We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

Worcester, United...
Level Contributor
5 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

I've found some really useful information searching the forums, but am still looking for more info relating to my teen daughters trip in April 2011 (four full days and travelling both ways overnight)

It will be here first trip without me to budget for her!

The difference with teens compared to adult travellers is that they cannot buy travellers cheques, or a prepaid card (at 14 years anyway) , and I don't want to send her with a large amount of dollars - her visits to museums etc and breakfast and most evening meals are included - her spending money is more for bottled water (or other drinks such as fruit smoothies etc) and lunch time and snacks (like me she is a chocoholic!!). Then theres the shopping ....

How much is bottled water, roughly how much are snacks? Has anyone recently used ATM's in New York to convert pounds to dollars (we know there is a minimum charge of £1.20 per transaction plus possible local charges but perhaps the dollar rate is better than the £1 = $1.52 that we can get on cash in England?)

My plan so far is $50 in cash (for 4 full days) and to take her bank card as a back up - I know that what to allow for her to spend on clothes is a personal choice - she is hoping to get some cheap bargain clothing if the teachers allow time to shop and a few souvenirs - postcards and that.

Help please!

Chelsea Market
Flea & Street Markets
Grand Central Market
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Flea & Street Markets
Saks Fifth Avenue
Department Stores,
new york city
Level Contributor
19,059 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

if she has an ATM card it is always the best rate of exchange that she will get for that day--- but check with the bank that issued the card and ask the fees at both ends---- they can tell you the fees on their end and which banks to look for here--- I would not want to send her with a lot of cash in any currency. And tell her do not use the ATM's that are in restaurants and stores.

Level Contributor
44 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

I ran a geography trip to Switzerland for 44 girls last year and they needed Euros and Swiss Francs whilst there. We ran a school bank in the evenings, the kids could store their money with us (we had it in a safe in our rooms) and 'withdraw' funds as they wanted each evening for the following day. Will your daughters school be doing something similar? If so, you can be safe in the knowledge she won't lose it or overspend. The school should also advise you about spending money and how much etc. They might also have suggestions for money and what to do for children your daughter's age.

New York, New York
Level Contributor
11,052 posts
111 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

For water, snacks, an extra sandwich, treats, etc. I would budget at least $15 per day. You don't know the prices of exactly where they will be passing. If they will stick to tourist sites, water can be $2-3 per small 12 oz. bottle (yes, it's ridiculous, but that's the way it is). A sandwich can be up to $10 (in restaurants, more). Fruit, $.75 a piece.

She could buy no clothing along with the snacks with only $50 for the entire trip.

Tourist T-shirts ("I heart NY") run, say, 4 for $10 and probably $5 each. That's the cheapest, bad cotton that will shrink.

Even if they go into a discounter like Century 21, Daffy's or SYMS, she probably wouldn't find anything of quality under $12 or $13 minimum. So I believe you have vastly underbudgeted.

I also think she should have some emergency "mad money," as they used to call it. That's enough taxi fare to get back to home base in case you get lost or need an emergency fund. I always keep at least $20 "mad money" on me to get me either home or to the nearest police station by taxi. Some gals keep in in their brassieres; others in a shoe, or interior jacket pocket only they know about. Just in case.

I wouldn't send her with less than $120 cash. $25/day for incidentals and maybe cheap clothing; and $20 for mad money. (Even the really cheap faux pashmina scarves on the street are $5-10, usually $10.) Remember, it's dollars, not pounds. That would be in addition to her needs at the airports (tipping? water/soda/coffee? emergency antacid?)...

Edited: 13 March 2011, 17:29
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,525 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

If you are weary about sending her with cash can you guys purchase those visa/discover/mastercard gift cards? I'm not sure if they have them available where your from but they are quiet popular for kids going on trips far from their parents over here.


This trip sounds like it will be very fun for her. I wish I could have gone to NYC with all my school friends. :)

London, United...
Level Contributor
375 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

$50 in cash for 4 full days! I'd personally would give her $50 per day, or more!

