I recently had to take a quick trip to New York City to tour the Norwegian Gem. I was traveling by myself and only spending one night. Asking around, the Hotel Tonight smartphone app was brought to my attention and I made up my mind that this was the way I was going to get myself a room for the night. With Hotel Tonight, you can get really good discounts but you can only reserve your room after noon of the night you want to stay. About four days before I was flying out, I realized that the UN General Assembly was happening in New York. A quick check on the app and I realized hotels were going to cost me more than I wanted to spend.
What to do?
I quickly exited the Hotel Tonight app and clicked on the Airbnb app. Airbnb is a website that people can list their apartment that they want to rent out for a night or so. That’s right, you’re not staying in a hotel at all but staying in someone’s house, apartment, or even just a room in their house or apartment. The major benefit with this option is significant savings on you accommodations.
After doing a search for my destination, I found a in the Hell’s Kitchen area. After a quick conversation through Airbnb with the host, I made my reservation. I was little relieved at that point but still nervous because I never used this site and never stayed someplace like this while I traveled.
After landing in New York I made my way over to where the apartment building was located. I was in contact with my host through text messages the whole time. She wasn’t quite ready for me, which was ok since I could check out where I had to go the next day to tour the ship. I then spent some time in a park down the street enjoying a beautiful day till she was ready for me to come up. When she was ready for me I made my way to her building, announced my self at the front desk, and was on my way up to her apartment.
The apartment was a small studio on the 6th floor of a fairly new building. The studio wasn’t real big, but then again I’m used to whole houses and not studios and apartments in high-rise buildings. It had everything I needed for staying the night and the location was excellent. It was really close to 9th ave. in the Hell’s Kitchen area. There are tons of restaurants nearby, a real foodie destination. It was also only four and a half blocks from the pier where I had to go the next day, perfect for me. My host was very nice and made the whole experience with Airbnb a good one. I would definitely use it again on some of my other travels when hotel options just don’t work out.