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Stellar424 Jan 9th, 2009 10:51 PM

Staten Island or Long Island City?
I'm trying to plan a trip to NYC on a very tight budget. I was originally planning on staying in NJ and taking the bus to the city, but I am finding some really good hotel deals in Staten Island and Long Island City. Since transportation would be cheaper and shorter (for Long Island), I am leaning more toward those areas. Any opinions on either place?

Rhea58 Jan 10th, 2009 01:11 AM

Long Island City would be my choice.
Ask hotel how far they are from the
#7 subway which is a short ride
to Grand Central Sta.
Staten Island will eat up more of your day w/a ferry ride and then a subway.

nytraveler Jan 10th, 2009 10:15 AM

Staten Island is a very poor choice. First you have to get from the hotel to the ferry (can take 30 minutes or mre) then the ferry to Manhattan (another 30 minutes at least), then you're at the far south end of the island.

Long Island City, while not very pleasant, has the benefit of being only about 10 minutes from Manhattan by subway. (But do check the exact location of any hotel from the nearest subway stop - should be no more than a few blocks.) The hotels are serviceable and the area semi-industrial, but it's much more conveninet.

However, with all the incredible deals in Manhattan at the moment I would really try to stay there. If you look at travelzoo, hotwire etc - and even the hotel web sites - many rooms are available at incredibly low prices.

Stellar424 Jan 10th, 2009 11:29 AM

There will be 4 of us and I'm looking to spend no more than $750 for 6 nights. There are a lot of great deals in NYC, but none of the rooms in that price range are big enough for 4 people!

I have definitely decided against staten island as it will take out too much time for traveling.

I'm still considering closer areas of NJ, and I've found a really good deal in Queens at a hotel with great reviews. (the Pan American)

We're not looking for anything nice, just a cheap place to sleep in a decent location!

nytraveler Jan 10th, 2009 11:40 AM

Just be aware that later in the evening - after 11 pm or so - the train will run only every 20 to 30 minutes - rather than every 5 as is does during the day.

Aduchamp1 Jan 10th, 2009 11:51 AM

Try Jazz on the Town and Second Home on Second Avenue.

We have had relatives stay at the Pan Am but it is a bit out of the way.

J62 Jan 10th, 2009 11:51 AM

Be aware that sales & NYC hotel tax will add over 20% to your hotel bill, so budget accordingly. That means your real target is about $100/night for a room. Yes, it hurts.

While not ideal, I think the location in Queens is ok, at least for a few days. I like the ability to go back to my room mid afternoon to rest & relax, then go back out in the evening for a show or dinner. The location in Queens would make that harder to do.

mclaurie Jan 10th, 2009 03:07 PM

"We're not looking for anything nice, just a cheap place to sleep in a decent location!"

When is the trip and what do you plan to do? A "decent location" may change depending on your plans. How are you getting here? Some places are fine with a car but not otherwise. You haven't mentioned any hotels so far in Long Island City that fit your budget and that's a lot closer than the Pan Am which can take 40-60 mins. to travel.

The Holiday Inn in Ft. Lee NJ is great if you have a car and can drive in and out each day and park in a garage.

nytraveler Jan 10th, 2009 04:54 PM

I know a lot of people say Fort Lee is good - but it really depends on when you travel. I used to work in Jersey and at rush hour - or if there's an accident or some sort of delay on the dreaded cross Bronx - it can easily take 30 minutes from the entrance to the bridge to get into Manhattan.

TarheelsInNj Jan 10th, 2009 07:43 PM

If you're on a budget, do consider that the train from NJ will cost more than the subway from Long Island City. You can buy an unlimited subway pass that will take you everywhere you need to go, rather than taking the train/Path from NJ and still needing to buy a subway card.

mclaurie Jan 11th, 2009 08:30 AM

The PATH train from New Jersey is only $1.75 and there are now multi ride cards for that as well.

We still need to know whether you're driving or flying and if flying which airport will make a big difference for your selected location. You don't want to stay in NJ if you're flying into JFK or LGA and vice versa, don't stay in Queens/LIC if you're flying into Newark. It's really inconvenient and becomes pricey.

Stellar424 Jan 11th, 2009 08:39 AM

We are planning on driving, but I would rather not drive into the city everyday since parking is expensive. That was one reason for considering Long Island City since we could take the subway straight into the city.

Some of the hotels I'm looking at in Long Island City are the Comfort Inn and Quality Inn. I'm also looking at the Crowne Plaza and Red Roof Inn in the Secaucus area.

