Times Square, and the High Line. You can also visit museums on certain days when they offer free admission.

4. Walking tours: Participate in free walking tours offered by local tour companies or explore different neighborhoods on foot to save on transportation costs.

5. Budget food options: New York has many cheap eats options like pizza slices, dumplings, hot dogs, and deli sandwiches that cost under $10. Check out local food markets like Chelsea Market and Smorgasburg for affordable street food.

6. Discount tickets: Purchase discount tickets for attractions from websites like Groupon or CityPass to save on entrance fees.

7. Off-season travel: Consider traveling during off-peak seasons (usually January-March) when flight and hotel prices are lower.

8. Explore outer boroughs: Instead of staying in expensive Manhattan accommodations, consider staying in a more affordable borough like Brooklyn or Queens.

Overall, planning ahead and being willing to explore alternative options can help budget-conscious travelers find affordable travel options in New York City.

3. What are some off-the-beaten-path spots for affordable backpacking in New York?

1. Finger Lakes National Forest – located in upstate New York, this national forest offers free camping and endless opportunities for hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

2. The Adirondacks – with over six million acres of wilderness to explore, the Adirondack Mountains offer numerous free camping spots and affordable options for hiking, kayaking, and skiing.

3. Catskill Park – situated in southeastern New York, this park is a popular destination for budget-friendly backpacking trips with its vast network of trails and primitive camping options.

4. Northville-Lake Placid Trail – spanning 133 miles through the Adirondack Mountains, this long-distance trail offers stunning views and free camping along the way.

5. Letchworth State Park – known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this park boasts impressive waterfalls and offers budget-friendly campsites for backpackers.

6. Greenbelt Trail on Staten Island – a 50-mile trail that takes you through urban parks, beaches, forests, and historic sites on Staten Island for a unique backpacking experience.

7. Taconic Crest Trail – stretching 35 miles along the New York-Massachusetts border, this trail offers challenging terrain and free primitive campsites for overnight stays.

8. Livingston Manor Free Range Camping Area – located in the Catskills region, this campground allows for dispersed camping at no cost, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious backpackers.

9. Black Creek State Forest – situated in central New York, this state forest has multiple primitive campsites available for free on a first-come-first-serve basis.

10. Pine Hill State Forest – found in the foothills of the Catskills Mountains, this state forest offers affordable camping options near scenic lakes and streams ideal for fishing or paddling activities.

4. Where can I find cheap airfare and accommodation in New York for a backpacking trip?

1. Booking Websites: Use online booking websites like Skyscanner, Expedia, Kayak, or to compare prices and find the cheapest airfare and accommodation options.

2. Hostels: Stay in budget-friendly hostels located in popular areas of New York such as Brooklyn, Queens or Harlem. These can be a great option for backpackers looking for a cheap and social experience.

3. Couchsurfing: Consider couchsurfing to save money on accommodation. This is a website that connects travelers with locals who offer up their couch or spare room for free.

4. Airbnb: Rent a private room or apartment through Airbnb which can often be cheaper than hotels and offer a more authentic experience.

5. Campgrounds: If you’re open to camping, New York has several campgrounds located within the city limits, such as Floyd Bennett Field or Camp Gateway at Fort Wadsworth.

6. Look for Deals and Discounts: Keep an eye out for flight sales, hotel discounts, and package deals offered by airlines and travel companies.

7. Travel during Low Season: Consider visiting New York during its low season (January-March) when prices are generally cheaper due to less demand.

8. Utilize Public Transportation: To save money on transportation, take advantage of New York’s extensive public transportation system instead of taxis or ride-sharing services.

9. Get Free Activities Passes: Check out websites like which offer free passes to popular attractions in the city.

10.Enjoy Delicious Street Food: Instead of eating at restaurants every day, try some of the delicious street food options in New York which can be both tasty and affordable.

