Four Top Tips for Your Next Trip to Washington, DC

Washington, DC, is a great destination for all types of tourists. From solo travelers to families to business excursionists, there is something that will delight everyone in this densely packed area. You have history and knowledge, live music and great eats, and many beautiful districts to explore. There is so much to do, in fact, that it can be daunting to plan your trip. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and not sure how to save and where to splurge, use these top five tips to get more out of your next trip to DC: 

Book Tickets and Tours in Advance

There are so many amazing things to do in Washington DC, and many of them will require you to either book a ticket or a tour. While there is a lot you can do that won’t require any reservation, if you want to visit top ticket destinations like The White House, you’ll want to plan and book ahead. The same goes for tours. Great tours can fill up fast, so if you want to do more than just walk around a memorial or monument, book the tour in advance. 

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Do note that free places may require you to book a ticket. Timed tickets are becoming the norm to keep destinations from becoming too busy. You may also be able to get to the front of the line by booking instead of simply arriving, so consider your budget versus the time you have to spend. 

Save with the SmarTrip Card 

When it comes to getting around Washington, your go-to options are going to be walking and the metro system. To save when using the metro system, get a SmarTrip Card. Buying paper tickets means spending an extra $1 per paper ticket, which can add up very quickly. By instead buying a SmarTrip Card, which will initially cost $10 ($2 for the card itself and $8 for fares), you’ll start saving from the second trip onwards. If you’re in town for a week or more, get the seven-day pass for $25.   

Book a Vacation Property 

When it comes to staying right in the heart of the action, a vacation property is a great way to go. Usually, small vacation properties like a one-bedroom or studio go for the same price as a hotel room, with the added benefit of offering you everything that would usually be included in a suite. You’ll also be able to feel more like a local, and, since you’ll be outside the main tourist areas. 

Diversify What You Do 

Unless you’re in town for weeks, you won’t be able to do everything. While it may seem like going for a themed trip is a good idea, this is the easiest way actually to burn yourself out during your trip. Yes, there are many great museums and historic sites to see and learn about, but if that is the only thing you focus on, the impact of each site will actually decrease. Balance your itinerary by splitting up your time between museums and monuments, between great restaurants, live music, markets, and more. This is how you can manage your energy and get more out of your trip. 

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