This post is to be written by YOU – share your free and frugal, must see, must do in Washington D.C. with us in the comments!
We have an exciting week coming up! Alex is heading to Washington D.C. for a week-long training for work.
When I heard that he was going for work, I asked if I can tag along as I have always wanted to go to D.C. Neither of us have ever been to the Nation’s Capital. I love history and I have wanted to explore the museums, the memorials and all of the government sites since I was about 12. But it is an expensive place to fly to from the west, plus the hotels right in D.C. are expensive. So it has never worked out. Once our eldest daughters find out I was going, they asked, “If we buy our own flights, can we go too?” I LOVED that plan because I knew D.C. would be so much more fun if I had some travel and exploration buddies. Alex will be in training from early morning until evening, when most everything is closed, so it would be better to explore with someone – and an amazing way to make it an educational trip too!
In the end, if I could find a hotel that was cheaper than what his company was looking at, then I knew that I could justify tagging along even more because then I would even be saving his company money too!
My Thrifty hotel trick
They were originally looking at having him stay at a 3-star hotel in VA, about a 45+ minute commute to the training each early morning for around $250 a night. In the course of my diligent searching, and my trick using a site called Hotel Storm HERE (it is by invite only because the prices are super, super low, and can’t be publicly available, so use password THRIFTY to search hotel deals under our invite), I was able to get a beautiful 4-star hotel 1 mile from Alex’s training and 1/2 mile from the Capitol Building and 1 – 1.5 miles from the White House and National Mall for less than $200 a night for four people. So I saved his company money on the hotel with my hotel tricks. Since the hotel expenses are paid for, the bulk of the expense is already done.
The cheaper flights
I just had to find some affordable flights for myself and our girls, but in the process, Alex passed my “great flight find” onto his work and they were able to save quite a bit of money on his flight too! So it is of great mutual benefit and we are all on the same flight. The only bummer is that we are all over the airplane in random spots because there was a “fee” to select seats beforehand, along with the flight leaving at 5:50 am, but not arriving in D.C. until 4:30 pm with a layover. So we will be up at 3am with a super long day of travel. But that’s okay because we will be there for a whole week and the flights were much cheaper by accepting these minor inconveniences.
So here’s where we need your help
I have been researching and discovering the best tourist plan of attack. I am glad that nearly everything is fee free, which makes exploration that much more fun.
I don’t know when we will have the opportunity to go to D.C. again and since this has been a trip 24 years in the making for me, I want to make the most of it and not miss the “must see, must do” things.
We have 6 full days and one half day in D.C.
- What are your top few recommendations of things to see, do, eat, experience, etc.?
- We will be using public transit exclusively, do you have any tips in general on travel in D.C. and transportation?
- Any other suggestions or tips you can share?
I did secure a White House tour
In fact, this was one of the first things I did after booking flights. I knew that you had to reserve a spot several weeks in advance to visit the White House. I contacted our Congressman and got us a White House reservation. We are very excited about this experience! That is currently the only “for sure” thing we have planned, but I would love to have a plan with your recommendations considered.
As a funny side note….
The Washington Monument is closed for refurbishment. The refurbishment is to “modernize the elevator system.” So we will not be able to go up into the Monument. That’s disappointing, but we have be been making the joke that since the elevator was destroyed by Spiderman’s friend in Spiderman Homecoming, they needed to make repairs and updates. 🙂 The timing is just too perfect for the updates they are making with the release of the movie!
Don’t worry, while I am trotting around the Capital City, I will be spending my early mornings still sharing blog posts, so there will still be plenty to read here too. 🙂 Did you know that we get up at 5:30 to research and write blog posts each morning before our kids get up? Well, the pattern will still continue because we love to share with you!