Dont be tight mum!

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Wakefield
Level Contributor
6,176 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

have you asked other parents that are sending their children on the trip how much they're giving their children? that would be my first point of call, if I a) had children and b) sent them to NYC, rather than a forum full of randoms.. ;)

The cost of withdrawing money far exceeds the ease of use, I've just done a few days in NYC, and finding an ATM that doesn't charge on top of the UK charges makes it annoying to say the least. $2 here $3 there on top of the £2 or so charge to take out money, soon turns at $60 withdrawal into $65.

I agree with what other people have said, $200 cash all in $20 bills, and she will be fine, and then make sure she has some way of getting money in an emergency.


New York City, New...
Level Contributor
42,893 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

The OP did say that she was having her daughter take her bank card in addition to the $50 in cash she will have for the less expensive incidentals. I don't believe the OP is saying she expects her daughter to get by on just the $50 for the four days.

I think it is a good choice to just her with $50 and let her get the what she needs from an ATM; this way she gets the best rate and if she loses her purse or whatever, she won't lose all her money.

And, I agree - she should use ATM machines that are connected with a bank - if something happens to the card (like it not getting spit out of the machine after the transaction) she can go inside the bank and deal with the problem. Banks are open for long hours here so she won't have trouble finding one inside or just outside of a bank that is open for business.

Level Contributor
378 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

What if her bank card doesn't work for some reason? Or she loses it?

New York and London are equally as ridiculously expensive. Almost $5 for a tall latte. That sort of thing. Whatever you would expect her to spend in London, just convert it to USD and add a little more.

Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
9,998 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

Once she gets her first bottle of water, tell her to SAVE it and refill it in water fountains, washrooms (from the sink tap). Or buy her a waterbottle.

I've gone to the movies and they want to charge about $3 for a bottle of water that's $1 in the store.

I think MINIMUM of $25/day.

Worcester, United...
Level Contributor
5 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Daughter on school trip to New York - how many dollars?

Wow Guys - you have been busy since I was last able to log on! Thanks for all your advice.

Thanks to everyone that has quoted prices - I now realise how naive I was thinking that things were cheaper in the USA than the UK - school has given a quick 15 minute parent talk (mostly slideshows!) and indicated this - now I can see that this may be true outside a city such as New York just as prices are more expensive here in London!

Mark - I have tried to find out information from school - they haven't returned any of my emails and being a high school I don't tend to see other parents - there are only 40 student from 3 years so my daughter doesn't have a best friend going either - the answers here may be 'random' but there are useful random much more than trying google! The charges that are put on top of the £1.20 per transaction the bank says it charges in the leaflet is very useful - thanks.

Yes £50 pounds or £70 dollars is not much to take I do agree - I suppose what I didnt want to happen is to have lots to exchange back but after seeing the comments about ATM's I will perhaps give her a little more - as Momcat said (thank you) I wasn't just giving her the dollars - she had the card too - my daughter is a little dizzy - her mascara will no doubt be safe but other things tend to 'walk' - hence my caution about cash.

missjohns - the banking by teachers is a great idea - another email to school I think! Teachers looking after money is a good idea but they also have my sympathy - so many children - so many things to think about each day and then they operate a bank too!!!

ejolly001 - doesn't look possible but thanks for idea - they need something like that here in the UK.

I will definitely be passing this info on to my daughter - especially using the right ATM's - not in restaurants - always in a bank who can return the card when she forgets the PIN!

Karenjme - refilling the bottles is a good idea as it is not to hot - we sometimes half fill a bottle (as it gets heavy to carry with other stuff and often doesn't taste nice in the heat) - I'll tell her this (after she gets through customs etc) to refill her bottle.

Once again thank you everyone for taking their time, as you can see I am a rookie on tripadvisor but I will be using the forums again! The trouble with searching on the internet is the amount on non relevant info - having the ability to ask those who know is great.