I always wanted to see New York. Not being brought up by a rich family I sort of had to chase this dream by myself. Once I started to work I got excited with the possibilities of buying whatever I desired. Consumerism took over me. Later I realized time was passing by and I still had never set my foot in a first world country. After many (failed) attempts, I came up with a strategy that helped me fly to the United States for the first time. All it took me was hard work, some creativity and financial discipline.

Get your pen and paper! It’s time to help you organize an effective plan to accomplish your traveling goals.

Bring a friend
Even though I raise the travel solo flag, I believe that having someone to share expenses with will help you reduce costs dramatically. Splitting rooms, Uber rides and restaurant bills are a life (and piggy bank) saver! Persuade your mates to embark on this unforgettable journey!

Bring a friend to share costs and memories!
Save for a rainy NYC day
Every penny counts. I spent a whole semester without eating in restaurants or shopping for clothes – this one was a true personal challenge. Find something you usually buy and stop doing it for a while. In my case, as superficial as it may sound, avoiding stores to check the latest collections was somewhat painful. However it was worth it in the end. You can start with small but unnecessary habits such as online shopping, going to the movies or even chewing gum. Little by little does the trick!
Ask for money, not presents
On my birthday, it became sort of a ritual. Before the date was approaching, I would create an event on Facebook inviting my friends to a bar. The title was:”Don’t give me presents, give me 1 dollar!” I’m not a big fan of celebrating my own day, but this one was for a good cause. I know one dollar is not much. In actuality, I never got more than a few bucks. But a few is is still better than nothing. Plus, aside from the money, you can keep all the good memories!
Use public transportation but, more importantly: WALK!
This tip goes both for where you live and New York. By reducing transportation budget, you can spend more money on traveling. All the legwork will provide you with amazing city views as well as a nice workout.

Explore New York: ditch the yellow cabs and crazy subway – walk!
Improve your health and finances
Cut down on fast food or sweets. If you smoke, why not try to stop it now? Cigarettes in the US cost an arm and leg. If you want cheap meals, have lunch or dinner at WholeFoods Market – it is inexpensive, tasty and healthy.
Stay away from Midtown
This is quite obvious: hotels in the middle of Manhattan are a rip off! Chip in an airbnb room with your travel buddy – pick a place in Queens or Brooklyn. New Jersey could be inconvenient since you need to travel every day by train. If you really want to stay in the city, there are decent hostels or cheaper rooms in the Upper Manhattan area (try Harlem or Washington Heights).Coupons
Always check your receipts. Businesses here usually ask customers to fill in a survey and in return you get discounts or a free item next time you visit the establishment. This goes for restaurants, shops and pharmacies! Examples: Chick-fil-a, Shake Shack, CVS, Sbarro.

*Most of these suggestions can also apply to other countries as well. Let me know in the comments if you have other ideas to travel on a budget and fulfill your dreams!