Washington, D.C. Feature
D.C. is a notoriously transient town, with people hopping on and off the campaign trail on a moment's notice often leaving their apartments in the sublets and long-term rental columns of local newspapers and websites. If you can't stomach the idea of another family vacation with you and the kids squeezed into a single hotel room with no kitchen, or if you are traveling with others, a furnished rental might be for you. Often these rentals wind up saving you money—especially on meals and snacks. Be warned, the allure of a full kitchen and room to spread out might get you hooked on apartment rentals for life. Here are some websites to help you find hotel alternatives, short-term apartment rentals, apartment exchanges, and other alternative ways to stay in town.
Hideaways International. An annual membership fee of $195 provides access to listings around the world. 767 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH, 03801. 603/430–4433 or 800/843–4433. www.hideaways.com.
Bed and Breakfast DC. This well-run organzation handles about 45 different properties in the area, from reasonably priced accommodations in small guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts to short and longterm rentals in private homes. 1339 14th St. NW, Downtown, Washington, DC, 20005. or 877/893–3233. www.bedandbreakfastdc.com.
If you would like to exchange your home for someone else's, join a home-exchange organization, which will send you its updated listings of available exchanges for a year and include your own listing in at least one of them. It's up to you to make specific arrangements.
HomeLink International. Established in 1953, this organization helps travelers arrange to exchange houses in 80 countries around the world and in the United States. Members don't pay to stay, but the fee is $130 for a listing published in a directory and on the website. Washington, DC. or 800/638–3841. www.homelink.org.
Intervac U.S.. Families, singles, and retired people can get help planning vacations by exchanging homes with other members throughout the world; $199.99 yearly for a listing, online access, and a catalog; $99.99 without catalog. Free trial memberships are available. Washington, DC. 800/756–4663. www.intervacus.com.
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