Why buy a New York City Explorer Pass instead of a New York Pass?

The New York City Explorer Pass and the New York Pass are two of the most popular multi-attraction passes in the New York market. They both provide admission to many of the region’s top New York attractions, but there are important differences in how much time you have to visit attractions and how much you can realistically save using the pass. Taking these aspects into consideration it seems clear that the New York City Explorer Pass has the advantage.

How do they Compare?

The New York City Explorer Pass can save you up to 45% on combined admission prices, and their website offers examples of real customer savings, including detailed itineraries so you can compare it to your own potential savings.

One of the best things about the New York City Explorer Pass is the flexibility in your schedule. You have 30 days to visit all of your attractions with no time limits, no consecutive day requirements, and no need to rush. It’s great for visitors and locals.

The New York Pass doesn’t advertise a specific savings percentage, although they do give you one sample itinerary and how it saves you money. The problem? In order to save the most money you have to visit ten different attractions (several of which take hours each to properly see) in just three calendar days. That’s practically impossible and certainly a hassle to attempt.  

You’re also limited to visiting attractions for consecutive calendar days, which means that you don’t have a lot of wiggle room to accommodate bad weather, a change in plans, a change in attitude, or even just new ideas.

How Do I Use Them?

The products function in similar ways, in that both are smart cards that serve as your admission ticket to each included attraction. However, there are some key differences.

The New York Pass is purchased online and can be mailed to you or picked up in town. You need to order a minimum of four days in advance in order to receive your package in enough time.

The New York City Explorer Pass is available by mail or in city, and also via digital delivery. Digital delivery is a smart new option that sends the pass directly to your e-mail after purchase. Display the pass on a smartphone for admission, or go low tech and print it out. It’s great for last-minute planners.

What’s the Real Difference?

The biggest difference between these two products is in the style of travel that each pass facilitates. The New York City Explorer Pass is a flexible product that gives you an extensive variety of attraction choices and room to breathe when visiting them.  

If you feel motivated to take the “shop ‘til you drop” approach to touring New York, then the New York Pass may be a good option for you. However, keep in mind that the advertised savings are dependent upon (as they admit) you doing as much as humanly possible in a short amount of time. You have no room for error if you want to get the most for your money.

Last Thoughts

Deciding between a New York City Explorer Pass and a New York Pass? Think about what you really want out of a vacation. Do you want to see a few sights, enjoy the ambiance, relish delicious new restaurants, and have the freedom and flexibility to change your mind as you go? Then the New York City Explorer Pass is the right choice for you.