HOTEL DEALS You can find tremendous deals on hotel rooms when booking right HERE at NYC.com -- give it a try right now!
HOSTELS tend to fill up fast in the busy summer months, but booking in advance generally guarantees you a bed on your dates of choice. If you have never stayed in a hostel before, it's worth reading about...rooms with 6 or more beds, people up late singing and drinking does not appeal to everyone.
APARTMENTS If you are lucky enough to have a relative's or friend's apartment to stay in, do bear in mind that most New Yorkers have tiny apartments and really don't love having guests. Since you're saving money by staying with them, do offer an invitation to a nice restaurant or a gift of flowers, chocolates or wine. If you sublet or rent an apartment for a few weeks, pay close attention to the lease or regulations you are given, especially if in a co-op or condominium building. America may be the land of the free, but you don't want to get your hosts in trouble with their building owners. Moreover, you don't want to be responsible for property damage or clean-up.
OUTSIDE NYC We are asked frequently about choosing a hotel or bed-and-breakfast in New Jersey, Upstate or on Long Island. While you do save some money by staying outside the city, the travel time back-and-forth as well as travel expense really isn't worth it. Better to seek out an affordable place to stay in NYC well in advance of your visit.
HOMESTAYS As for homestays, we hear from time to time about great deals paying to stay in unofficial bed-and-breakfasts. In other words, you are paying to stay in someone's apartment, which is basically illegal, though obviously not unheard of. Here it pays to listen to the travellers' grapevine and do some Internet research; there are many options, not all of them good. Certainly the quality depends on how much you pay. A better option would be to make friends through a groovy social networking site--like right here at NYC.com--and have your new friends do some research for you.