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Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

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Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

My family and I are looking at vacationing around NYC next summer, but it seems cheaper to stay in Jersey than in the actual city. We were even thinking of renting a care since we will stay for about 8 days so we could go to other cities and see other sites as well as New York. Is it worth renting a car to travel around? Is it easy to get to and from NYC and Jersey on public transportation? Does public transportation cost a lot? Also, which airport is best to fly into (Newark, La Guardia, JFK)?

There will most likely be 5 of us...4 adults and on 6 year old.

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1. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

Why not start with this thread when it comes to using New Jersey as a base for visiting NYC. This should give you some thoughts to digest.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k5808022…

Parking in the big cities like Boston, NYC, Phillie & D.C. is cost prohibitive. Places with ample free parking tend to be far away from the actual city you want to visit.

If you want to visit the cities, I'd recommend you fly into Boston and work your way down to New York, Phillie and D.C. by train (Amtrak) and then fly home from D.C. (or in reverse order)

If you want focus on New York City and possibly spend a couple days in the countryside then I'd recommend you fly into LaGuardia or JFK and use Long Island City (an excellent neighborhood in Queens) as a base.

Then, for your trips out of town, if you want a car, either pick up a car at LaGuardia if you can get a competitive rate or take Metro-North to Stamford or White Plains to pick up a car outside the city, save money, avoid city driving / hassles / traffic, etc. and head for the Hudson Valley / Southern Connecticut, the Shore Line.

7 day unlimited ride MetroCards for use on the subways and buses are $29.00 but will be going up in March.

The NYC subway does not go to New Jersey. NJ Transit does not go anywhere in New York City except the main train station - Penn Station.

The cost of paying for transportation on two systems is not only time consuming, it generally more than erodes any savings on a cheaper hotel rate.

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2. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

BEfore you talk about spending time in cities other than NYC--how much time are you allocating for this vacation. Unless it is more than a week, you will have more than enough to do right here in NYC.

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3. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

Thanks for replying to my message so quickly! I never thought of flying to one city, traveling by train between cities and then flying out the another! it sounds like a fun option. We will definitely look into that. Thanks for the advice on in-city staying as well. Long Island City sounds like a good option as well! I look forward to booking our trip soon!

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4. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

Let's go back to Economics 101 -- price is a function of supply and demand. The reason that it is so much cehaper to stay in New Jersey is that few people want to put up with the annoyance, the delay, and the extra expense of travelling back and forth to another state while visiting New York. Because there is so little demand (and rightly so!) the price is less -- because who would pay Manhattan prices to stay two hours away, with the added cost of transportation piled on top of that? A little research will show you that as far as New Jersey hotels are concerned, the price drops rapidly as the distance, time,and expense of getting into Manhattan increases. Think of it this way -- if for your visit to NYC you plan to stay in rural Texas instead of New Jersey, you could probably pay next to nothing for a hotel -- but how much would it cost to get to NYC every day, and how long would it take? That is the extreme example -- but I think you get the idea.

As Moreffmiles noted, you can stay more cheaply in New York City if you do not stay in the borough of Manhattan, but instead stay in the boroughs of Queens or Brooklyn close to a subway line. Long Island City, which is a neighborhood in Queens directly across the East River from midtown, has many new hotels at much lower prices than similar acommodations just a short subway ride away -- but there are other hotels in other neighborhoods that can also work for you.

You will NOT (not! not! not!!!) want a car while you are actually in NYC.

If you do stay in Brooklyn or Queens, you do not want to fly into Newark. If you choose NJ, at very least get a hotel that is close to a PATH station (look up PATH for the route map), and use Newark.

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5. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

Staying in a hotel in Jersey City or Hoboken near a PATH station is not worse for distance-wise than staying in Long Island City. The only caveat is that you can only use the Pay-Per-Ride Metrocard on the PATH but not the Unlimited Ride Metrocard.

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6. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

Manhattan has some great hotel discounts for summer. It's too early to be seeing those prices.

A car is entirely impractical in the area. Driving is challenging and parking is difficult and expensive.

You can travel to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC easily by train. Those cities are also easy to enjoy without a car. A car would only make sense if you wanted to go to beach areas or rural areas. If that's what you want, you would rent a car for that particular part of your trip.

NJ is cheaper and can make sense for people who don't mind devoting a large amount of time and effort into saving money and also making major sacrifices about how much time they spend exploring vs in their hotel room. If you stayed in Manhattan, you could come and go as you please vs setting out on a day-long journey then being stuck in your hotel when you return. It's great to be able to return to your hotel for a bit of downtime, then walk out for a bit more exploration (even if it's entirely unplanned exploring). Even stepping out for breakfast can be fun.

There are areas in NYC, just outside of Manhattan with cheaper rates that would be more convenient than NJ. Long Island City (Queens) is one of them.

But... don't rule out staying in Manhattan. If you're looking at hotel prices now, you're not getting a good sense of what the sale prices will be in July and August. It's a lower demand time for NYC hotels.

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7. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

We have stayed in Queens, Manhattan midtown and downtown and uptown and Jersey City. Each have a diffetent vibe and depends on what you want to do. Last time i was in Jersey, i was 3 blocks from the PATH train and that made it easy as I just wanted to go into midtown and did not have to switch trains. And I took the Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty ferry from the Jersey side. Plus i had a great view of the Manhattan skyline from my room. What I missed was the vibe of the city late at night and in the morning.

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8. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

I agree with almost everything everyone wrote and just want to add that you need to settle on exact dates to be able to price your trip. Rates can vary quite amazingly withing a short space of time.

You'll probably need 2 rooms, right? And with a baby, I would not even consider any NJ hotel that requires you to use a bus to get to into NYC, not matter how cheap. So you're points of comparison will really be Jersey City or the Queens/Long Island City

Where I differ is on the car advice. If you want to go to different cities (Philadelphia, Washington -- both well worth visiting if you have the time) then for 4 adults I think it will be a lot cheaper and even easier to do a car rental. Philly can be done in a day so it's a one day rental and for Washington, which requires one overnight at least, you could either park it in DC for under $30/day or do two one-way rentals. The train is fun but expensive for 4.

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9. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

Good point about the car vs. train tickets for four adults.

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10. Re: Travel to NYC - stay in New Jersey?

Traffic getting in and out of these cities during the week and particularly around rush hour (and also on weekends) can be brutal.

I have to drive in and out of the Philadelphia area for work on a regular basis and it can take me 90 minutes to cover a 30 mile stretch - this is more the norm than the exception. Then parking.

Book Amtrak in advance and you can get lower fares. There are student fares (15% off) and AAA fares (10%) off.

The tax on rental cars in New York State is almost 19% so a $100. rental can easily be over $150. if you need any additional insurance.

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