Advice for cheap travel in NYC?
I am possibly going to NYC in December. I've been once before and travelled rather cheaply. I realize that Manhattan hotels can get rather pricey ( I want to say I sqeaked out at $100 a night at Milford Plaza on my previous trip using hotels.com) I would want to fly from Greensboro, Raleigh or Charlotte, NC. I guess my question is what money saving tips can anyone give me for flights and for hotels. I would also need transportation between the two, preferrably the subway. I'd be alright not staying directly in Manhattan as long I was in a nice & safe area of town and had good transportation handy. For hotels I am not too hard to please, I am very happy staying at something along the line of a Days Inn. Any suggestions? And does the airports have easy access to the subway sytems? Thanks for any advice!! (also this would an early Christmas trip, any suggestions on what to try to take in?)
New York City - 6 Answers
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Consider flying into Newark and staying in Jersey City (15 minutes by subway into downtown Manhattan). That will require a slightly annoying train transfer (to get from Newark to JC you need to take first an NJ transit train, then a PATH) but the flight and hotel may be cheaper. JFK is easily accessible by subway, but then the subway ride into Manhattan is 45-60 minutes. LGA is not on a subway line, so you'll have to take a bus into Manhattan and/or transfer from bus to subway. You may find a good deal on a hotel near one of those two airports, but it'll be a long trek from there to the Manhattan tourist attractions (plus planes will fly low overhead all night). Use Travelocity or Orbitz to pick out a cheap flight but then buy it from the airline to save the $5-10 service fee. Good luck!
Try Priceline for hotel deals, but regardless, book early if you're going around Christmas. NYC is a popular holiday shopping destination. That said, the department store holiday windows are great free entertainment. You might also check online for B&B's (Craig's List?). I have friends who have found great, inexpensive places to stay that way. Entertainment: (Besides window shopping...or "real" shopping) The Metropolitan Museum itself is at least two days of entertainment if you're into that sort of thing. If so, there is also the Guggenheim, just a few blocks up Fifth Avenue. The Staten Island Ferry is free and gives you a great view of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. Not much to see on the Staten Island side, so just turn around and head back to Manhattan. Food: You'll find good, plentiful, cheap eats at Jackson Hole. They have several locations throughout the city. Primarily burgers, but every burger variation is also available made with chicken. The one at 232 E. 64th (not far from Bloomingdales) is pretty funky and there is another at 91st and Madison not far from the Guggenheim. http://www.jacksonholeburgers.com First Wok on the upper East Side has great Chinese Food (two locations at 78th and 88th/Third Avenue).
If you are coming to NY, you don't stay ANYWHERE in Jersey-----yuck... especially NEWARK!!!!! You can get very reasonable rates at some hotels in NYC and surrounding areas but December might be difficult as TONS of people flock to NYC to see the Radio City Musical hall show and Macys and Rockefeller Center and all the store window displays---it's REALLY quite a site to see NYC all decked out for Christmas....you COULD stay right in Queens right near the airport--google hotels in Astoria or Jamaica or Woodside or even Flushing (Fresh Meadows---right near where they play the US OPEN TENNIS....)...all have REAL easy access into the city via bus AND subway.....
One answer: walk Just rent a car to get to your hotel, and walk to see the tourist attractions along the way, you could also use the Subway if you are in Manhattan. email@example.com
Dare I suggest a hostel? OK, it does mean sharing a room with 4 -12 European backpackers who may or may not have snoring problems. But you do get to stay in Manhattan itself for 30 bucks or so- pick one with a curfew so that everyone has to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Private rooms with shared bathrooms I think tend to be $50-80. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a $20 suggested donation, but you can pay as little as you want. Take the subway to Brooklyn heights, and walk back across the Brooklyn bridge towards manhattan at sunset as the city lights up. The Staten Island ferry gives you a nice view of the city and Lady Liberty, and its free. Sunset might be a good time there as well- see the statue lit up, you can't visit the island itself that late. Central park is of course free. Washington sq in Greenwich village is also entertaining. Eating and shopping in Chinatown is generally very cheap
As far as cheap travel to NYC, I am sorry to say, that is hard to do! My advice is to check out Travelzoo.com, they sometimes have awesome NYC hotel deals. JFK airport has a shuttle that leaves from the airport and connects with the subway system in Queens and from there you take a train into Manhattan. December is a very busy and expensive month to visit. Good Luck and Enjoy!