A good way to save money on vacation is to get a bunch of friends and rent a house or apartment together. We all know that New York is not exactly a cheap destination and accommodation can really burn holes in your pockets, so managing to save some money is excellent. Plus, when you rent a place to stay in, you’ve got more freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, while benefiting from the hotel-like facilities. Add the money saved by cooking some of the meals and you have a win-win situation.
When to Rent?
My experience with big cities has taught me that there’s actually no low season. Yes, there are periods when it’s cheaper to travel to New York but don’t expect miracles. However, do avoid Christmas and New Year’s Eve if you want to save money. From mid-January and early March it’s definitely possible to find cheaper flights and accommodation.
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What to Rent?
This is probably the most difficult question to answer. If you don’t know what to rent, start by asking the following questions:
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- How many people are going to live in the same apartment/house?
- What sights do we plan to visit? What neighborhood do we prefer?
- Is someone willing to do the cooking?
- Do we like a decent place or do we want luxury?
Once those questions answered, start looking for places. And make sure to read the descriptions. Some apartments might have a full kitchen, while others may only have a small one with limited cooking facilities.
Typically the location sets the price. Manhattan apartments will be more expensive than in Brooklyn or Queens. Expect to pay $300 per night in 2 bedrooms apartment (sleeps 6) in Manhattan, while in Brooklyn, you can stay in a 2 bedrooms apartment (sleeps 6) for $275 per night.
Also, if you choose an apartment or vacation house on the waterfront, be prepared to rack up some serious money. A private home (2 Bedrooms/sleeps 6) on Staten Island costs between $1000-1500 per week.
You can rent from a web site or directly from the owner. Many websites list apartments and houses listed by owners. In most (if not all) cases, you’ll be able to use a credit card, at least to make a reservation, if not to pay in full.