Ways To Find Cheap Accommodation In New York City

Are you out here looking for cheap accommodation in one of the world’s most busiest and expensive city of New York?

You can start by looking at which areas are cheaper than others. Brooklyn, Jersey City, Queens, and Newark are four areas located east and west of Lower Manhattan that offer significantly cheaper hotels.

However, there are even cheaper options than hotels, so if you’re a good organizer and love planning ahead these options below will be right up your alley.

Home Swaps

A creative and worthwhile way to get yourself over to New York is by house swapping. Loads of websites facilitate this sort of exchange. Some websites are free and others charge a premium, but just keep in mind that the accommodation is free. You don’t need to offer any money.

You can upload your property and see if you get any takers. This option is good if you own your home or an apartment that is suitable to swap.

House Sitting

House sitting is an affordable way to travel slowly around New York for free and a good alternative to renting or Airbnbs. There are plenty of job ads posted year-round to suit all different people.

You can do pretty much anything, from watering plants to minding cats to feeding fish or a couple of pups. Whatever you feel comfortable doing could end up staying at a quaint apartment in Brooklyn for free.

This does require the ability to sell yourself to the person you’re messaging though. The person on the other end of that message wants to hear that you are capable of minding their animal and that their beloved, precious pet will be in good hands if they let you (a stranger) stay at their house.

If you’ve grown up with pets or house-sitting before, or just feel that you can do the job, house-sitting is probably going to be the option for you.


Couchsurfing is a really niche accommodation option that’s only really suited for short-term stays and when I say short-term I mean a few days at a time. The stay is free, and you’ll be staying on a couch or a small nook in the house, so it won’t be as comfortable as staying at an Airbnb where you have the whole house to yourself. But it is free.

The whole sentiment behind Couchsurfing was to let travelers travel through cities for a few days at a time as a helping hand in a cultural immersive experience. 

This is a great option for New York because you can meet some well-traveled and cultured people and stay at some extraordinary apartments in town.

This is a good option if you’re looking to cruise through New York, get your bearings for a few days, and make friends. You just need to make a profile on the website. 

Travel in the Shoulder-season of Off-Peak Seasons

The shoulder seasons in New York are April to June and September to early November. The weather is still good around this time, and the streets aren’t as crowded with other tourists. 

Traveling during off-peak seasons is economical, because hotels, and flights, all drop down to reasonable prices anywhere you go. 

This takes a bit of organization and planning though! Book your flights and accommodation months in advance. When visiting New York, consider going in Autumn or Spring when everyone else is still working through the year and hasn’t gone on their holidays yet. 

Woofing at Hostels and Working in Hospitality

Worldpackers offers a range of different work and stay experiences. Several ads on worldpackers.com advertise reception and hostel work with free meals and accommodation. 

Hostel Jobs in New York also offers a range of different jobs over the city where you can work at a hostel. 

For this, you need a working holiday visa though, so check what you’re county’s visas are. 

Staying at a Hostel

Hostels can be cheap options and can vary in price. Hostels are clean and safe and you can generally choose an all-female or all-male dorm.

The prices vary from $30 to $120 a night, as you can probably imagine, the more expensive dorms are more expensive locations, and if you want a private room that’s obviously going to be more expensive.

Buy a Travel Bundle

Buying your flights and accommodation together can help save money. Of course you are restricted in a lot of ways by doing this but if the package deal suits you, this is a really good way to save money on your travels and score some cheaper accommodation in New York. 

These deals will normally offer decent layovers with extras that you wouldn’t otherwise get if you were to book everything individually, so it can be worth it sometimes doing it this way. 

Going into a travel branch where you can sit down a chat with the staff might score you some extra deals that you might not be able to find online on your own. 

Author: Britt

I am Britt. I have been house-sitting and pet-sitting for the past 7 years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.

The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been extraordinary.

Through house-sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters and Trusted House Sitters, I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters. This unique way of living has allowed me to save money on accommodation, explore new cultures and meet new people.

Being a member of these platforms has broadened my horizons and opened doors to short- and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well-maintained.

I get many questions about how to start as a housesitter, so if you have any questions, please reach out! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!

You can read more about Jay and me here!

Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house-sitting community on Facebook.

House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence
Me (Britt) House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence, France

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