6 Free Things To Do In New York City

bridge-748616_640New York is America’s #1 busiest city and can also be the most expensive. A studio in the city can easily cost you $1,000+.

So, while you are visiting New York City, where are the best places to visit to get the most out of your stay? I came up with a list of the best places to visit while on a budget.

1. Visit the New York Public Library for free.

While you are where, browse at the large selections of books and if you’re in need of wifi, you will be able to use it here for free as well. The library is also filled with art work and architecture that will amaze your eyes. If you’re not into reading, at least take appreciation of your surrounding and if you’re only coming for wifi, at least pretend you are looking at books.

2. If you love animals and zoos, visit the Bronx Zoo for free on Wednesdays.

Obviously, donations are accepted as it is with all zoos. The Bronx zoo has thousands of animals to browse at and it’s also a great place to take your camera along for pictures. This zoo is 265+ acres so get prepared for plenty of walking. Look at it as getting a free workout along with your free admission to this very large zoo.

3. Working out can be quite expensive in the city.

Luckily, there are free workout classes all over and better yet, they are outside. Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes during the week, so depending on your schedule while you’re in NYC, it might be a good idea to check ahead of time to see what time classes are.

4. If you’re in the Bronx area, check out their free concert listings online.

These free concerts are usually only in the summer, so if you plan on visiting during June-August, give this list a check before you arrive in the city. No matter what city you’re in, there is usually a free concerts listing online, so be sure to give yours a check on Google.

5. If art is your forte, visit the Queens’ Socrates Sculpture Park and browse at the amazing sculptures and art work close to the water.

This place is open year round and is great for the art seekers out there. You’ll browse at different sculptures that will be unlike you’ve never seen anything before.

6. The New York Aquarium is also free after 3PM on Fridays.

Same with the Bronx Zoo, donations are also accepted. Bring along your camera and snap pictures of all the water creatures that you might have not ever seen before. I am in love with underwater mammals, so aquariums are definitely my favorite place to visit every time I go to a new city.

What else would you recommend doing while in New York City? What other free things have you done during your visit?


Weigh Your Options for Affordable Travel

architecture-828993_640Travelers face a number of concerns when plotting holiday. From basic logistics to safety and comfort, each adventures weighs a unique set of considerations – which almost always includes a close look at travel financing and money saving techniques.

Advanced planning goes a long way, furnishing access to the best destinations and preferred accommodations. Setting things up ahead of time also leads to savings, and more importantly, it defines the cost of upcoming travel, so you can budget accordingly. Fortunately for those with limited ability to commit in advance, travel and hospitality providers also extend bargains and discounts as short-term promotions. With flexibility, even last-minute deals can be sealed for reasonable prices.

Whether you are carving out peak season accommodations or seeking travel values during off times, packages and other incentives make it more affordable. To make the most of your travel budget, weigh available options closely, comparing services, location, amenities, and access to the things you like to do on holiday.

Tight Schedules Require Early Attention

If your travel options are limited to specific windows of opportunity, advanced planning is particularly important. The laws of supply and demand work against you at times, when you are competing with other motivated consumers, each seeking to secure hotel rooms, airplane seats and other travel services. The supply is limited, so only those acting promptly are assured accommodations within their available travel date ranges. Hospitality providers are still willing to compete for business during these periods, but their discounts and promotions are not as aggressive as those seen during slow travel seasons.

Peak travel times, like summer holiday, are plundered well in advance by travelers tied to kids’ school schedules and availability. As a result, only those locked-in months ahead are positioned to land the best deals and secure spots at the most sought-after destinations. In fact, January is the busiest month for booking summer travel. Millions of Britons act during the first month of the year, planning prime time summer holiday. Early shoppers find some discounts and offers like free kid slots and low deposit requirements. And though negotiating lower fees and fares is possible at times, those with limited flexibility are often at the mercy of hotels, airlines, travel services and ground transportation operators.

Travel Funding Alternatives

Like other aspects of your household budget, travel costs should be evaluated and accommodated before making commitments. Even reservations calling for low deposits ultimately come due for payment, so don’t be fooled by offers that sound too good to be true. Planning ahead leaves time to compare and contrast various approaches before signing-off on travel costs. And advanced measures also protect your financial interests when travelling – especially abroad.

