How to do New York Fashion Week on a Budget – Less than $1,000!
I’m still working on my recap of New York Fashion Week – it was such a whirlwind I’m still processing! But I’m dropping my guide on how to do NYFW for less than $1,000. When you’re attending shows, prepping outfits, traveling, eating, and more, the costs can add up quickly. Fashion Week is EXPENSIVE! Add in being a blogger and needing to find photographers and you’re set to easily blow your travel budget for the year.
Fear not! I’m here to tell you that you can do it for a relatively low cost. And I’m going to show you exactly how I did it, including exactly how much I spent in each category [Thanks, wifey, for being the best at tracking things.].
Hotels in New York City are expensive. Hotels in Manhattan are even more expensive. Hotels in Manhattan in areas that are convenient to show venues and that aren’t low key sketchy are astronomical.
Allow me to introduce the hostel. It’s time to go back to your college days a bit. Dormitory style sleeping quarters, shared bathrooms, and significantly lower prices. Book far enough out, and I paid $55 per night for 4 nights. That includes wifi, breakfast every morning (more money saved!), and an amazing location. The Chelsea International Hostel is less than four blocks away from one of the main NYFW venues. So not only was I able to save money on accommodation, I was able to save on transportation as well. I could run back and forth between shows and change outfits without spending a dime.
Real talk, hostels aren’t shiny gorgeous. They really do sometimes feel like your freshman dormitory. So if you need something more glam, this isn’t the place for you.
Ask any traveler what their most expensive cost is when traveling and they’re going to say flights. I mean, have you seen airline prices lately?! Tracking flights, worrying about cookies, and making sure you get the best deal can be insanely stressful. And inevitably it ends up being expensive anyway. Flights to New York during Fashion Week get even more expensive, simply because airlines know they’re going to get increased business.
My secret? Amtrak. Train travel is spectacular. The seats are bigger and more comfortable, the food is infinitely more delicious, I’m pretty sure even the coffee is better.
All of this does come with a little catch, though. Time. My train from Chicago to Penn Station was twenty (20) hours. It was a long time. But with all of that time I was able to sleep, enjoy a meal, and get tons of work done. On the way home, I managed to edit all of my photos from the trip! Talk about productive. And on a train, you can get up and move around so much more easily. Overall, the experience was great and I recommend train travel to anyone who has a little bit of extra time.
Why is clothing so expensive?! Okay, I know why clothing is so expensive but when prepping for fashion week, and the probability of changing looks between shows, packing shoes, so many different pieces, and trends, that can add up quickly! This is where that blogger life comes in handy. Pitch brands like crazy. Wear their clothes. Remix your closet in ways you might not have thought of. Bring a friend in to build looks! Borrow from other people. Any way you can get different clothes to build looks is going to be the best. That way you’re not spending an entire fortune just on looks for fashion week!
This should seem like a no brainer. But you’d be surprised. So I’m going to flat out say it: shoot with your friends. You’ve got at least one other person at NYFW that you’re going to know. Find them, pack a duffel of looks, and go shoot for an afternoon. New York City has no shortage of locations to work with, and so many bloggers have prepared “Insta-worthy” location guides. Use them, have an incredibly crazy day, and get it all done. You’ll feel better knowing that everything’s shot, and if you exchange the favor, then everyone wins and you’ve spent minimal money.
Food & Drink ($210).
This was the hardest spot to save money and I definitely broke budget here. Food in New York isn’t cheap, though those 99 cent pizza places are pretty legit. Still, you’re going to want one or two good “treat yo self” meals. I would highly recommend budgeting extra for this. I ended up visiting The Spotted Pig which, despite being SO DELICIOUS, was definitely a splurge. And goodness knows coffee and wine meetings are bound to happen. So keep a little extra budget for this.
- Lyft rides: $88
- Cash: $100
Add it all together, and the grand total for Fashion Week was $985!
Okay, I know it’s still a lot of money. But trust me when I say many Fashion Week trips can easily start at $1,500 for the same amount of time I stayed. NYFW was such an amazing experience. Here’s to many more!
Shop picks similar to my look below!