Where can I take a shower and leave a bag for the day in New York City?
May 13, 2013 3:33 PM   Subscribe

In a few weeks I'll be flying into NYC around 9:00 AM and flying out around 9:00 PM, and I'd like to take a shower somewhere and maybe even leave my bag for the day so I can wander the city. So far the only options I've found are to pay about $50 for access to an airline lounge, which seems too pricey for what I want, or to book a hotel room. Surely there are cheaper options? I'm not too picky about location, but somewhere in Lower Manhattan would probably be best. Please help me out, New Yorkers!
posted by reductiondesign to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any other suggestions but I think that $50 is an excellent price for a shower and a place to leave your bag in a New York airport. You can't get any more convenient than that. I would expect to pay twice that.
posted by vincele at 3:37 PM on May 13, 2013 [30 favorites]

You can generally check your bag at museums, but that also means being really aware of the museum's hours, and doesn't help you with the shower thing. Maybe check AirBnB to see whether anyone might accomodate that kind of request?
posted by blandcamp at 3:39 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check your bag for your next flight when you arrive and get a day pass to a health club.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:43 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

Any gyms around that would have 1-day passes and large lockers? I am not from New York, but it *might* be an option.
posted by shortyJBot at 3:44 PM on May 13, 2013

$50 to take a shower and leave your bag for the day is insanely cheap. I'd jump on that.
posted by dfriedman at 3:44 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I looked at places where I could get a shower when I was running the New York Half Marathon. The Crunch Gym offers free day passes and you can get a shower there. Maybe also put your bag in a locker? I also considered the Setai Club, a spa on Wall Street but I'm pretty sure that's above your price point.
posted by kat518 at 3:46 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can generally check your bag at museums,

Many museums have policies against accepting "luggage" at their coat checks.
posted by Jahaza at 3:53 PM on May 13, 2013

Checking my bag worked for me at the Museum of Natural History as recently as 2 summers ago. I've heard it's fairly common for travelers to stop at museums between hotel checkout and a flight -- enough that a museum in Philadelphia which didn't have that option apologized for it. But yeah, YMMV.
posted by blandcamp at 3:57 PM on May 13, 2013

If you are flying in and out of the same airport, and have the ability to leave your bag there while you go wander the city, $50 for a shower and luggage storage for a day would be worth every penny to me. New York is expensive, and a lot of things that you would think should not cost so much do cost a lot.
posted by ambrosia at 3:59 PM on May 13, 2013

I am surprised no one mentioned a hostel! Since you are not staying the night they are a great option for a quick shower. Many have lockers for personal items or the front desk will hold your luggage for you at no extra charge. I am looking at a booking site right now and the prices for New York hostels are as low as 28 dollars for one day. If you book a room with several beds then the price will be lower. Most people that travel by hostel rise and shower early to explore and you won't have to sleep there anyway, so it all works out in the end. Hostels have also stepped up their game in terms of quality and cleanliness.

There are many websites for booking hostels just make sure you find one where you pay the booking fee in British pounds.
posted by Young Kullervo at 4:06 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

In addition to the $50 airport lounge being a good deal, it also means that you won't need cart your bag into the city with you, or go back to pick it up before you head back to the airport. (ie. you could start your day in mid-town and end it on the LES , without having to go back to mid-town to get your bag.)
posted by Kololo at 4:08 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Those super super cheap hostels are not a place i'd want to leave my unattended bag.
posted by Kololo at 4:09 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

a) You can check your bag at Schwartz Lockers (previously) near Grand Central in midtown, and use a day pass at a gym/health club for your shower.

b) Alternately, make friends with a local mefite?
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:46 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

The vast majority of hostels have lockers that can be locked in the room itself, plus a separate locked storage area for guests. So, the luggage may be OK. However, I go hostelling a fair bit, and their showers may not be the best quality or most sanitary around. Bring your own soap, hair stuff, and wear flip flops in the actual shower, and you should be fine. (The Hostelling International hostels are the ones I like the best.)

As an added extra bonus, in case your flight gets delayed or cancelled, you'll have a place to crash for at least one night.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:48 PM on May 13, 2013

Luggage: why can't you just check their bag for the next flight as soon as you arrive, then head into the city? That's the easiest option. Or are you switching airports? In that case, there is a luggage storage facility at Penn Station. I think it's about $5 per bag per day. You need a valid train ticket to use it. Check with the people at the luggage facility, but a cheap NJT ticket should be good enough.

Shower: you can get United or American lounge day access passes on eBay for $10 or so. Many lounges don't have showers though, so double check the specific one you're planning on using. Failing that, buy a day pass for the fitness centre in one of the nearby airport hotels. The Hilton at O'Hare does these for $15, and I imagine that's a nationwide policy. Failing that just go into Manhattan and buy a gym day pass.
posted by caek at 4:50 PM on May 13, 2013

Check your bag for your next flight when you arrive and get a day pass to a health club.

Just to say that when I've tried this before, usually they will only let you check your bag 4 hours prior to the next flight. Also seconding that $50 sounds cheap if there's a shower option too.

(ps I bet some nice Mefite will offer you both though...either way, $50 on site sounds good).
posted by bquarters at 5:42 PM on May 13, 2013

I've stayed in 3 hostels in New York and I would do that if you want to spend ~$30.
posted by sandmanwv at 6:45 PM on May 13, 2013

That $50 usually also covers a choice of cereals, fresh fruit, toast, and coffee you can take with you. I know part of the adventure of the city is dining, but you're going to be arriving between breakfast and lunch, anyway. If you consider that a $15 savings over grabbing the first breakfast you can because you're famished, instead of having the leisure to stroll and choose your lunch place, and you're basically paying $35 to store your luggage and shower, which is comparable to your hostel option.
posted by gingerest at 7:04 PM on May 13, 2013

I would use the airport lounge since you are going to be at the airport anyway. Getting to/from the hostel, whether in $$ if you take a cab or in lost time out of your few hours in the city if you take public transport, would eat up the savings pretty quickly IMO.

Also the airport lounge showers are likely to be a step above hostel showers. I've never used any of the airline clubs' showers at JFK (assume you are flying in/out of JFK?) but at other big international airports they are basically hosed down with bleach every few hours. This is a Good Thing.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:14 PM on May 13, 2013

Just going to flag this up again, since people keep saying $50 for lounge access is a good deal: you can get a lounge pass on eBay for like $10.
posted by caek at 1:48 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

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