Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default Overnight parking in/near NYC

    Hello.
    My husband and I are going to NYC by car (long trip from Houston).
    We have VERY strict budget. That's why we are going to sleep in our car (not RV) while traveling (rest area, truck stop, Walmart, etc.).
    We are planning to spend 4-5 days in NYC.
    What can you advise? Where can we have overnight parking?
    The algorithm could be the following, for example:
    1) have overnight parking (free) somewhere near/in NYC (is it possible? where?),
    2) during the day leave our car on this free parking lot (is it safe?),
    3) somehow get to the the center of NYC (subway)
    4) visiting NYC by subway
    5) return to our overnight parking for sleeping in the evening.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,558

    Default Can't Recommend Much, If Any, of That

    When I was younger, in my late teens and early 20s, I did a lot of traveling as you describe in your post. One can get away with it at that age when your body recovers a lot faster from too little sleep in too confined a space with too little air and none of it even laying down. Even then it was risky and pushing the boundaries, but I would no more contemplate trying that today, even for a few days, than I would try to bet my life savings on a spin of a roulette wheel.

    But there are even more warning signs in your post than just that. You say you're going to do a round trip RoadTrip from Houston to New York and spend 4-5 days in the NYC area. That's 10 or 11 nights in a row sleeping (or trying to) in your car. That is not going to be a fun or enjoyable trip by any stretch of the imagination, even if it were possible. And it may not be. Pease read through this discussion, and the others linked to in it, and pay particular attention to the fact that many states now ban sleeping in rest areas for very good reasons.

    Even then, even if you could sleep in remote rest areas on the way to New York and back, the chance of your being able to park within reasonable distance of a subway or commuter train stop that would allow you access to the city are, again, slim to none. Such commuter rail systems don't run anywhere near to the limits of the urban/suburban sprawl that is the metropolitan New York region, and the towns and communities near the ends of those lines know that they are a magnet for people trying to see the city on the cheap and they are going to do everything in their power to limit any influx of 'tourists' who have no intention of spending any money in their area. You'd be looking at an hour or more to commute into such a town, paying a fairly stiff parking fee to be near the station, and then looking at another hour at least of driving to get back to any state or local park where you could legally set up 'camp' in your car or a small tent for the night.

    I'm sorry to be the one conveying this information to you, but those are just the facts. Your best and lowest cost option is to plan to spend at least two nights on the road (each way) between Houston and New York in state parks (your lowest cost, but not free option), find a state park in New Jersey, New York or Connecticut that is at least relatively close (an hour or two) to a commuter line, get up very early in the morning so that you can beat the commuters to the station or else forego any chance of finding parking near it, and stay late enough in the city to make the most of your visit which would most likely mean returning to your car and then your 'camp' in the dark. None of that sounds like fun entertainment to me.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-23-2018 at 08:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,842

    Default

    To add to the conversation above, it used to be that you could park in a Park-n-Ride lot in Willowbook Mall, in Wayne, NJ, and ride the bus into the city. Parking was free near the bus loading area. The bus itself goes into the Port Authority in the city. But I'll warn you, on a "strict budget", it's not cheap. I think back in 2011, our tickets were like $12 each way, per person. We didn't have to get up before dawn to find parking there or deal with commuters. We rode late enough in the morning to avoid Rush Hour and stayed past Rush Hour to get back to Wayne on a bus that wasn't overly crowded. There were hotels reasonably near to the Willowbrook Mall but I doubt if they were very budget friendly. (We stayed with family further out in NJ.)


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,376

    Default Being realistic

    Frequently we get questions from people who want to make a trip as cheap as possible, and the problem with that frequently is you have to be so focused on not spending money that you can't ever focus on having fun. Based on what you've told us, that seems like a very real concern.

    I would look very closely at Buck's post, as I am in agreement, what you've proposed doesn't sound very realistic and even if you somehow found a way to make it work it would be pretty miserable. Cars aren't made for sleeping, and I can't think of many where two people can comfortably sleep - especially for more than a week straight.

    And on a practical matter, I don't think what you're asking for in terms of NYC parking exists.

    There are some park and ride lots, especially farther out in NJ/NYState/Connecticut where you can park for the day and commute into the city, but these often aren't free (The lot that Donna mentioned is $2 a day for non-mall shoppers), involve a fairly long/expensive commute (it's about an hour ride into the city from that location, and there is the bus fare, on top of the subway pass you'll want/need), and more importantly commuter parking lots, including the one Donna mentioned, typically forbid overnight parking, so that's out as an overnight.

