City Passes: Explorer Pass
City Passes: Explorer Pass is the third and final part of our City Passes series, where we compare the pros and cons of each option so you can find the pass that works best for you.
This is my favorite pass because I think it combines the advantages of the other two passes without some of the hassles and misinformation. There are two ways to use the Explorer Pass.
First, this pass offers 56 different attractions and you can visit them in a 30-day window. From their website, you select either a 3, 5, 7, and 10 attraction package, meaning you get to select which of the 56 attractions you’d like to visit, on your own time. (You can also purchase the Explorer Pass at Costco.) This is the best pass for flexibility because it covers lots of sights and allows a lengthy window in which to visit them. It’s still important to prioritize expensive attractions, though. If you spend $149 on the 7 attraction pass you could still lose money if you only go to the lowest priced sights.
The other way to buy an Explorer Pass is to build your own list of attractions. In this system, you scroll through the list of attractions, select the ones you want and buy each a la carte for a discount. The more tickets you but, the bigger discount you get. Even buying only two tickets saves some money, though. For instance, if you knew you were going to visit Top of the Rock and the Museum of Modern Art, but you weren’t sure about other attractions, buying the tickets through Explorer Pass would save you about $9. I like the a la carte deal a lot because you’re not stuck paying for stuff you don’t want and you won’t be rushed into using them at a certain time. It’s a simple way to save a few bucks on only the things you want to see.
City passes may not be for everyone. Not all travelers like the idea of creating detailed plans for each day. Many prefer relaxing in a park or café to waiting in line for an observation deck. It’s important to know what you prefer when you travel, so consider your own style and decide what you really want to see on a trip to New York, and then get ready to save some cash.
Check out other NYTG City Passes articles.