Travel: Outlying Hotels Offer Much Needed Savings into New York

New York is still the east coast’s travel king. Everybody should experience it at least once in a lifetime. And, judging by the millions of tourists who pass through the Big Apple every year, a good many check it off the bucket list.

For most travelers, the primary challenge while visiting New York is cost. The city is in a neck and neck race with San Francisco as the USA’s most expensive travel destination. It can be a challenge to find lodgings, food and such with enough money left over to do something during the travel day.

A smart money saving option a lot of New York bound travelers miss is staying a little outside the five boroughs at an outlying hotel and essentially commuting into the attractions. I gave that a shot for a couple of days at the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle (top) to see if it in any way negatively changed my travel experience.

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In four words — or two words and a contraction – No. It didn’t. New Rochelle sits along the water in Westchester County, well north of the Bronx by car. However, it’s within an hour’s drive of LaGuardia, even amidst peak traffic times. Since the hotel sits less than a 15 minutes’ walk from a train station, a visitor can stroll down to the tracks and be at Grand Central Station smack in the middle of Manhattan in about 25 minutes.

I timed it all, and the entire journey from the Radisson’s lobby door to the moment by Allen Edmonds scuffled up to 42nd Street took less than an hour — including walking and waiting on the train. The roundtrip train ticket off-peak was $15.

The Radisson New Rochelle offered everything a New York traveler could want in a hotel, while saving the visitor anywhere up to $200 or so per night, depending on the deals you might book. The rooms are comfortable. There’s free parking and a small gym. There’s a surprisingly upscale and ambitious bar and restaurant (NOMA Social, above).

Even if that wasn’t the case — even if a joint like the Radisson New Rochelle wasn’t as comfortable as it is — how much time do the eager New York travelers spend in the hotel room? They should start their day and end their day there and get about sightseeing, shopping, exploring, eating, etc. And, the more they save on convenient, if not centrally located accommodations, the better.