Accommodation in popular tourist destinations
Replies: 33 - Last Post: Jan 24, 2013 1:12 PM Last Post By: ianw6705
Jan 23, 2013 5:46 AM
Accommodation in popular tourist destinationsHello, me again. It is now settled on where we are going and transport all arranged for our 5 week trip around the US in May. Now I need to get going on the accommodation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
In the list of areas/cities below, what suburb/area should I be looking for accommodation? I really feel like I'm going in blind when it comes to booking the accommodation because there is so much available and all so widely spread around the areas. Is there an area that is most popular among tourists? Somewhere where "its all happening and we have to stay there"?
- Boston (possibly a bit out of the city to find a cheaper option but then close to public transport into the city)
- New York City (possibly a bit out of the city to find a cheaper option but then close to public transport into the city)
- Washington DC
- New Orleans
- Las Vegas (how do we find a good deal here?)
- An area near to Lake Tahoe or Reno
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles (possibly a bit out of the city to find a cheaper option)
Then for the following, we will be spending one night at each, do we stay inside the park, outside the park, at a nearby town, whats the best and cheapest option, we will have a rental car at both.
- Grand Canyon
We don't mind (a) roughing it, (b) staying in hostels, (c) staying in motels. Location and price are more important to us than comfort. We've got a backpacker attitude. Both between 25-30.
Thank you for any advice. Looking for accommodation is rather daunting when I have no idea where the best areas are.
Jan 23, 2013 6:16 AM
1Start by trying to find lodging at the national parks. Use the official park sites of http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm and http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm to find campgrounds and/or lodges inside the parks. A general hostels site should do for most of the other locations.
I think you might be using the word "suburb" the way Americans use "neighborhood." In New York City, for example, the borough of Manhattan has neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem. What we call suburbs, on the other hand, could be 90 minutes away in the state of New Jersey.
For Los Angeles, which is large and sprawling, you need to spend some time with a map and a guidebook. For Las Vegas, visit during the week rather than on the weekend for lower rates. Don't rely on finding urban campgrounds, and don't plan on camping for free by the side of a road.
Jan 23, 2013 6:38 AM
2I would not want to stay outside of NYC, the heartbeat and energy is in Manhattan, period, commuting is no fun, and late night as a city it is, not that safe IMO to many areas outside the city on trains. For instance, my company in NY will pay for taxi/car service to employees after 11pm, outside Manhattan.
For Boston, you want to be in the main city area as well, same with DC. Los Angeles is huge, traffic a nightmare, it depends where and what you are doing.
Las Vegas is a no brainer, use Expedia, the main strip in a big casino hotel with a fun pool life is the way to go, Mirage, Ceasars, MGM.
Camping in or near NP's depends on your gear and time of year.
Jan 23, 2013 6:49 AM
3In DC I stay in the Du Pont area, I've normally got a good place for under USD100.
In Las Vegas accom is cheap, last time I stayed at Harrah's/IMperial Palace for less than an average of USD40 a night and wasn't disappointed.
NYC will be your toughest area. Check out FAQ 256 and
Jan 23, 2013 6:51 AM
Jan 23, 2013 7:00 AM
5To save money in the cities, consider Priceline or Hotwire.
French Quarter. Garden District.
Stay off strip, but close.
Always try to stay within the park. That usually adds to the price.
Jan 23, 2013 7:01 AM
Jan 23, 2013 7:10 AM
I would suggest staying near the Franconia-Springfield Metro station. You don't need a car to see the sights in Washington DC.
"Deals" abound in Las Vegas just now. Try to avoid any large convention dates and stay there Sunday through Thursday. Book rooms through the individual Casino websites if you want to pick where you stay. You may want to check prices in the "Downtown" area on Fremont St. instead of The Strip. You can take the bus between "Downtown" and The Strip. I don't advise walking. If you want to visit any of the national parks or state parks around Las Vegas, a rental car is probably the cheapest way to do that. A rental Car is also the best way to get to Hoover Dam if you want to see that.