5. Where in New York has the best value for money when it comes to travel and backpacking?

New York City can be an expensive destination for backpackers, but there are some areas that offer better value for money compared to others. Here are some options to consider:

1. Hostels: Staying in hostels is a popular and affordable option for backpackers in New York City. Areas such as Chelsea, Upper West Side, and the East Village have a good selection of budget-friendly hostels with prices ranging from $30-$50 per night.

2. Airbnb: Renting a room or apartment through Airbnb can also be more cost-effective than staying in a hotel. Look for options in neighborhoods like Astoria and Brooklyn where you can find reasonably priced accommodations.

3. Free activities: There are plenty of free things to do in New York City, such as visiting Central Park, exploring different neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Williamsburg, and admiring street art in Bushwick.

4. Cheap eats: New York has a diverse food scene offering a range of budget-friendly options such as street food carts, food markets, and delis. You can also save money by cooking your own meals using kitchen facilities at your hostel or Airbnb.

5. Public transportation: The subway is the most affordable way to get around the city, with single rides costing $2.75 and unlimited passes available starting at $33 for 7 days.

Overall, staying outside of Manhattan and exploring less touristy areas can also help stretch your budget further while still experiencing all that New York has to offer.

6. Where in New York has the lowest costs for food and transportation while traveling and backpacking?

The lowest costs for food and transportation while traveling and backpacking in New York can vary depending on the specific location, but some of the most affordable areas include Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. In these boroughs, you can find budget-friendly street food options as well as affordable public transportation such as subways and buses. Additionally, some neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy in Manhattan offer cheap eats and discounted prices on goods. It is also worth checking out local farmers’ markets for fresh produce at lower prices.

7. Are there any lesser-known New York destinations that are both cheap and great for backpacking?

Yes, there are plenty of lesser-known destinations in New York that are affordable and perfect for backpacking. Some options include:

1. Adirondack Region: This vast wilderness area is home to numerous hiking trails, camping spots, and budget-friendly cabins.

2. Finger Lakes Region: Known for its beautiful lakes and rolling hills, the Finger Lakes region offers affordable camping, hiking, and water activities.

3. Catskill Mountains: The Catskills offer a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping at low cost campsites.

4. Hudson Valley: With its scenic beauty and historic towns, the Hudson Valley offers inexpensive camping options and budget-friendly outdoor activities.

5. Allegheny State Park: This state park in western New York has over 65,000 acres of forests, lakes, and mountains to explore on a budget.

6. Thousand Islands Region: The Thousand Islands region is a hidden gem for backpackers with its stunning waterways and cheap boat rentals for exploring the area’s islands.

7. Letchworth State Park: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this park offers breathtaking views, budget-friendly camping sites, and miles of hiking trails.

8. Long Island: Though often associated with luxury travel, Long Island also has affordable campgrounds near beaches and state parks for backpackers on a budget.

9. Green Mountain National Forest (Vermont): Cross over to Vermont for inexpensive backcountry camping opportunities in the picturesque Green Mountain National Forest.

10. Shawangunk Mountains (Gunks): Located north of New York City, the Gunks offer some of the best rock climbing on the East Coast at budget-friendly prices.

8. What are some unique budget-friendly activities to do in New York while backpacking?

1. Visit the High Line: This elevated park offers great views of the city and is completely free to visit.

2. Explore Central Park: This iconic park offers plenty of free activities, such as walking or biking around, visiting landmarks like the Bethesda Fountain or taking a stroll through Strawberry Fields.

3. Visit museums on their free days: Many museums in New York offer free admission on certain days or evenings. Check their website for more information.

4. See the skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park: Take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and then explore this waterfront park for amazing views of the Manhattan skyline.

5. Attend a street festival: New York is known for its lively street festivals, which celebrate everything from food to music to cultural traditions. Most are free to attend.

6. People-watch in Times Square: Although it may be crowded, Times Square is a must-visit spot for people-watching and admiring the bustling energy of this iconic city.