    Really finding any overnight parking near NYC that's a safe and legal place to spend the night is going to be very difficult. Even if you were able to find a spot to do it one night, most places like truckstops and some walmarts (despite a myth, not walmarts all allow overnight parking, especially not in major metro areas) that do allow overnight parking usually are happy to let you stay one night, but frown upon multiple night stays.

    I've found the cheapest and easiest way to visit NYC with a car is to find a hotel in Queens, especially out near JFK airport. Often hotels there are inexpensive (around $100 a night, cheap by NYC standards at least), offer free parking, and are close enough to walk to a subway line, where you'll still have a relatively long ride into Manhattan, but you're covered with a single, all-day pass, rather than having to spend money both on subway tickets and tickets on a commuter rail or bus out to New Jersey.

    If that's something that's too expensive for your budget, then you might want to rethink if NYC is the best choice of a destination or if finding a closer and cheaper city would be a better idea this time around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,059

    Default I did it, but......

    To add to all of the above. I agree with all that has been stated.

    My vehicle is set up for sleeping. I parked one night in NJ at a truck stop. Not a very nice one, but then, nice ones and big ones do not exist in that area. Made my way to the railway station quite early next morning and caught a train into NYC. I did not need to worry about commuters, as it was the 4th of July, and most folk had the day off. It was a long ride into the city, having to change trains at one point, and then catch the subway to where I wanted to go. I did not get to all the places I wanted to visit that day. Caught the train back around 5pm. Was not told I had to change platform as well as train - no signs visible/no one to ask - so missed the connecting train. An hour to till the next one. Finally got back to my car just before dark, and had to make my way back to the truck stop. I had asked in advance if they would let me spend another night. But then, I always make a point of spending my fuel and food money at the truck stop at which I stay. (This was part of a much longer trip.)

    Follow the advice given above if you want to have an mmemorable trip - for all the right reasons. Or save a bit longer until you can make it affordable to really enjoy the Big Apple.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,842

    Default

    I just checked bus fares. Willowbrook to Port Authority is now $7.50 one way ($15 round trip) per person.

    Once in NYC, your food will be your next largest expense, unless you want to go see a show. Then that will be your largest expense, more than the bus fare.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,524

    Default

    I hate to put a damper on this, but I think you are setting yourselves up for some real problems. If your budget is so tight that you plan on sleeping in your car the whole time and are looking for free parking where you can legally and safely sleep in your car (almost impossible to find), while visiting probably the most expensive city in the country for tourists, you can't afford to take this trip by car. Period. Sorry.

    If you want to visit NYC, take public transportation (bus, train, plane) to get there and back, and find a safe, affordable hostel to stay in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,059

    Default Not all hostels would be recommended.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If you want to visit NYC, take public transportation (bus, train, plane) to get there and back, and find a safe, affordable hostel to stay in.
    There is only one hostel in NYC at which I would advice anyone to stay - the HI on Amsterdam Avenue. It has 600+ beds plus private rooms. Several well appointed kitchens as well as dining rooms and areas fror relaxation, both inside and outside Its security is almost military style.

    They have a policy of overbooking, as they know that some people will not turn up, and there usually is a queue of folk waiting in the foyer to see if there are any spare beds, which are allocated around 10pm. Advance booking is essential. It is not the cheapest hostel in NYC, but among the folk waiting, there were always some who had come from other hostels, where they had felt unsafe.

    Right by the subway, and a short walk from Central Park, I have stayed there on multiple nights in 2001 and 2007. The only thing to which some may object is that they did not have any co-ed dorms - but that may have changed by now.

    Lifey

Similar Threads

  1. Disabled Parking?
    By Bluebutterflier in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-28-2013, 06:47 PM
  2. Overnight parking on the cheap
    By Foy in forum RoadTrip Costs and Research
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-01-2011, 06:06 PM
  3. help me for RV overnight parking in Chicago Downtown!!!!
    By Italia in forum Saving Money on Your Trip
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-05-2008, 09:50 AM
  4. Parking in NYC
    By NH87 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-21-2005, 03:27 PM
  5. NYC Parking
    By in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-15-2004, 04:05 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

  • MORE TO EXPLORE