For $75, you can book a room at the Flushing YMCA in Queens—or you can book a one-way ticket to New York City (okay, technically Newark, New Jersey). Frankly, the way things have been going lately in terms of affordability, those are both pretty good deals when it comes to finding an inexpensive way to visit New York, though the flight is definitely the better of the two.
The $150 round-trip deal that's currently being offered by Southwest Airlines will get you to the Big Apple even if you're nearly broke, with flights available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from September through December. EscapeHouston has more news on the deal, which does come with black-out dates near Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Once you're there, you'd be better served checking into an Airbnb than a hotel—you won't pay any taxes, and you'll find far better deals than the Flushing Y. Such as? This artsy loft in Gowanus for $71 a night, or this "biodome loft" in Bushwick for $66 a night.
And speaking of deals, Grubstreet just published this handy list of NYC's best all-you-can-eat restaurants, topped by the impeccable Becco from cookbook author and chef Lidia Bastianich. If you're a frugal foodie and you don't head to Hell's Kitchen for the unlimited pasta lunch at Becco, you may need to book another cheap round-trip flight just for the indulgence of it all.