Sometimes hotels and hostels don’t fit the bill in the Big Apple—even literally; if you’d prefer some extra personal space while visiting New York City, especially if you want a kitchen to cook your own food instead of going out to eat at expensive restaurants, then renting an apartment can be a welcome alternative. Here are some tips for renting an apartment in NYC before booking:
Location, location, location. Manhattan is a big island—but transportation in NYC is super easy and extensive. The farther out you go, the cheaper the prices are (for just about everything), but being ‘far out’ doesn’t mean too much when subway rides are only a few bucks and when the MTA takes you just about anywhere you need to go. Brooklyn, Queens, and Hoboken may not initially seem ideal if most of the attractions you want to see are in Manhattan, but no matter where you are, you’ll only have to walk a few blocks to the closest station—and the price will make it worth it.
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The ubiquitous Craigslist has vacation rentals posted constantly, every day (too many to sort through, even). As with anything else on that infamous website, you have to take special care not to be suckered into anything without full disclosure—scams do happen. If you use common sense and keep an eye out, though (e.g. don’t give out credit card information), chances are you’ll find exactly the deal you’re looking for, quickly and easily. There’s an option for all searches called ‘has image,’ and if you check that box, you can see for yourself what it is you’ll be staying in rather than having to read through descriptions. Other good vacation rental websites include HomeAway and VacationRentals, Flipkey, and New York Habitat. Something to consider: whether or not the apartment has air-conditioning (in summer) or heating (in winter). New York weather can be pretty extreme at times.
Editor’s Note: It has recently been deemed illegal for renters to rent out their apartments in NYC for less than 30 days. We don’t advocate breaking the law, and it’s something you should keep in mind when renting an apartment on your travels.