Sure you can travel hack and get amazing prices for hotels, but $22 a night to stay in NYC is kind of hard to beat.
A local man is renting out his parked vans and campers on Airbnb. Many of them are in waterfront locations that get great views of the city. Rates stat as low as $22-per-night for the four-wheeled suites.
One of the them is parked in Long Island City, an area that saw a construction boom recently and has an average monthly rent of $2500 for an one bedroom apartment. It’s “super spacious”! All brand new furnishings!! Only 3 Stops from Times Square, Less than 10 minutes to 50 major attractions. Located in Super Safe Community. Quiet at night time. Best Views of NYC!!! Sleeps 2 comfortably. But you can do more than just sleep. The renter “took out the bucket seats to provide more room for luggage, or hanging out and playing cards”.
There’s a catch though, and it’s probably going through your head right now. Obviously it doesn’t come with a bathroom, so you’ll have to rely on public bathrooms.
Jonathan has at least six different listings of campers parked around Long Island City. Most of the reviews he gets speak highly of him, commending the host for his hospitality.
Some of the vans have prices that would make you wonder, who would ever pay this much to sleep in a van. A “conversion sleeper van” starts at $99/night. It has been dressed up with air plants and other colorful things you’d find in a millennial’s apartment.
There’s also the usual warning that come for a place with no bathroom. One couple wiped down with baby wipes since there are no showers. Another “had to be creative with a sponge and a bottle of water.” There’s also a word of advice about nearby bathrooms being closed after 10 p.m.
And in the summer, it can get a little hot without air conditioning, so some guests relied on a battery-powered fan.
Still, out of the 54 total reviews, many of them said it was all worth it — for the experience, and for the great views.
“My girlfriend and I decided to book Jonathan’s van instead of a hotel because we wanted to try something new, something adventurous,” reviewer William wrote. “After our stay, we couldn’t be happier that we booked it!!”