I have decided I am going on vacation, specifically to New York (also Toronto and Montreal) in September. You should be jealous.
I’ve spent the last little while researching my destinations, for once using the internet for good, instead of watching
porn Youtube videos. Originally, my plan was to stay in New Jersey and take the train to and from Manhattan, but that’s gonna cost me $25 per day, plus almost an hour each way. I’m on vacation dammit, I don’t have time for that. Besides, who willingly stays in New Jersey? I might catch whatever it is the cast of Jersey Shore has. It’s herpes, right?
After a few minutes of looking for hotels in New York, I came to a couple conclusions. The first is HOT DAMN THAT CITY IS EXPENSIVE. In most cities in North America, $100 gets you a decent room located somewhere fairly central. You’re not going to get the Four Seasons or anything, but you’re at least looking at a Holiday Inn. In New York, that gets you a bed in a hostel sharing a bathroom with some guy named Sven from Norway. If you want a decent priced hotel room, you either have to stay in the outskirts or in Brooklyn.
I did a little more research, and Brooklyn seems like a civilized place. There are barely any reviews from people who wet their pants in terror walking from the subway. Most of the hotels are fairly new, and the subway ride to Manhattan takes about 20 minutes. Plus, according to Expedia, rooms can be had for $150-$200 per night. Some are a little cheaper even.
Enter the Best Western in Brooklyn. It has terrific reviews on Expedia, is literally right across the street from a subway station, and even has a decent looking exercise area that I wouldn’t use because I’m lazy. They give you breakfast, and the hotel is nice enough you might even impress the special lady you’re taking back to it. Expedia has it listed for an average of $186 per night during my visit, which isn’t a bad deal for New York.
I decided to check out the hotel’s website as well, just to see if it gave me any more information. It didn’t, except for one very notable exception – the price. On Best Western’s site, the hotel was listed for $160 per night. If I stay for 5 nights, I’m saving $130. Not bad for a little extra work. Plus, if you book through their website, you can cancel up to a few days before showing up without paying a dime. Once Expedia gets your reservation, you’re committed.
I decided to test this theory a little more, so I found a Super 8 in the same area, saving a whopping $6 a night. (Certain unnamed frugality bloggers have done far, far more work to save $6) The Days Inn in the area was $5 per night more when booked through Expedia, so was the Comfort Inn. If you’re willing to pony up for a non-refundable room through the Sleep Inn’s website, you’ll save $25 per night versus Expedia.
Hotels that are part of a chain are consistently cheaper if you book with them direct. Expedia is a fun place to look for hotels, but do your booking direct. You might also try Hotwire, which has some pretty solid deals, assuming you don’t mind a little uncertainty. They say variety is the spice of life.