New York City might be the city that never sleeps, but you do need to sleep at some point! Once you have finished your busy day exploring the many things to do in New York, you will want somewhere to rest your head. One of the biggest challenges I've had when visiting New York is finding somewhere affordable to stay. Like any major city, accommodations don't come cheap. So I've put together a few tips for you with techniques you can use to save money on your hotel room. Put your savings instead toward a couple of cocktails or a shopping spree.
Image via Flickr by Anthony Quintano
Room rates can change according to the season. This is largely determined by the time of year you visit. You will find the best New York hotel deals during winter, from Jan. 4th until mid-March. Autumn is definitely the most expensive season, but if you choose to visit in November, things should be quieter and more budget-friendly (as long as you're not traveling on Thanksgiving weekend). If you're aiming for a bargain, don't consider Christmas, New Year's Eve, or the weekend of the NYC marathon — expect to pay a lot during these times.
You should also decide carefully on the length of your visit. You want enough days to fit in everything that you want to see and do, but not too many that it makes accommodation too expensive! I suggest a 4 day New York itinerary.
While having Fifth Avenue at your doorstep is great, the advantages of a Midtown location are generally overrated, especially since you will pay a premium for it. The subway is regular and reliable, and even if you stay on the Upper West Side, you can be at the major attractions in about half an hour. By staying slightly away from the hustle and bustle, you will not only save money but also get to experience where real locals live, experience smaller crowds, have great restaurants nearby, and see what life in the city is really like.
If you choose to travel over a weekend, you might be able to grab some bargains. Because New York is a major business hub, many business hotels that are busy on weekdays are quiet on weekends. In fact, rooms can sell for as much as half-price on Friday and Saturday nights. I recommend using a comparison site to find the best hotel deals.
You might think package holidays are a thing of the past, but more companies are reaping the rewards of selling multiple holiday components to the consumer. Generally, a package will include airfare, accommodations, transportation to and from the airport, and sometimes extras such as sightseeing tours or shopping discount coupons. This will often cost less in total than the hotel alone costs. Shop around to see what's available during your trip.
Booking your accommodation late can be a great way to save money. An empty room makes the hotelier no money, so they would rather offer it up at a discounted rate than not at all. This can be a risky option, particularly on busy days of the year, but it can also yield great benefits if you find the right deal.
Equipped with these tips, you should easily find a hotel in New York that won't break the bank. Check out this post for travel hacks when you are broke!