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Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

England
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Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

Background information:

18 year old, been to the city twice once with family aged 12 and this past summer with some Australians I met at the summer camp in Long Island where I worked. Coming on holiday again before I start work.

I am coming back to NYC after I finish working at the summer camp in September. Last year I was pretty much looked after, my friends chose a Hostel and I just paid my fee. I went out with them at night and during the day.

This summer I realise that this probably won't happen (Unfortunately for me!)

So basically I just wanted some general advice.

I know you all hate the 'is it safe' questions, but I will try my luck at posting one. What time would you advise to stop using the subway? I used it all times of the day and night last summer and I thought it was fine .. was that a silly thing to do?

I stayed at some awful Hostels last summer I think one was called Chelsea Spot, so I wondered if anyone knew of a good one that does private rooms? I have heard this sort of thing is available? Also, do you think that it is, in general, safe for a younger girl to stay in a hostel?

Also, last year I tipped a lot, as is the standard thing to do. Is it usually expected of younger people? I know in England, as I work as a waitress during term time, tipping isn't really expected of younger people. I don't mind too much, but I don't exactly earn much over the summer and quite a bit gets frittered away when I tip.

New Orleans...
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1. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

As for a hostel, what are your dates and budget per night in US dollars?

The subway is never closed, so there is no time you have to stop taking it. It's crowded at all hours, and unless you're drunk, there's no reason not to take it.

The amount a person tips has nothing to do with age. 20% is standard across the board. The waitstaff does not know how much money you earn and they wouldn't care if they did- if the tip is too much, people need to choose a less expensive place to eat.

England
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2. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

I'm not quite sure of my dates, I will book my return flight when I am at camp, but I will probably be there from September 1st - 15th (ish).

I also don't mind how much the hostels cost, I guess up to $70 a night, but I don't think it will be that expensive.

Another thing I considered doing was splitting a hotel room. That costs roughly $300 a night for 4 people (2 double beds) so that would be $75 a night.The only trouble with that is that I would need exactly 3 other people to want to so the same thing, and mostly they wanted to spend less on accommodation.

Also, another thing, when I stayed last year we kept meeting up with people from camp, so say if I booked a hotel room with 2 double beds meant for 4 people and someone else came for a night .. is that something we would be likely to 'get away with', does anyone know if it is allowed?

Thanks for the information on the general opinion on tipping. As I said I don't mind tipping, but I was mainly the only person that did out of my friends. They were of the opinion that it isn't the responsibility of foreign students to increase peoples wages and it wouldn't be expected. But obviously they were wrong.

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3. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

"They were of the opinion that it isn't the responsibility of foreign students to increase peoples wages and it wouldn't be expected. But obviously they were wrong."

Imagine if they refused to pay you at camp, cause after all you're just a student and must have rich parents - and they didnt believe you really needed the money. You think those people working in restaurants all have trust funds and they just do it for fun?

You know tips are expected in England and all over Europe. Im not going to start the tipping debate AGAIN here - just know this is why people with British accents are often told there is a 2 hour wait for a table and we'll get seated immediately. Even my friend's 28 year old son here from Paris now knows he has to tip 20%. He was shocked when I mentioned how often British visitors balk at the idea of tipping.

Chelsea International Youth Hostel is fine, but Im not sure if you can get a private room in your range. You may have to opt for the shared room situation. This way, you'll meet other people. Just bring or buy a decent large combination lock (not one of the flimsy luggage locks) so you can lock up your stuff.

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4. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

Most hotels here will not check in guests under the age of 21 years old so that is something to consider - any hotel you look into, you should ask about their policy about age.

Others will probably give you some info about decent hostels, but you could search this forum for hostels and see what you learn. I have seen a number of thread over the past month or so that addressed that question of good vs not so good hostels.

You should tell your friends that tipping here is part of the servers' wages - they do not make a good salary and tips are needed to allow them to have a living wage. In other countries - such as Italy for example, servers receive a decent, living wage salary and tips are not expected (though are appreciated), they don't receive, for the most part, the 20% that we tip here). I can only imagine how your friends were received and perceived when leaving without tipping. And, as Alice said, the age of the diner is irrelevant - if you can afford to eat someplace, you should factor in the tip into your budget - which, it sounds as though you do already.

Subways - safe. No need to worry there. Just a small percentage of the millions of people who live in NYC have a car and they relay on the subway for work and play.

If you have an additional person in your room, you should not try to get away without telling the hotel - you need to inform them.

England
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5. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

Evening -

I don't understand that it is relevant but just to tell you that what you said is wrong. My parent isn't rich and I don't have a 'trust fund', as I have previously mentioned, when I am studying during the year I work as a waitress and during the summer I work at a summer camp.

"imagine if they refused to pay you at camp, cause after all you're just a student and must have rich parents - and they didnt believe you really needed the money. You think those people working in restaurants all have trust funds and they just do it for fun?"

What?

Also I do tip, as I said. That quote you put was what my friends said. I was just curious what the general opinion was on tipping, for younger people. And that was answered.

Are you recommending Chelsea international youth hostel? Or are you continuing the theme on picking at everything I say?

I stayed at the Chelsea Spot hostel. which was not fine.

Any genuine attempts at help would still be appreciated.

England
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6. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

Thank you for the advice MomCat, it is good to know about the 21 age limit and your other advice was useful.

New Orleans...
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7. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

No one is criticizing you- it's your friends who were rude and thoughtless. Evening was just trying to point out that the line of logic about different payment requirements for different groups of people makes no sense. People deserve to be paid for their work, regardless of how much money the person doing the paying actually has. Example: what if the camp directors didn't feel like paying employees because they were broke that month? It's the same thing as students feeling entitled to a free ride because they don't have much money.

That said, the "Chelsea Spot Hostel" is an illegal hotel that has been fined by the city:

…nyc.gov/bisweb/ComplaintsByAddressServlet…

No wonder you had an unpleasant experience.

You will not find a private room for $70. Look into shared rooms at the few legal hostels this city has to offer, mentioned on this thread:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k3290031…

England
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8. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

Sorry about the misunderstandings - this is the only forum I have ever used and I am not used to everything I say being taken the wrong way and being thrown back at me.

AlicePalace - I wasn't clear about the $70 private hostel room, I meant $70 each - I was just curious if these were available - I guess it's private rooms with shared bathroom, but I have plenty of time to research a few.

Those crimes were listed in 2007/2006 does that mean it was still illegally run in 2009 this summer?

I honestly didn't realise tipping was such an issue. As I have mentioned I tip when I eat as I see it as part of the meal. I was just curious if the attitude was the same as I have experienced in England as a waitress - my part time job as a student, that students/ young people don't tip much or at all.

And it isn't the same.

9. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

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Removed on: 22 February 2010, 18:05
NY NY
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10. Re: Young visitor wanting advice on hostels, subway and tipping

You ought to look into New York University summer housing. Here's more info and a link to an application.

http://www.nyu.edu/summer/housing/