7. Walk across the Williamsburg Bridge: For a unique view of New York City, take a walk across this bridge which connects Lower Manhattan to Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

8. Ride the Staten Island Ferry: Take a ride on this free ferry for spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline.

9. Visit Chelsea Market: This indoor food hall offers affordable and delicious options for meals, as well as unique artisanal products and shops to browse.

10. Go thrift shopping: New York has plenty of thrift stores where you can find unique items at budget-friendly prices, such as Beacon’s Closet in Williamsburg or Housing Works Thrift Shop in Greenwich Village.

9. Is it possible to do a low-cost road trip through New York?

Yes, it is possible to do a low-cost road trip through New York. Here are some tips to help make your trip more affordable:

1. Plan ahead and research budget-friendly accommodation options such as hostels, Airbnb rentals, or camping sites.

2. Consider cooking your own meals instead of eating out all the time. You can buy groceries at local supermarkets and prepare simple meals in your accommodation’s kitchen.

3. Prioritize free attractions and activities, such as visiting parks, museums with free admission days, or walking tours.

4. Use public transportation or rent bikes instead of renting a car to save on gas, tolls, and parking fees.

5. Take advantage of travel deals and discounts when booking accommodations or attractions.

6. Consider traveling during the shoulder season (spring or fall) when prices are typically lower than peak tourist season (summer).

7. Research local events and festivals happening during your trip that offer free or low-cost entertainment options.

8. Ask locals for recommendations on affordable restaurants and hidden gems that may not be listed in guidebooks.

9. Set a budget for each day and stick to it by tracking your expenses throughout the trip.

Remember that regardless of your budget, you can still have a fun and memorable road trip through New York by being smart about your choices and planning ahead.

10. Where in New York has the most affordable camping options for backpackers on a budget?

The most affordable camping options for backpackers on a budget in New York can be found in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, as well as state parks like Harriman State Park and Sterling Forest State Park. These areas offer a variety of campgrounds with reasonable rates and amenities such as hiking trails, swimming areas, and picnic spots. Additionally, dispersed camping is allowed in designated areas within both the Adirondack and Catskill State Parks, which is free of charge.

11. Can you recommend any inexpensive hostels or guesthouses in New York for backpackers?

Some inexpensive hostels and guesthouses in New York for backpackers include:

1. HI NYC Hostel: Located on the Upper West Side, this hostel offers clean and comfortable dorms and private rooms at affordable prices.

2. Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel: This funky hostel is located in one of the best areas of Manhattan, just steps away from Central Park and many popular attractions.

3. The Local Hostel: Situated in Long Island City, this hostel offers a more laid-back atmosphere with shared spaces like a rooftop deck and communal kitchen.

4. Bowery Grand Hotel: This budget-friendly guesthouse is located in Chinatown and has basic accommodations for travelers on a tight budget.

5. Q4 Hotel and Hostel: Located in Queens, this hostel offers both private rooms and shared dorms with modern amenities at reasonable prices.

6. Chelsea International Hostel: A staple for backpackers in New York, this hostel offers a central location in the vibrant Chelsea neighborhood.

7. Broadway Hotel & Hostel: Just blocks away from Times Square, this lively hostel offers affordable private rooms and dorms.

8. NY Moore Hostel: Nestled in Brooklyn’s hipster neighborhood of Williamsburg, this hostel is known for its creative vibe and budget-friendly prices.

9. The Jane Hotel: While not technically a hostel or guesthouse, The Jane Hotel offers small single cabins with shared bathrooms at lower rates than most other hotels in the city.

10. American Dream Bed & Breakfast: Set in an early 1900s brownstone, this bed & breakfast offers cozy accommodations at affordable prices near Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Many hostels offer additional discounts for members of youth travel organizations such as Hostelling International or StudentUniverse, so consider joining these groups if you plan to stay at hostels frequently during your travels to New York City.

