Every single person should visit the nation’s capital at least once in his or her lives. Washington DC embodies everything that is great about the American culture: the history, the traditions, the people, and their democracy. Planning a trip to Washington can get a little overwhelming as there are just so many things to do in such a small area of land. A little bit of research will help in addition to tons of planning, making sure to take note of important details such as where to stay in DC, which particular sites to see, and how much to budget for the entire trip.
Being one of the most visited metropolitan cities in the nation, anything in DC can be expected to be just a little bit pricier than normal. Although some costs run higher in the area, there are still many ways to plan a trip to Washington on a budget. Make sure to budget not just for the usual lodging and food but also for transportation as well. Many visitors to the city opt to either take cabs or other public transportation options such as the metro or the bus rather than rent cars. It can save time with traffic and also save money as well. Also, make sure to budget for some shopping as DC has some of the trendiest stores and best souvenir shops as well.
Speaking of souvenirs, don’t forget to pack a camera to capture all the memories you’ll be making in DC. While planning a trip to Washington, it’s important to figure out ahead of time what to bring. This will all depend on the time or season when the travel will happen. If packing for the spring, winter, or fall, make sure to bring appropriate outfits for the cold or snow. If packing for summer, make sure to bring lots of sunscreen, as most of the sightseeing to be done in DC will be done outdoors. Also, make sure to pack the most comfortable walking shoes, as not only will you be outdoors, you will also be doing plenty of walking around while in the city. The city offers some of the most beautiful sights to see in the nation, and depending on where you stay in DC, you’ll be walking around a majority of the time.
A trip to Washington can be planned to be the ultimate family vacation. DC is a great place to bring the whole family to, as there are plenty of things to do for both parents and kids of all ages. Washington is known for tons of tourist attractions, the first of which is the National Mall. The National Mall has some of the oldest establishments in the city and in the nation. Everyone knows that the White House is right at the heart of DC. This is one location you’ll want to see definitely. Along with the White House, there are plenty of other famous sites to see such as the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and the Library of Congress. All of these are within walking distance to each other and can be done in a day’s visit. There are also plenty of memorials to see. Some of the most memorable ones include the Lincoln and Vietnam War memorial. There are also plenty of museums, such as the Holocaust museum, and recreational parks and zoos, such as the National Zoo. Don’t forget to stop by the Tidal Basin; it is one sight you will not want to miss.
Besides all the tourist attractions, there are plenty of shopping areas and tons of world-class restaurants to choose from. However, one of the most important things you’ll consider when planning a trip to Washington, DC is where to stay. There are plenty of lodging options in DC for all types of budgets.
The most prominent lodging option is the hotel. DC is teeming with brand hotels such as the Hilton and Hampton Inn, but there are also beautiful boutique choices. Some of the most famous boutique hotels in DC include the Dupont Circle Hotel, the Capitol Hill, and the Jefferson. All of these locations are walking distance from the National Mall, so the convenience is great. Depending on what time of the year the trip is taken, prices can skyrocket or plummet easily. There are always good deals to find online, especially on sites such as Expedia. Keep an eye out and remember that the sooner the hotel is booked, the cheaper it can be.
The next lodging options when thinking of where to stay in DC are a bed and breakfast inns. Staying at a B & B can offer an entirely different experience. Many B & B provide some historical charm that many tourists and visitors find attractive. It allows people to be connected to the city by staying in some of its older and historical homes. Many B & B’s can go for more or less $200 a night. However, the best ones are typically further from the National Mall and will require a bit of travel to see the famous tourist attractions. Some of the more traditional B & B’s in DC include the Swann House, the Taft Bridge Inn, the Woodley Park Guest House, and the Embassy Circle Guest House.
Another option for where to stay in DC includes VRBO’s. Vacation rentals are ideal for families due to space and for those who wish remain in the city longer. VRBO’s in Washington are usually historical row houses and brownstones. They are close to most tourist sites but can cost a bit more at anywhere from $250-$350 a night. They offer a unique experience of the city, as most of these row houses are quite old, but don’t worry, because they are renovated inside. If VRBO’s are too pricey, those who are planning a trip to DC can always check AirBnB, as they offer the cheapest rates anywhere in the market. As long as you are willing to do your research and are prepared to take the risk, your risk might just be worth whatever historical home you find.
Anywhere you stay in DC will have its benefits. Do the research and the planning and the trip will be well worth it. DC is beautiful year round and can be as relaxing you make it or as adventurous as you want it to be.