The four of us are 22-23 year olds. Two of us have been to NYC before (including myself), the other two have never been. We plan on just exploring the city, and our hope is to see most of the neighborhoods during our stay.

Stellar424 Jan 11th, 2009 08:43 AM

Forgot to mention also, we will be going the second week of March.

MsSteinrunner Jan 11th, 2009 09:49 AM

Both the Quality Inn and the Comfort Inn are conveniently located near train stations, and it is a quick shot into the city. Perhaps the Comfort Inn is the one just a bit closer to the heart of the action. Where do you plan to leave the car?

nytraveler Jan 11th, 2009 09:56 AM

I hate to break it to you - but parking most places inn the greater metro area is not easy - or free (unless in your own driveway). There is no way I would leave a car overnight for several nights on a street in Queens - assuming you can find a plcae that doesn;t have meters and/or alternate side of the street parking due to street cleaning.

You MUST pay attention to that. If you park your car on a street cleaning day and it blocks the cleaning machine you are liable to tow and it will cost you more than $1000 to get your car back ($150 for the parking ticket, the tow fee and the impound lot fee). If parking anyplace in NYC you MUST read every sign with care and take them seriously. they do periodic sweeps and tow dozens of cars at a time - and you simply don;t want to deal with this.

Also, realize you must check if your hotel has a garage (most don;t) and what they charge to park in it.

Stellar424 Jan 11th, 2009 10:18 AM

Some reviewers of the hotels in Long Island City had said they were able to find free parking on the streets; however, I do not know how long they left their cars there. That is something I hadn't really thought about.

The Pan American in Queens does provide free parking and is close to the subways.

The Red Roof Inn in Secaucus also provides free parking. Does anyone know about the NJ bus into NYC? Is it a very long trip? Is it fairly easy to use for tourists?

Thanks so much for everyone's comments...I love this forum!!!

mclaurie Jan 11th, 2009 10:37 AM

I think your budget is unreasonable for 4 people. You're talking about paying $25/person per night. That's barely a hostel price. You MIGHT find that sort of price in a hostel in a dorm room and that might not be a bad option. Big Apple Hostel and Hostelling international are 2 good options as is the Vanderbilt YMCA and the Westside YMCA. I don't know if you're men, women or mixed, but if you're all women, you might be able to find 2 rooms at one of the women's residences like the Brandon for that price.

The only hotel I can think of that fits all your criteria is the Holland Motor Lodge off the NJ tpke. It's free parking, the room rate is right and it's within a walk of a PATH train (like a subway) to Manhattan.

But honestly, I can't imagine any 23 yr olds wanting to schlepp back and forth if you plan on having any sort of nightlife. Taking a bus from Secaucus is fine if you're a family with small kids and don't plan to be out at night anyway.

The Quality Inn in Long Island City is pretty decent and not far from Manhattan but they have NO parking. They say on the website there's nearby municipal parking that's cheap, but I wouldn't be so sure that it will be available or easy. You may have to feed meters daily or move the car each day. What a pain. As for the Comfort Inn LIC, as far as I can tell a room for 4 is 50-100% more than your budget.

doug_stallings Jan 11th, 2009 11:12 AM

There's absolutely no question that it's significantly more convenient to stay in Long Island City (i.e., Queens, not anywhere close to Long Island) than in Fort Lee. The NJ Transit bus costs at least double the cost of the subway. And remember that you would have to pay for the subway on top of the NJ Transit bus.

However, you are going to pay for parking; on-street parking in that part of the city for 6 days is not feasible nor advisable. If your budget is this tight, I think you need to actually add up the individual costs. NJ Transit has a web site to get the actual cost of the bus.

The subway is $2 each way but costs only $25 for a week, and if you plan to take the subway 3 times daily, that's a much better deal per person, even for only 6 days.

The Pan-American hotel is fairly inconvenient. For example, you couldn't take a cheap cab ride late at night, and the subway often runs only once every 20 or 30 minutes after 11.

nytraveler Jan 11th, 2009 11:21 AM

Sorry - $25 per night per person isn't even hostel money. The Hosteling International one on 103rd St charges $35 per night per bed/locker in a dorm room.

There's a difference between a budget trip and an impossible budget. And if you can afford only $25 per night for a hotel, what do you plan on paying for food, for sights, for entertainment? NYC can be done on a budget- but not for nothing.

Gekko Jan 11th, 2009 12:19 PM

LIC is the obvious location choice if you can't stay in Manhattan.

Enjoy NYC!

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