Self-financing is ideal, because it leaves no lasting debt for holiday travelers. But short-term loans are available to bridge the affordability gap for families short on travel savings. For minor cost overruns, credit cards furnish effective short-term coverage. In fact, many cards build travel bonuses and rewards, so using cards to book flights and room nights actually helps earn future discounts. When resources are scarce, personal short-term loans are well-suited for financing family breaks. Applicants with the highest credit scores get the best rates, but even those with past problems are eligible for alternative financing.

Travel Tour or DIY Holiday?

Cost conscious travelers weigh the benefits of tour packages, as compared to assembling needed travel services ala carte. On one hand, travel providers bundle packages for savings, using their volume booking power to shave discounts from the cost of travel. When available, this can be the best way to secure desired travel. In fact, package tours may be the only way to buy travel to certain destinations.

Building your own, custom holiday, on the other hand, leaves full control in your hands, to pick and choose from services and providers you prefer. Local travel resources and coupon services are good places to look for deals. In addition to the special offers, online travel sites are available to help with research and price comparisons.
Although holidays are as varied as the people who enjoy them, money saving opportunities are available for many forms of travel. Package holidays, for example, supply discounts when booked in advance. Travelers with flexibility typically land the best bargains, however, because they are available during off-peak times and can secure the best airfares using flexible dates.

Improve Your Company’s ROI with These Uncommon Marketing Tactics

laptop-849800_640What comes to mind when you hear the word “marketing”? What about “branding”?

Both of these words probably invoke a strong response; they are, after all, two of the most important tasks that lie ahead for anyone who’s hoping to establish their brand, particularly in a crowded industry.

But for anyone who dares to think outside the box, guaranteeing a great return on investment is not just possible, but likely. It’s still going to take some work, but if you choose to explore some forgotten or underappreciated tactics for establishing your brand, your success might just surprise you. Here’s three methods to think about.

Underrated, but Not Forgotten

It’s the year 2015, and blogs are a strange beast. The world was introduced to blogs way back at the beginning of the World Wide Web, and they’ve played an important role in the way the Internet has developed over the years.

Blogging may, in some circles, still be synonymous with angsty millennials airing their grievances on BlogSpot, but the truth is that blogs are experiencing a renaissance—and this time they’re playing an important role in branding.

Consider the blogs of 12 Keys—a renowned chain of rehabilitation clinics—and Quincy, a company that specializes in compressors. Both of these businesses walk in very different circles, but what they have in common is a practically masterful use of the blog.

I’ll say it as simply as I know how: blogging is an underappreciated way to establish your brand. It’s not about making the hard sell; instead, it’s about providing resources for prospective customers: a way to answer common questions or provide insight into what your product or service has to offer, or even how it’s made. If your company doesn’t have a blog yet, it’s probably time to start one.

The Sky’s the Limit

Even though Internet marketing commands the budgets of most modern PR departments, physical advertisement is still playing a significant role in business development in America.

In fact, so common is this practice that it’s given rise to something entirely different: “guerrilla marketing.” You can see some terrific examples of guerrilla marketing here, including elaborate sidewalk displays and interactive billboards.

Some of these displays might look like they could cost an arm and a leg to develop and implement, but as you’ll see from some of the above examples, sometimes all it takes is a well-chosen location or some striking imagery to capture the public’s imagination.

Because the truth is, many American consumers have grown bored and jaded with the sort of marketing that happens on our screens. Pop-ups ads and Flash banners have their place, but if you really want to engage in some marketing that will net you a great return on your investment, something more visceral and personal might be what you’re looking for.

How to Build a Movement

If you really want to think differently about what it takes to make a statement in your industry, sometimes you have to take things back to the basics. I’ll give you an example.

You may have heard of Chipotle: a rising star in the fast food world. What’s remarkable is that they’ve achieved this level of name recognition by almost completely shunning traditional marketing channels. In fact, Chipotle didn’t air a TV commercial until 18 years after their incorporation.

Instead, Chipotle is creating a significant contrast between their media presence and the methods favored by their largest competitors, such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell. Consider that TV commercial I mentioned earlier. Instead of a barrage of doctored photographs of food, Chipotle chose to focus instead on another message: their commitment to civic responsibility.

And frankly, this approach feels exactly right in a world where the world’s most savvy consumers—millennials—are quickly growing impatient with traditional media campaigns, calling them (among other things) “less authentic.”

The truth is, branding and marketing are less dependent on deep pockets than ever before. Instead, the most successful campaigns are built with a combination of determination and out-of-the-box thinking. If you’re the owner of an up-and-coming business, you’ll probably be surprised by what’s possible when you put yourself in the shoes of the people you’re trying to reach.