Travelers seeking budget lodging in the New York City area can stay at the student residence on the 55-acre campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. It's on the right bank of the Hudson River, directly across from Manhattan.
From late May until late August, rates are $22 per person a night for a twin room, $30 for a single. Deluxe rooms (with private bathrooms and air conditioning) cost $30 per person for a twin, $50 for a single.
According to Dennis Onorato of Campus Holidays USA, it's a $1, 10-minute train trip to Manhattan on the 24-hour "air-conditioned, clean, secure" PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) bus service. There also is public bus service to New York City and free parking facilities on campus.
Guests (including non-students) have access to campus tennis courts, an indoor track, swimming pool, sauna, squash and racquetball courts and the student cafeteria.
For more details contact Campus Holidays USA Inc., 242 Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair, N.J. 07043, phone (201) 744-8724.
A good source for names of other campuses that offer lodging to travelers is the "1987-88 U.S. and World Wide Travel Accommodation Guide." It lists 450 student residences in North America and abroad that offer accommodations during holiday periods. A supplement of 75 American, 22 Canadian and 15 European residences was added last month.
Copies are available for $9.95 from Campus Travel Service, P.O. Box 5007, Laguna Beach, Calif. 92652. Add $1 for first-class postage.
Consider the Y
Another option for inexpensive, clean and safe lodgings in big cities are YMCAs and YWCAs.
Once when I arrived in Athens on my own, I found that as a single woman not only was I attracting an annoying amount of attention while out sightseeing, but the manager of my budget hotel was also proving to be a problem.
I finally got so annoyed that I went to a tourist information office and asked if there was a YWCA that rented rooms just to women. There was, and I sure appreciated it.
Today you'll find that many YMCAs and YWCAs identify themselves as the Y and provide lodging for both men and women. You'll also find that the standards can vary quite a bit, even between Y facilities in the same city.
When I visited the Vanderbilt YMCA in New York City last year, although it was very much a budget hotel its 430 rooms offered a clean, comfortable atmosphere in a city where it's tough to cope on a limited budget.
This summer the Vanderbilt is offering single rooms for $28 to $41. Double rooms cost $38 to $48, triple rooms $51 to $54 and rooms for four persons $64 to $68.
It's at 224 East 47th St., New York 10017, phone (212) 755-2410.
Independent travelers also can take advantage of special do-it-yourself tour packages offered by Y's Way International in New York City, New Orleans, Seattle, Los Angeles and Hollywood. Next year packages to Washington and Boston also will be available.
The New York City packages are from three to seven nights. A three-night package includes three breakfasts and two dinners at the Y's restaurant, one dinner in Chinatown, a three-hour Circle Line boat tour, New York City and Statue of Liberty boat and bus tours, plus a ticket for the one-hour multimedia production, "The New York Experience."
The rate is $144 for a single traveler, or $124 per person, double occupancy.
You can get a free "Y's Way" brochure with details, plus a listing of 65 North American and 54 foreign accommodation centers, by writing to the Y's Way, 356 West 34th St., New York 10001, or call (212) 760-5856. Include a self-addressed envelope.