My trip to see my favorite band sucks
August 25, 2011 12:01 PM   Subscribe

I planned a trip to NYC and now I don't want to go. Should I go anyway? Many details inside.

Please bear with me-- I'll be as coherent as possible.

Some months ago, I found out that one of my favorite bands (Band A) would be playing in NYC near Labor Day weekend. Having missed the opportunity to see them when they were near me earlier in the tour, I checked for airfare, found a good price, and bought the ticket ($200). I booked for the entire weekend (Thurs-Mon), figuring I would spend some time doing NYC things, either with friends or by myself (which I have no problem with; I rarely get alone time). I have to take 2 days off work to do this.

Since I bought the ticket, the band announced a fall tour, during which they'll be playing a venue 2 hours away from me. Another of my favorite bands (Band B) announced they'd be playing in NYC the weekend after Labor Day, for which I would not have to take any time off work. I went to change the date on my ticket and found that it would cost $222 for the changes. While I like Band B very much, I don't like them enough to pay $422 for a round-trip ticket to see them, even though this is the only concert on the east coast they'll be playing during their tour.

Huge monkey wrench: I have no place to stay over Labor Day weekend. The friends I was going to stay with are now unable to host me. I have floor space for one night, then it's up to me to find somewhere to stay for the next 4 nights. I can't afford a hotel.

Here are the options I can see:

1. Go see Band A; pay $400-500 for a hotel room.

2. Go see Band A; sleep on steam grate or at Port Authority. (note: not a real option.)

3. Eat the $200 and get nothing in return. (cheapest yet most wasteful option.)

4. Change plane ticket to see Band B (less expensive than seeing Band A and paying for hotel space), when I will have free accomodation and will not have to take time off work.

Advice? Options I'm not seeing?
posted by cereselle to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So with option 4, you get to see Band A + Band B, save money, and save vacation days?

Is there any reason you wouldn't take that?
posted by Jairus at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

How late does the LIRR run and can you just grab a train out to the 'burbs (say, Floral Park, which I'm using as an example only 'cause that's where one set of grandparents lived) and stay in a cheap motel out there?

It'll probably be way more comfortable than some overpriced place in Manhattan.
posted by straw at 12:05 PM on August 25, 2011

Best answer: For option A. Have you looked at airbnb? Much cheaper then a hotel room.
posted by bitdamaged at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you stay in a hotel in South Brooklyn, the room will cost a lot less
The Gregory - in Bay Ridge - has rooms under $200 (just a bit under) -
Bay Ridge is a great, safe neighbor in Brooklyn -
the hotel is 3 blocks from the Subway - 45 minutes on the subway to Times Square
posted by Flood at 12:17 PM on August 25, 2011

How about Option A.5 -- come to New York, but stay in New York's Youth Hostel or one of the other hostels. You don't have to be a hostel member (or even a youth) to stay, and it looks like the entire weekend would only cost you about $149 (if you're a guy; female rooms aren't available that weekend, but similar prices are to be had in other hostels).

Then again, you're talking to someone who flew all the way to London just to see David Tennant in a play. I still think it's worth it, but I do respect the wanting to be frugal option. But the hostels could indeed help with that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:19 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah, come down Labor Day, stay in a hostel. Problem solved.
posted by breakin' the law at 12:22 PM on August 25, 2011

Is the main issue for you here not having accommodation for those 4 nights in NYC on labour day weekend? If so, just find different accommodations: youth hostel, YMCA/YWCA or Also, New Yorkers rent out their apartments on weekends to earn money (because it's so expensive to live there) - there are lots of listings on craigslist NYC.

If money is your main concern, and after sussing out other accommodation options, if seeing Band B ends up being less expensive (ticket change + free accommodation, no time off work) than seeing Band A, do that.

It sounds like you want to keep the cost of seeing Band A over labour day weekend under $422 (the cost to see Band B). So look into other accommodation options - there are lots between hotel and sleeping on a grate.
posted by foxjacket at 12:24 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Go the hostel route.

While it's certainly not for everyone, I love hostelling, and I've stayed at that hostel mentioned above. It's a nice place by some neat little cafes and restaurants, and easily accessible via public transportation.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:20 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Option 4 doesn't let me see Band A, but yeah, fewer vacation days and getting to see Band B.

Airbnb is amazing! I can't believe this exists. I am bookmarking this immediately. It's even cheaper than the hostel option.

I like spending money on experiences, especially since I have too much stuff. So as long as the money is going into a fun thing I'll always remember, it'll be worth it. (I too have flown to London for a show. I am still proud of that.) If I juggle some money, I might even be able to make both shows work (at the cost of way too much time spent on planes).

I'm still interested in hearing more ideas, but I am going to move ahead with airbnb for now.
posted by cereselle at 1:40 PM on August 25, 2011

One conceptual thing to consider is that the $200 you spent for the Labor Day flight is a sunk cost. You're not getting it back. So the flight change doesn't cost you $422; it costs you $222. Try just focusing on the choices that lie ahead, as these are the only things you have control over now.

As I see it, you're weighing (A) the cost of accommodations over Labor Day vs. (B) the cost of flight change and accommodations the week after vs. (C) $0 for a missed NYC trip plus the cost to see the band 2 hours away from your home.
posted by reeddavid at 2:17 PM on August 25, 2011

Best answer: If you don't find the place you're looking for with airbnb I have also had some OK experiences with and roomorama (similar sites).
posted by hungrytiger at 5:49 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I have booked a room in a lovely Brooklyn apartment for the trip to see Band A. I highly recommend airbnb! I am paying $87 for three nights. $87 total. Unfuckingbelievable.

I have sold some stuff I've been hanging on to but didn't really need, and I have financed a trip back to see Band B. I get everything I want, and for this, I love you, Metafilter.
posted by cereselle at 3:08 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

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