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This is my loft while here in New York. A clearer picture since the one’s below were taken before the sun rose and after sundown. The cool couple pictured above are the young homeowners who I had the pleasure of spending time with my first morning there. They made the best homemade breakfast I have ever eaten and come to find out Adam once lived in Florida too and is a University of Florida alumni. Being around such young entrepreneurs and artists truly set the tone for my entire trip.

Now I could have stayed at a hotel, really, I could have. But I knew that there were a million other ways to spend $400. On average, the rooms in New York – namely in Manhattan, ran for about $200-$600 a night. A pretty little penny for a tiny little space. So it was my mission to land a loft at way less than half the price and I did! And here I’ll show you how.

Comfort and culture were key, when scouting my place. I wanted something clean, updated, and modern but I also wanted something that would put me right in the middle of the culture of the city. I found this loft, owned by two young artists who purchased this open space and transformed it into indoor camping grounds. Inside: a treehouse, a cabin, and the cutest little cat named Boo. The loft had been featured in tons of interior design magazines and I loved the fact that the windows stayed open 24 hours a day — the natural light and sounds of the city were euphoria. This place was perfect for me, as it was just the place for thrifty creatives.

My cousin Soraya joined me. Being a native New Yorker, I invited her to crash. Afterall, the indoor cabin made for the perfect staycation. When we arrived, we were greeted with a hearty breakfast– grass-fed steaks, organic eggs, tea, and the greatest butter I have ever eaten — that I soon found out was vegan!
So how did I land this awesome place? AirBnb. An unbelievable start-up turned mega company that allows people to rent their spaces at an affordable price. I found some amazing places starting from $40 a night — millionaire lofts, newly renovated and newly built spots that all provided the ultimate travel experience. AirBnb saved me $300 per night on my travels, and everyone wanted to stop by just to hang out. I’d recommend that you all download their app, create a profile, and start adding places to your “favorites” list. You’d be surprised by how amazing and unique each place is! It’s like spending the weekend sleeping in Pinterest. And don’t be too nervous about the legitimacy of the site, AirBnb goes through great lengths to make sure everyone is screened before being a part. Here’s why I chose AirBnb over a hotel. Below are the differences between the two.

AirBnb Hotel
Better bang for your buck Pricier | Con
Cooler and trendier environments available Less room space | Con
Exposure to the culture of the city More Amenities
More freedom (if homeowners are away) Room Service + Maids
Less freedom (if staying with homeowners) | Con Food available on-site