Reno is the cheaper location of the two. You can drive between them. You need a car.
A "cheaper" and convenient option is the Travel Lodge on Century Blvd. just east of LAX. You need a car in Los Angeles. LAX is as "central" to the place as anywhere else. Understand that you can drive 100 miles in a more or less straight line in virtually any direction you like in greater Los Angeles and never leave it.
Have a great time.
Jan 23, 2013 7:17 AM
8Vegas- stay off strip? Why in the world go all the way to sights and neon of Vegas to stay off strip with the bums, hobos and rednecks? Stay in a casino, a fun one at that, not a Motel 6.
Wash DC, stay in Alexandria? Thats about like staying at Ohare for downtown Chicago,..ugghh
If you can not afford to stay in the city areas, then maybe its best you come back to the US when you can, its not going anywhere.
Jan 23, 2013 7:34 AM
Jan 23, 2013 7:38 AM
It was just a suggestion to keep costs down, as the OP requested.
2) It's full of restaurants and bars, plus old row homes (Alexandria pre-dates DC), lending atmosphere.
Jan 23, 2013 7:41 AM
Sorry if this is bad advice. I was last there a little over a year ago. In general, the farther from the center of Washington DC, i.e., the Mall, you stay the lower the room rates. I have found that anywhere within an easy walk of an outlying Metro station is ideal. There is a good selection of accomodations near the Franconia Station.
Jan 23, 2013 7:53 AM
12#8, if you'd read the OP you'd see everything travel is all arranged so the 'don't come' recommendation seems unhelpful and pointless. I stayed in Alexandria once before and found it to be a good way to access DC and all it has to offer and may be a cheaper option.
Jan 23, 2013 8:38 AM
Staying inside the park is better, but the village of Tusayan just outside the park entrance is a reasonably convenient alternative, just a 15 minutes drive from the rim (although not walking distance like most of the lodges inside the park).
The Bright Angel Lodge probably offers the best value in a historic property right on the rim, there are even some "budget" rooms with a shared bathroom, and some surprisingly affordable (but basic) private cabins. It's a little rough around the edges, but being right on the rim is nice. The other hotels, with the notable exception of the El Tovar (which is expensive), have all the character of a concrete box - just pick one.
Alternatively, if you have camping gear you could always stay at the campground, it's nice enough, and services are nearby, including shuttle bus connections to the rest of the park. The smaller campground over by Desert View is quieter, but is first-come, first served only.
Jan 23, 2013 12:43 PM
14Which places are you going to have a car in? That matters a lot in certain places. It also doesn't always pay to stay outside of the city and pay for parking, tolls, etc besides losing valuable time.
You should also check Airbnb for rooms in locals' apartments or stand-alone apartments.
Here are some suggestions for hostels, which are typically your cheapest option (but not always given sites like Hotwire.com).
- New York City - this is the most expensive city of all in terms of accommodations. what's the most you can spend? hostels are about $50 per night for a dorm bed. You can often get a good deal for a 3-star hotel on Hotwire in the $120-140 range in Manhattan which is worth it. It's best to stay in downtown (below 30th St) in my opinion. Cheapest places are on the Upper West Side and in Brooklyn. Near the subway is most important. Some options, but keep in mind that prices vary with dates:
- Washington DC - also a good city for scoring a deal on Hotwire.com
- New Orleans - hostels are not located in or near the French Quarter here (where you want to stay) and there are only two. You can typically find a good deal for a hotel near Canal St within a few blocks of the French Quarter. Check Hotwire.com.
- Las Vegas - it's actually not hard to find a good deal on the strip in Vegas as long as you're not there Fri/Sat nights or during a major convention.
Tuscany Suites is very close to the strip and usually a good deal
- An area near to Lake Tahoe or Reno
- San Francisco - another city that typically has good deals via Hotwire.com
http://www.seashoremotel.com/ Great motel in Santa Monica with free parking
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Washington, DCBook now
(5 star Hotel)
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(3 star Hotel)
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