We visit New York City quite often for leisure trips and we’re always looking for ways to make our trips more affordable. In the past, I’ve found several tricks using points to book NYC rooms.
- I found a Marriott Hotel in Midtown that doesn’t charge an extra fee
- There’s an IHG hotel in Manhattan available for less than 40K points.
- Don’t use your Marriott free night certificate at this hotel
- I used a Hyatt free night at this hotel (before it moved to category 5)
We like to stay near the Theater District, as that’s where we usually spend our time when in NYC. It’s not always possible to find a reasonable price with points or by paying for a room. That’s why we’re willing to put up with a longer trip (hopefully by a convenient subway line) for a lower price.
When we stay downtown in the Financial District or the Lower East Side, it can be a 15-30 minute trip depending on whether or not there are subway issues. On a recent trip, we had to split our time between New York and New Jersey and we had to rent a car. That made staying in Manhattan cost-prohibitive so I looked for places in NJ. I found a hotel that was only 10 minutes from Manhattan by a transportation option I didn’t even know about.
The NY Waterway
This is a separate service from the NYC Ferry, which operates mostly on the East River, connecting Manhattan with Brooklyn (with a few stops in the Bronx and Staten Island).
The NY Waterway is a ferry service between New Jersey and Manhattan. Since it’s not subsidized by NYC, the fares are a bit higher than the Ferry but you can’t beat the convenience.
The NY Waterway is targeted at people commuting to Manhattan for work as it operates a busy weekday schedule.
Over the weekend, the routes are limited. Thankfully we wanted to travel from Port Imperial in Weehawken to Midtown Manhattan. FYI, the ferry terminal is just outside of the Javits Convention Center.
One-way tickets between Manhattan and New Jersey were $9 and I purchased them via the NY Waterway app. One strange thing about buying tickets is that you need to activate them before use and you can only do this 30 minutes before your trip. If this is too confusing, you can buy tickets at the ferry terminal.
The NY Waterway boats have two levels. There’s an upstairs outdoor deck and a covered level downstairs.
The view of Manhattan was so amazing I stayed upstairs (even if it was a bit chilly with the wind.)
It only took 9 minutes to cross the Hudson River (that’s $1/min). Once getting off the ferry, it was easy to get an Uber to our brunch at Sarabeth’s.
Coming back from Manhattan, I had prepurchased tickets on the app. When we arrived, the ferry was getting ready to leave. In what I can only describe as a uniquely NY interaction, as we reached the dock the worker pointed at me and gave a wave. I knew this as the universal NY “We’re getting ready to leave, you better move it or wait 20 minutes for the next ferry!” Actually, it would be more colorful in NYese but Sharon and I knew what it meant and we walked as fast as we could to the end of the dock and made the ferry just as it left for New Jersey.
After using this way to get to New York, I’m going to consider staying in NJ for our short trips to New York. If we’re going to stay in Manhattan for most of the day, it’s an extra $40 round trip. Getting to Weehawken from Newark Airport is a bit harder as you can take an Uber or take the Airtrain to NJ Transit to the Path to the NJ Transit Light Rail and get off right outside your hotel. Sure that’s three transfers with luggage but it’s possible. At that point, I’d probably get a car and you’ll avoid the massive toll charge to get to Manhattan. It’d have to be quite a discount but it’s an option.
However, with the details of this trip requiring a car and visiting New Jersey, I found a fast and reasonably priced way to get to Manhattan without having to pay a ransom to park our car.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.
Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Service has been around for over 30 years. Nice “find”.
I said that we found a new way. I never said the service was new.