Travel Cheap


Jul 18th, 2000, 10:42 AM
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Travel Cheap

I am currently in my last year of college and I am interested in going to Washington DC to see the monuments. I was wondering how long should I go for and what is the cheapest way to do so (hotels, car rental, etc.)

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Jul 18th, 2000, 01:39 PM
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Check out the youth hostels. I know there's one downtown--kind of close to a not-so-nice, but up and coming area.

Also, George Washington University rents out dorms rooms during the summer. You can't beat the location (I should know--I spent 4 years there). You're close to everything, including the monuments, more than one metro stop. Check out for phone numbers--I don't think there's info on the room rental on the site, though. Most of the dorms rooms are nice--almost all are former apartment buildings--and have their own bathrooms.

You don't need a car while you're here, unless you plan to explore beyond the close-in suburbs. The Metro will take you to all of the tourist areas, and it's now open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Make sure you hit the Adams Morgan neighborhood and the area around the MCI Center (the new basketball arena) for good ethnic restaurants and some nightlife.
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Jul 18th, 2000, 03:22 PM
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Four days is a very decent stay, but you can do a certain amount in 2 or 3 (or you can live there 20 yrs. and still not see everything). Depend on the Metro subway system for most of your transportation. Forget a car. And if you are on a budget, forget the touristy trams and trolleys and double-deckers. You can do a LOT on the Metro and on foot. There are a few monuments (Jefferson, Roosevelt) that are not easy to get to that way, but most everything else you can.

Hint: get in touch with your hometown congressperson's office. They are happy to have you drop by if Congress is in session (or not, if they're there), and you really should tour the Capitol, use the little Senate subway, etc. And the congressional offices can sometimes set you up with tours of the White House that are better/different from the ones you stand in line for.

You can spend a day and a half just on the Smithsonian/national museums on the Mall. But don't miss the zoo and the National Cathedral. And you can get to Arlington Cemetary on the Metro, too. Georgetown is the only area that declined to have a Metro stop, but you can walk there (a bit of a hike) from DuPont Circle or Foggy Bottom stops.

There are plenty of guidebooks -- even a student Let's Go (sorry, Fodors) section. Worth a little homework, but have a great time.
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Jul 19th, 2000, 08:02 AM
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We were just there a couple weeks ago, and stayed in Fairfax, VA. There's a bus that went right past our hotel to get to the metro station, and we got our hotel through priceline for $25/night. It was nice and had a large continental breakfast. You don't need a car, and I would heed a previous poster's advice and skip the bus tours, etc. since you can see everything on foot and metro. I good deal is the $5 all day metro pass good after 9:30 am for the rest of that day. Then you can hop on and off to see different things if you want. Another neat thing to see is Union Station, and you can take the metro directly there.
We took our 4 kids (3,5,7,9) and spent 2 days in the city. We saw the monuments and white house (but didn't go on the tours), the Am. History Museum and the Air and Space Museum plus Union Station. If you were to take a white house, capitol or FBI tour or tour of the mint, I would add another day or two. And if you add the Zoo and Arlington Cemetery, you'd need time for that. I would say 4 days would be a good amount of time, depending how much you want to see.
(According to other posts on this site under a category something like "rip-offs or worst tourist attractions", many people said that the mint tour and FBI tour were a waste of time, and I know you don't get to see much of the white house (5 rooms?), so you're probably better off doing the white house virtual tour on the internet.)
(Without kids, you can probably fit in more in one day than we did...)

Ford's theatre was another recommendation on this site (we didn't make it there though...)
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Jul 19th, 2000, 08:04 AM
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I forgot-- If you are going to bid on priceline for anything, check out this BB. People have given many tips and strategies on bidding...That's how I got such a low price on the hotel room.

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