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Money and tipping in New York?

Travel Forums North America Money and tipping in New York?

1. Posted by rajdeep (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

rajdeep has indicated that this thread is about USA


In a month's time I will be going on a 7 day trip to New York City with my university.
I find out next week how much the attractions will cost etc and the accomodation is already paid for.

I have a few questions!!

I'm just confused about how much money should I put in my debit card and the taking of actual cash for a week's travel?

- Roughly how much would it cost a day for food on a budget? cheaper buying on street vendors?

- Is 15-20% tipping enough for taxidrivers, waiters, maids etc....and where should tipping not be expected? is tipping required for street vendors?

- Is all public transport $2?

- I know you have to walk fast but is it true you always have to walk on the right??


2. Posted by KristenS (Budding Member 56 posts) 9y

rajdeep, You will find the prices some what cheaper in US than in the UK. However NYC is one of the most expensive place in the US.

You will spend any where from $5 - $10 for a slice of Pizza. I would plan on $40- $50 per day for food. Check out the groceries stores dotted all over New York you will beable to eat in there cheaper and with out tipping anyone.

15-20% tipping is about right. Save your self some money and walk of take the subway. Unless you are staying is a fancy hotel you will not have to tip the maid. If someone brings your suitcases or room service up then tip at the hotel.

As far as walking.... No worries. You will figure it out! NYC is flat so it is easy to walk around and you will see much more this way than in a taxi or underground.

Your Debit Card will work fine here. You may want to have $150.00 when you leave the airport for getting to your hotel... I do not mean it will take $150 to get to your hotel. There are ATM everywhere so take out enough to get you through a day. Most business take Debit card but will ask to see another ID. This is for your own safety. Have a great time and if at all possible take a ferry so you can look back at the island. It is a great view!

3. Posted by Eric19382 (Budding Member 24 posts) 9y


I’ve been to New York City several times (I live only three hours away by car). Here are the tipping customs I’ve observed:

People you should customarily tip
Doormen ($1 is acceptable. They don’t do anything but open the door, but it’s customary to tip them anyway)
Taxi drivers (I’d say a tip equal to 10% of the cost of the fare is acceptable. Feel free to give them less for bad service and more for good service.)
Waiters (15% is a standard tip. Feel free to give them less for bad service and more for good service.)
Maids (If you received good service during your week’s stay in your hotel, a tip of $10-20 is customary. The tips are usually left in the room with a brief note. These tips are often pooled together and shared among all the maids. If you happen to know the name of the maid who served you and you want to make sure your tip goes straight to her, give it to the front desk and ask them to give it to the maid)

People who do not typically receive tips
Street vendors or salespeople of any sort

Regarding walking, Americans generally walk on a sidewalk the same as we drive, on the right side. It’s not a law, just a custom. And you don’t ALWAYS have to walk fast. I spent most of my time casually strolling along New York streets during my last visit. If you’ve seen people walking fast in New York, then odds are they were in Manhattan during rush hour.

Enjoy your trip! If you have anymore questions, let me know. :)

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 9y

Quoting rajdeep

- Is all public transport $2?

Basically, yes, anything within the city is $2. If you buy a Metrocard (available at most any subway station) for $10, you will actually get 6 rides, so it's a little less than $2 if you buy the $10 metrocard.

There are some exceptions to the rule, though. If you ride the PATH trains between New York and New Jersey, they only charge you $1.50. If you ride the AirTrain between JFK airport and the subway, they charge you $5.00.

You can transfer ONCE with the metrocard from bus <-> subway, but that's it. Generally, though, as a tourist you probably won't be going anywhere where you can't get to by subway, so you probably don't need to worry about that.

5. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 9y

Quoting KristenS

Unless you are staying is a fancy hotel you will not have to tip the maid. If someone brings your suitcases or room service up then tip at the hotel.

I would still leave a few dollars for the maid, even at less than fancy hotels. For the bellhop bringing your bags to the room, usually $1.00 per bag is acceptable.

6. Posted by rajdeep (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Thankyou everyone!

...I'm glad about the whole walking thing as I tend to stroll around and I think we will be going on the 3 hour ferry journey but I get sea sickness!
Oh and thanks for the info on the Metrocard I didn't even know about it.

Thanks again :)