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15 Ways to Find Cheap Accommodation in New York City

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This post lists 15 ideas for finding cheap hotels and other accommodations for your trip to NYC.

You might think that finding cheap hotels in New York City can be nearly impossible. But it's not!

If you know how to look, you can find great New York budget accommodation options.

If you are planning on exploring the city, be sure to check out our pay-what-you-wish walking tours.

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Here are some suggestions: 

1. Take advantage of hotel search tools

TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Kayak.com allow users to use filters to narrow down their price and location preferences, in addition to reading reviews of each lodging facility.


2. Utilize discount websites

Groupon and Living Social. Both offer significant deals on New York City hotels, as well as trip packages.


3. Ask members of our Facebook group

Join our NYC Travel Tips and Hacks and find out from savvy budget travelers how they found great deals.

New York Travel Tips and Hacks

4. Go in the offseason

Nearly all types of accommodation are cheaper in the off-season simply because the demand for rooms is much less.

Read about the cheapest times to visit NYC.


5. Opt for a hostel

Although many people think of hostels as dormitories, most are very clean and offer the option of a private or single-sex room.

Guests who stay in a hostel in NYC spend an average of $32 per night, while guests who stay in a hotel spend an average of $290!

This is a list of some of our favorite hostels in New York City.


6. Check out Eurocheapo

Think as the Europeans do! Budget accommodations have been a staple across cities in Europe for decades.

Eurocheapo is a site that helps travelers find cheap hotels in Europe, and, recently, New York City and San Francisco!

Eurocheapo has an office in NYC, and they send their editors unannounced to thoroughly inspect the rooms and pass their recommendations on to the customers. 


7. Look at local guidebooks 

Timeout New York offers a guide to cheap accommodations that include stylish new hotels and very hip hostels. Ratings and reviews are for both accommodations and price.


8. Stay in a bed and breakfast 

Bed and Breakfast.com is a site that allows users to browse for affordable B&Bs that are located near many of New York City’s great attractions. 


9. Do a temporary rental with the property owner

Sites such as Airbnb and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) offer renters many options that can be directly discussed with the owner of the room or apartment.

Accommodations in New York City run from about $60 a night to $200.

This really is a good option if you prefer a private room or would like to share a home, right in the heart of the city.


10. Consider housesitting

Many single or family home/apartment owners are looking for house sitters to take care of homes and pets. 

Trusted Housesitters (US) is a site that connects people who are looking either for or to house-sit.

They also offer our guests a 10% membership when they use FREETOURS10 at checkout.


11. Join a loyalty program

There are many hotel chains that offer steep discounts to those who are members of their loyalty program.


12. Never be afraid to ask for a discount

Oftentimes hotels will offer lower rates to those who are educators, military personnel, students, or return guests.


13. Consider buying a trip package

Often times when you buy airfare, accommodation, and activities as a bundle, the cost for each is much lower!


14. Work for it

Though usually targeted toward budget travelers who are willing to work on a farm or do construction in exchange for free food and accommodation, Workaway also operates in NYC.

Guests are usually asked to feed pets or do dishes (as farming is obviously not an option!) in exchange for a couple of nights' stay in New York City!


15. Consider Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a travel collective where people who are interested in a cultural exchange accept travelers into their homes (you can also do the same if you like).

You must create a profile and then contact potential hosts that will put you up for the number of nights they offer you.

Both hosts and travelers can write a review so that other travelers can choose where to stay. Excellent budget-minded way to travel, especially for those traveling solo!

And an added perk is that hosts can offer guests an insider's perspective on life in the Big Apple.

Once you find your special place, it’s time to see the Big Apple with Free Tours by Foot!

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: January 19th, 2023
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