12. What states have the best deals on outdoor gear and equipment for backpackers?

1. Colorado
2. Utah
3. California
4. Oregon
5. Washington
6. Arizona
7. New Hampshire
8. Vermont
9. Montana
10. Wyoming

13. Are there any hidden gems in New York that offer budget-friendly attractions and activities for travelers on a budget?

Some hidden gems in New York that offer budget-friendly attractions and activities include:

1. The Cloisters – This medieval-style museum is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art but located in a quieter area and has a suggested admission fee of only $25 for adults.

2. Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Admission to this beautiful garden is free on Tuesdays, Saturdays from 10AM-noon, and Fridays from December through February.

3. Free outdoor movies – During the summer months, many parks across the city screen free movies. Some popular locations include Bryant Park, Hudson River Park and Pier 63.

4. The High Line – This public park built on an old railroad track offers great views of the city and free public art exhibits along the way.

5. Staten Island Ferry – For amazing views of the Statue of Liberty without spending any money, hop onboard this famous ferry for a free ride.

6. Governor’s Island – During the summer season (May through October), take a free ferry ride to this island which offers stunning views of Manhattan’s skyline, bike rentals for only $15 per hour and plenty of space for picnicking and relaxing.

7. Street art tours – Take advantage of free walking tours or download apps like “Street Art NYC” or “NYC Graffiti & Street Art” to explore some incredible street art pieces throughout the city at no cost.

8. Free concerts – Many parks host free live music shows during warmer months such as SummerStage in Central Park, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, and Northside Festival in Williamsburg.

9. City Hall Tours – Get an inside look at one of New York City’s most famous landmarks by taking a free tour offered on weekdays at 10am, noon, 2pm and 3:30pm (groups should make reservations).

10. National Museum of Mathematics – While many museums in New York can be pricey, the National Museum of Mathematics offers an interesting and interactive experience for just $16.50 admission for adults and $10 for students (children under two are free).

14. Where in New York has reliable public transportation systems that make it easy and cheap to get around as a backpacker?

There are several areas in New York that have reliable and affordable public transportation options for backpackers. These include:
1. Manhattan: The island of Manhattan is well-connected by the subway system, which runs 24/7 and covers most major neighborhoods and attractions. There are also buses and ferries available for alternative modes of transportation.
2. Brooklyn: Most parts of Brooklyn can be easily accessed via the subway, with many train lines running through the borough. Additionally, there are buses and ferries available.
3. Queens: While not as extensive as the subway system in Manhattan, Queens also has a network of buses and trains that can get you around the borough and into Manhattan.
4. Long Island City/Astoria: These neighborhoods in Queens are served by both subways and buses, making it easy to get into Manhattan or other parts of Queens.
5. Hoboken/Jersey City, New Jersey: While technically not part of New York City, these neighboring cities in New Jersey have reliable public transportation options that connect them to Manhattan via bus or ferry.

15. What is the cheapest time of year to visit New York for a budget-friendly and enjoyable backpacking experience?

The cheapest time of year to visit New York for a budget-friendly and enjoyable backpacking experience is typically during the winter months (January-March). During this time, there are usually lower hotel rates and fewer crowds. However, keep in mind that the weather can be quite cold and some outdoor activities may not be available. Alternatively, visiting in late fall (November-December) or early spring (April-May) can also offer lower prices and smaller crowds while still allowing for mild weather and more activities to enjoy. It’s always a good idea to research specific events or festivals happening during your desired travel dates as they may impact prices and availability.

16. Where in New York offers discounts or special deals specifically catered towards low-budget travelers and backpackers?

