Traveling Well without Spending a Lot in Washington D.C.

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washington-monument-at-nightAs a destination, Washington DC is a city that is full of tradition and culture. There is so much to see that many people actually plan multiple visits there in order to take in all that is available.

One pleasant surprise for many first-time visitors is that reasonable hotel room prices and transportation can be found throughout the city, leaving you more money to spend on dining and shopping.

Here are some tips on planning your next vacation in Washington D.C.:

Use mass transit: Almost everywhere that you want to go within the city to visit museums or libraries is accessible by light rail. You can even plan to fly into Ronald Reagan National Airport and get off the plane and directly onto the train in order to reach your hotel. Transportation costs on the Metro system are very reasonable, and it is considered to be one of the safest rail systems in the nation. So if you plan to spend time in Washington D.C., organizing where you stay around a light rail stop will free you from having to contend with traffic downtown.

The suburbs are just minutes away: If you have trouble finding a reasonably priced hotel downtown, suburbs like Alexandria in Virginia are a great alternative. They are connected to Washington D.C. by the transit system and they are more spread out and offer a variety of hotel types that can allow you to pay the same price and receive more amenities.

Plan online at expert sites: There are some travel sites like Hipmunk that offer a guide to traveling in DC that will provide you with detailed information designed to make your experience better and within your budget. One of the values of using a travel expert site is that their advice is similar to having a travel agent that you can rely on because they are experts in the Washington DC area.

Include government institutions in your itinerary: One of the nicest things about enjoying museums and libraries in Washington D.C. is that many of the exhibits are free. You can therefore visit and spend time in the National Archives or the Library of Congress or take a tour at the FBI without breaking your budget. The Smithsonian is another very large museum that is quite reasonable to visit, although it may take you longer than you expect to view the entire place. The planners of Washington D.C. created a giant park that encompasses many of the memorials and key tourist sites to make it very easy for visitors to access everything from one starting point.

Apply some of your travel savings to a nice restaurant or shop: Although Washington D.C. offers some of the most affordable venues for travelers within the United States, your trip will likely be more memorable if you spend some of your budget on a meal or a purchase at one of its signature restaurants or stores. Georgetown, which is Northwest of the White House is famous for its eateries and quaint architecture, while you can also find many restaurants and waterholes that cater to diplomats and movers and shakers in the political scene.

Washington D.C. is often high on the list of places for travelers to visit. By planning ahead and incorporating some of the free and inexpensive attractions that are available to visit, you can have a great experience, no matter what your overall budget is.

This post was provided by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a travel website that helps you to locate the best deals on transportation, accommodations, and more.

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