Photos courtesy of Amazing Travel Photos
I pass through New York City once or twice each year and, because there’s some much to do and see in New York, usually like to stay for a couple of days. But hotels in the Big Apple are ridiculously expensive, so it makes sense to stay in a hostel which is much cheaper.
Now you can stay in hostels all over Europe for 10 to 20 Euros per night for a bed. The average price might be 15 Euros per night. This usually includes all taxes, as price in Europe are normally quoted with the value-added tax already included. Accommodation would be in a dormitory room with 4, 6 or 8 beds. Of course, some cities like London and New York were always expensive. I recall paying about $35 dollars total, including taxes, in New York City a couple of years ago. I thought that was expensive, but it is, after all, New York.
So this year I had a flight to New York’s JFK airport. After booking the flight, I went looking for a hostel on hostelworld.com, and was shocked by the prices this year. A bed in a dormitory was $50. After all the taxes it came to $65. So the price for one night accommodation jumped from $35 to $65 in about a year. In many European cities, you can rent an entire furnished 1-bedroom apartment for 50 Euros.
No World Class Hostel
Now New York might be a world class city, but for 65 dollars in New York, don’t expect to get a world class hostel. The place where I stayed is well below average compared to European hostels. It’s kind of old and a little run-down, has few amenities and not much common space. It’s no more than a place to sleep and keep your things.
Now on the positive side there was free wireless internet, they did have good electronic locks on the doors, and lockable lockers, and the room had a window unit for A/C. And they do regular maintenance and cleaning. But there was no kitchen or refrigerator, no breakfast, either free or paid, no television room to chill out and watch the Olympics.
Apparently, city officials in New York City shut down a lot of hostels that were operating. The result is a shortage of hostel beds in the city. So the hostel operators who are still operating have decided to take full advantage of the situation and jack up prices by 100% or more.
My advice is to avoid New York City as a travel destination until there are more choices for budget accommodation, and more hostels.