There are several options in New York for budget travelers and backpackers:

1. Hostels: Many hostels in New York offer discounted rates for dormitory-style accommodations. Some examples include HI NYC Hostel, The Local NYC, and International Student Center.
2. Free activities: There are many free activities and attractions in New York that budget travelers can take advantage of, such as walking tours, exploring public parks and gardens, and visiting museums with suggested donation admission.
3. Discounted theater tickets: The TKTS booth at Times Square offers same-day discounted tickets to Broadway shows (up to 50% off), as well as Off-Broadway shows.
4. Happy hour specials: Many bars and restaurants in New York offer happy hour specials with discounted drinks and food.
5. Discount cards and passes: The New York Pass, CityPASS, and Explorer Pass all offer discounted rates for popular attractions in the city.
6. Budget-friendly neighborhoods: Staying in neighborhoods like Brooklyn or Queens can often be more affordable than Manhattan.
7. Free public transportation: Taking advantage of the free Staten Island Ferry or using a weekly unlimited MetroCard can help save money on transportation costs.
8. Affordable markets: Head to places like Chelsea Market or Smorgasburg for inexpensive food options.
9. Couchsurfing: Joining the online community of Couchsurfing can provide budget travelers with free accommodation options through staying on someone’s couch or spare room.
10. Airbnb: Similar to Couchsurfing, Airbnb offers affordable accommodation options with locals in the city.

17. Where in New York has affordable ways to experience local culture, cuisine, and nightlife in various states while traveling on a budget?

Some neighborhoods in New York that offer affordable ways to experience local culture, cuisine, and nightlife include:

1. Williamsburg, Brooklyn: This trendy neighborhood has a thriving arts scene with galleries, music venues, and street art. It also offers a variety of affordable restaurants and bars serving global cuisine.

2. Lower East Side, Manhattan: Known for its vibrant nightlife, this neighborhood has many budget-friendly options for dining and drinking. It also has a rich history as an immigrant enclave, making it a great place to explore different cultures.

3. Jackson Heights, Queens: This diverse neighborhood boasts incredible ethnic food options at affordable prices. You can also find cheap bars and live music venues here.

4. Washington Heights, Manhattan: Located in Upper Manhattan, this neighborhood has a strong Latino influence and is home to many affordable restaurants serving delicious Dominican food.

5. Flushing, Queens: This bustling Chinatown is known for its authentic Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. You can also explore the vibrant night market for unique foods and experiences.

6. Arthur Avenue in the Bronx: Also known as the “real Little Italy,” this neighborhood offers a taste of old-world Italian culture with its authentic restaurants and locally owned shops selling Italian goods.

7. Astoria, Queens: This Greek enclave has some of the best Mediterranean food in the city at reasonable prices. It also has a lively bar scene with many affordable options.

18. Are there any eco-friendly or sustainable options available for budget-conscious travelers in New York while backpacking?

Yes, there are several eco-friendly and sustainable options available for budget-conscious travelers in New York while backpacking. Some options include staying at hostels or Airbnbs that have sustainability practices in place, using public transportation instead of taxis or renting a bike to get around the city, seeking out local farmers markets and sustainable restaurants for meals, and participating in free or low-cost eco-friendly activities such as hiking, biking, or volunteer opportunities with conservation organizations. Additionally, some museums and attractions offer discounted admission for students and budget travelers.

19. Where in New York has provide amazing scenery, nature, and outdoor activities at a low cost for backpackers?

One location that fits this description in New York is the Adirondack Mountains. This area offers many hiking and camping options, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, and rustic cabins for overnight stays at a relatively low cost. Other affordable activities in the Adirondacks include kayaking, fishing, and scenic drives.

20. Where in New York is known for their vibrant and affordable music or arts scenes that attract budget travelers and backpackers?

One place in New York known for its vibrant and affordable music and arts scene is the Brooklyn borough. With neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn is known for its independent music venues, street art, and affordable galleries. These areas also offer a variety of budget-friendly restaurants and accommodations, making it a popular destination for budget travelers and backpackers. Other areas in NY that offer a similar scene include the Lower East Side in Manhattan and Long Island City in Queens.