Big Apple Savings

Vacationing in the Big Apple can put a BIG dent in your wallet.  According to a recent travel survey, the average price for a hotel room in the heart of New York City will run you about $300.

Not exactly cheap, though the hit to your travel budget could sting a lot more if you stay at luxury four-star chains, such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Sheraton properties.

So what’s a frugal traveler to do if he wants to visit Manhattan without going broke?

Fortunately, there is good news for budget-conscious tourists looking to explore the nation’s most expensive hotel city.  Starting next month, penny pinchers will be able to stay at the city’s first-ever Best Western Premier for just $160 per night, excluding taxes.  The skinny price tag will get you roughly 210 square feet; however, if you are willing to fork over about $55 more you can upgrade to one of the hotel’s four suites, which feature slanted all-glass walls that overlook some of New York City’s most historic buildings.

If you can’t book a room at the Best Western on your desired dates, consider checking into the Holiday Inn Express on 36th Street near 6th Avenue.  Rates there start at just $199, which is downright affordable for lodging in that part of town.  Another inexpensive option is the new Hyatt Place, the chain’s first property in Manhattan. Right now you can relax in a clean and stylish room for just $195.

While the $195 price may sound inviting, keep in mind it doesn’t include taxes which differ depending on the location of your hotel.  In addition, parking fees, charges for Internet use and other incidentals may increase the room rate significantly if you are not careful.

To keep costs down, inquire about specials and other discounts.  For example, from now through the end of April you can take advantage of a Hilton HHonors promotion.  The Resort Escapes deal is good at properties from Maui to Orlando.  Simply stay five nights and you’ll get the fifth night free. The catch:  You must book between now and April 30 and stay March 15 through September 30, 2013 at participating Hilton HHonors resorts.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.