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Apps to enhance a day trip to NYC 

The Hotel Tonight app collects information from hotels

The Hotel Tonight app collects information from hotels on empty rooms. You can book a room on the app, often at a discounted rate. Credit: Hotel Tonight

Many Long Islanders head to New York City during the holiday season to eat, shop, see a show or just check out the festive lights and decorations. These apps can make your day trip more enjoyable.   

Hotel Tonight

(iOS, Android; free)

If your day trip turns into a spontaneous sleepover, this app may help you snag a hotel room at a good rate. Hotel Tonight collects information from hotels on empty rooms, typically available because of last-minute cancellations. You can book a room for the night, often at a discounted rate. You can search by price, although in Manhattan, of course, most hotels start from very expensive and go higher from there.


(iOS, Android; free)

Long Islanders are familiar with the TKTS Discount Ticket Booth in Times Square, where you can get same-day tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows at up to 50 percent off. (There are also TKTS booths at South Street Seaport and Lincoln Center.) This official app from the Theatre Development Fund lets you see in real-time which shows have tickets available at the TKTS booths along with wait times at the three booths.

Uber / Lyft

(iOS, Android; free)

Much to the chagrin of New York City cabdrivers, Uber, along with its rival Lyft, have disrupted the taxi industry. But Uber and Lyft do offer a ride-hailing convenience that the traditional yellow cabs are struggling to compete with. With Uber and Lyft, you can hire a car that will come to you, get an estimate of how much the ride will cost and pay through the app.  

Sit or Squat: Restroom Finder

(iOS, Android; free)

This graphically named app comes from Procter & Gamble, makers of Charmin toilet paper. The goal is simple: Help travelers find a public restroom near them. Procter & Gamble says the app has information on more than 100,000 public restrooms around the country. You can rate the cleanliness of the restroom to help other travelers. 

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