New York Pass Hacks

New York Pass Hacks

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Is the New York Pass worth it? Being a tourist in New York City can be expensive. Just going up the Empire State Building costs $30 alone! If you want to see the sights of New York City and save some money I believe if you do these 2 New York Pass hacks it is worth buying a New York Pass.

Is the New York Pass worth it?

To help you decide, follow these directions

Make a list

Before you do anything else take a look in your guidebook and make a list of all of the things you want to do in New York. Now think about how many of them you can realistically do in the time you have available. Cross out anything that you won’t have time for.

Now you have your list you need to go through and price it all up…




This is what I wanted to do:

(Prices may vary, correct on the date of publication)

Save up to 40% off tours & activities in New York

Compare the cost of doing it with a New York Pass and without

Now you need to compare the cost of the New York Pass and how much you would spend doing all the things you want to do. For me to visit all of these attractions I wanted to in the time I had would cost a total of $185 and the cost of the 2-day New York Pass was $169. So it worked out cheaper for me to buy a Pass than not.

New York City

Fitting it all in

You need to be realistic. To do all of the things on my list in 2 days is almost impossible…almost! It isn’t for the faint-hearted! This is why a lot of people chose not to do it but if you are worried about fitting it all in over 2 days never fear you don’t actually have to.

My 2 New York Pass Hacks guaranteed to give you extra time to fit everything in

  1. Wait until day 2 to pick up your bus pass to ride the Big Bus. It lasts for 48 hours from when you pick it up so you don’t need to use it until day 3. It takes 2 hours to do the uptown loop and 2 hours to do the downtown loop. So that’s your day 3 sorted!
  2. On day 2 head to Battery Park to get your Statue of Liberty/ Ellis Island tickets. The tickets are good for 3 days, so you don’t have to use them until day 4! You really do need to give this trip at least ½ day as it could take over an hour to get through security and that’s before you have even got on a boat!




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Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • – I LOVE especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Lynne Sarao

    This is a very smart way to figure out if the NY Pass is worth the money you’ll pay for it. There is so much to see and do in NY that I think a lot of people get overwhelmed. It’s a smart idea to list out your top priorities so you make sure you’re getting in as much as possible!

    1. Claire Summers

      Thank you! NYC can be a headache and I put off doing the whole tourist thing for so long. It was a tough few days but I made it through haha. I think if I’d have tried to do this on my first trip I would have slept for a week after haha,

  2. James

    These are some very useful tips on how to use the New York City Pass. I’ll definitely use the methods mentioned to work out if it’s value for money for me when I go. There are some very useful tips on how you can extend the pass and when to pick up the tickets for each point of interest / activity.

    1. Claire Summers

      It’s great IF there is a lot you want to do and you don’t mind having a few crazy days running around the city.

  3. Wow! That’s some awesome hacks there! I was calculating this when I got the annual pass for English Heritage sites in UK!
    Good to know that inspite of it being a 2 day pass, its effective for 4 days if used properly!
    I’m yet to visit the American continent and when I do, I’ll keep this in mind.

  4. Thanks for sharing these hacks. It’s a great idea to compare the prices and spread out the activities like this. A lot of cities offer this tourist pass type thing now, so this is good advice beyond just New York as well.

    1. Claire Summers

      Yes I hadn’t really thought of that as I’ve never bought a pass like this anywhere else. But sitting down and listing what you want to do in an expensive city is a must!

  5. yukti

    Very good calculation and analytical study of tickets and pass. It looks 2 day pass is money saviour deal. I am planning for New York and will save this in my itinerary.

    1. Claire Summers

      It is really worth it if you want to do all of the expensive things.

  6. Jean

    Oh these are some great travel hacks. I wish I had known about the New York pass when I was there in 2018. I could’ve seen so much more than what I did. I love how you’ve listed the suggested entry prices. That and tipping always confuses me.

    1. Claire Summers

      Tipping kills me! My mums partner has a little cheat sheet for what to tip which has helped me get my head around it.

  7. Kevan

    What a great list of ideas. When trying to tackle a visit a place as massive as NYC it certainly helps to have things well-planned and organized to make the most of it. Learning from someone who has done it already can save time, money and frustration. It looks like you had it very well planned because that is a lot to do in only a couple of days.

    1. Claire Summers

      Thank you! I must admit I had been to NYC several times before and done very little. So this time I needed a plan of attack to get all the ‘tourist’ stuff done…so I wouldn’t have to do it again haha.

  8. Jen

    I agree, the NY City Pass is cheaper if you want to visit several attractions! I have also tried the City Pass for other cities like Toronto. Another benefit is that there’s also a line in every attraction for City Pass ticket holders.

    1. Claire Summers

      Yes I looked at the City Pass too. Its a really good option 🙂

  9. Meyer Fossetta

    wow thankyouuu it helps!! im going to NYC soon, so yeaa it’s great to see your blog 🙂
    btw, I hear that rockefeller building is way cheaper than empire state. so actually they have the same price?

    1. Claire Summers

      If I had to choose one I would do the rocker fella that way you can see the empire state and as its further, up town, you get an incredible view of midtown right the way downtown.

  10. Cat

    I used to live in NYC but I have never used a New York Pass before. I can see how it is cheaper if you plan to see multiple attractions in just a few days! It not only saves money but also the time and struggle to plan your day trips!

    1. Claire Summers

      Thanks, Cat. Yes, it can save money so long as you pack your days full.

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