The words 'New York City' and 'budget' tend not to go hand in hand. But a new venture offers budget travellers million-dollar views of Manhattan for about $39 (£27). Adventurous travellers can sleep overnight in a taxi, van or camper parked on the street in New York City.
Entrepreneur Jonathan Powley started offering the rentals in April on the Airbnb website. He said the idea came to him after his van broke down on the side of the road. Powley said he now rents what he calls "rolling rooms" inside three vans, two campers and one taxi. While the prices vary, Powley said the lowest price for a night is $22.
Each of the vehicles has been converted to accommodate a large bed, a fan and not much else. All the vehicles are parked in the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, just across the East River from Manhattan.
"I think it's just an adventure. No one has ever done it before. It's different. It's safe. You have a view of beautiful Manhattan right here. And it's convenient. You are only one stop from Grand Central Station. You are only three stops from Times Square, less than 10 minutes. And I think the people that do it are just the type that want to try something different. It's really fun. It's really comfortable. And not many people can say that they purposely slept in a taxi," said Powley.
The vehicles might be big on charm, but they are short on amenities. There is no bathroom.
"That's the number one question, 'Where do I go to the bathroom?'," said Powley. "I've made a list of all the local restaurants in the area that allow my guests at least to use the bathroom."
Powley added that after the restaurants close, a few late night bars also allow his guests to use their bathrooms. For some, it is a little bit of cozy comfort in the concrete jungle. Philip, a tourist from Germany, said the $39 a night van rental was right on budget for him and his friend.
"I think it's really exciting because first, the view is awesome and second, we don't have that much money for a normal hotel in Manhattan. So this is a really nice opportunity for us," he said.
"At first glance it looks comfy. Yeah. Yeah. I think there is enough space for us with our luggage. We don't have too much luggage, so it's okay. It looks cool," he added.
Powley said demand has been very strong for his rooms with a view.
"I try to pick people that are responsible... I'm looking for someone who is a consciences traveller, respectful and is going to respect the property."
As far as safety, Powley said he lives in the neighbourhood and it is very quiet and safe. Powley also said he has not had any problems with the more than 350 rentals so far.