Any tips for booking something last minute in NYC area.
June 16, 2016 7:34 AM   Subscribe

My son is attending a "theater camp" in NYC in 2 weeks. He's staying with the group, we were planning to do touristy stuff during the week. We had booked an Airbnb a couple weeks ago in West Orange NJ. This morning it cancelled on us. This was an awesome place that had a pool and other amenities that my wife was looking forward to help keep our other children busy during the days that I would also be working in Manhattan. Needless to say we're pretty disappointed.

I don't know what I expect, but I figured I'd ask here to see if anyone has any tips for a) finding something last minute (ideally with a pool), b) free or cheap, easily accessible activities for my wife to use to entertain the kids.

We're driving to the area, so we'll have a car and need to park it. We really have a very limited budget, we'd like something under $100/night.
posted by TuxHeDoh to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Also, is there something other than Airbnb I can use to find other similar arrangements?
posted by TuxHeDoh at 7:35 AM on June 16, 2016

Airbnb usually reaches out when you've had a cancellation to help you get something else and rebook you - they are usually pretty proactive about it. Have they not contacted you to assist you in being rebooked? They also usually offer some sort of credit to help you rebook and as a modest apology for the inconvenience.
posted by arnicae at 8:14 AM on June 16, 2016

If Airbnb doesn't come through it might be worth trying Priceline's name your own price feature. You give them the dates, amenities, number of people, neighborhood(s) you'd be willing to stay in, minimum hotel rating, and maximum price per night and they try to find you a room matching all those criteria. If they don't find a match, you can tweak your criteria and try again.

It's a little nervewracking in that you're agreeing to stay wherever they put you if they can make a match, but it's worked out quite well for me the several times I've done it with a minimum 3 star hotel rating.
posted by usonian at 8:43 AM on June 16, 2016

Try HomeAway and VRBO. They operate similar to AirBnB. We've used them both and have had no problems (though we weren't trying to book NYC, which is always tricky).
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:43 AM on June 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

We went to D.C. in April and stayed in a place we got via VRBO -- and with four kids, it was an amazing success.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:47 AM on June 16, 2016

I've heard really good things about staying in Fort Lee and taking the free hotel shuttle across the G-Dub for, I want to say, $110/night.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:56 AM on June 16, 2016

Airbnb has sent an email apologizing and offered me an additional $50 to book something else.... this close to my trip, it's just not enough to get something similar.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 9:30 AM on June 16, 2016

If you can't book a place with a pool, you can get an NYC rec center membership for one adult for $75, and the children can swim for free. It's a cheap day trip for the kids and many of the rec centers are in parks or near attractions.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2016

I had a cancellation on airbnb the night before my trip. They offered a small credit, but my friend threw a huge fit, and they ended up reimbursing us for a place that was a lot more expensive (about 30% more). My advice, then: have a fit. You don't have to yell, but you do have to make your disappointment known, and be persistent. Tell them that you expect them to fix this problem. Emphasize that you have kids, that it's for a camp that's paid for and can't be cancelled, that you have to be at work, that you're driving a car and parking was included in the price that you paid, and that this has been happening more and more lately (which is true) and that there should be some kind of penalty to keep hosts from backing out of their obligations. Demand a similar accommodation. It's not your fault that the plans fell through, and maybe they should get the additional money they reimburse you out of the flaky hosts. Airbnb used to be a lot more reliable, but I've heard a lot of people complaining about the cancellations lately.
posted by serenity_now at 10:23 AM on June 16, 2016 [13 favorites]

Do you have to commute back and forth every day? How long are you willing to spend traveling?
posted by snickerdoodle at 11:55 AM on June 16, 2016

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