Everything in New York seems expensive for travellers; even at the bottom end of the market, accommodation can cost, per-night, $30 for a shared dorm in a hostel, or if you are a couple or want some privacy, $180 for a room in a downmarket hotel. With the basics draining the holiday budget at an alarming rate, who has the money to treat themselves?
Well, probably you – if you are willing to look beyond the main thoroughfares. Exploring the lesser-known areas of the Big Apple can provide you with a plethora of options for pampering yourself in New York City on a budget.
If it’s a manicure or beauty spa treatment you yearn for, take a stroll in the Upper East Side. The key here is to look beyond sometimes dingy facades for the things that really count: if the place is clean, the staff are friendly and professional and, best of all, if they already have customers you get yourself a top-shelf manicure for a fifth of the price – between $5 and $12 for a full manicure and varnish, and similarly budget-friendly beauty treatments.
If spa shopping doesn’t bring out the explorer in you, let your fingers do the walking. Investigate the best spa deals online with www.spafinder.com, www.LifeBooker.com, or www.spa-addicts.com, or call spas directly to ask if they’re running any specials that month. It pays to shop around.
Massage and beauty therapy schools provide a wonderfully cheap option for spa-seekers on a budget. Call local massage therapy schools to see if they have any appointments available – these schools offer super-discounted treatments so that their senior students can practice before they are fully out in the world. Sit back and relax under professionally-trained hands (with tutors close by – these schools have it in their best interests to make your appointment as wonderful as possible), knowing that your appointment is helping a young professional and not straining your wallet.
Tap in to local information for the best ideas of where to go. New York isn’t pricey just for visitors – it costs a heck of a lot to live there, and New Yorkers are particularly invested in beauty. A site that might be helpful to this aim is www.yelp.com/nyc – a Website with lots of local reviews of all sorts of things, and definitely worthy of a browse before you head for NYC.
Sitting in a salon is not the only way of pampering yourself while in New York City, and you will get the most out of your holiday when you think outside the box. Interested in health and exercise? Why not investigate some yoga, Tai Chi or meditation classes for your visit? (The best thing about the latter two is that sometimes you can find them for free.) If you’re a food nut, look carefully at the menus for upmarket restaurants and see if you can stretch your budget to a small (not meal-sized) nibble – there is nothing like amazing food, even in small doses, to make a person feel absolutely pampered.
Here are a couple more Website that may help you find those special treats when you want to be pampered in NYC on a budget:
www.goldstar.com – a great site for nights out, events, etc. You must join to purchase, but not to browse, and membership is free. The site offers ticket deals as well as member reviews of things.
www.freenyc.net – has, as it sounds, listings of free events around NYC, some of which are incredible – a recent one was a free talk by Spike Lee.
www.yogaworks.com – is a company that has some really good offers from time to time, including free classes for beginners.