7 Ways to Save Money When Traveling to Washington DC

The seat of power in the United States, Washington DC provides a long list of attractions from monuments to historical locations. While some people may believe that traveling to and exploring the great city can be expensive, there are ways you can get the most out of the experience while maintaining a strong budget. Whether you’re only visiting for a single night or plan on spending a few days, you can easily reduce your costs if you plan well.

Create a Sensible Budget

When planning a trip to Washington DC, spend time developing a budget. Some people will go so far as to put the money they will use in a secondary account. This account is only used for the vacation keeping household monies separated. This can prevent over exerting your bank and credit accounts while visiting the city.

Off Season

Even flights to Washington DC can be subject to seasonal changes. Flying to the majestic city may be cheaper during certain times of the year. You could also save money by flying on various weekdays. In most cases, flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are cheaper than flying on a Friday.


By spending time looking for affordable hotels in Washington DC, you can find locations that fit your budget. In fact, many locations are located in prime areas for exploring the vast city. Instead of booking a room in the first hotel you see, take the time to read the comments of others online. A high-priced room may be less than ideal when compared to the experience.

Planning Your Meals

While visiting a nice restaurant may enhance the experience, try not to go overboard. Dining out can quickly tap your budget, especially if you do this every night. Plan your meals accordingly and try not to over-indulge at the fine eateries around the city.

Gift Shops

Souvenir purchases make billions of dollars a year by visitors. While you may want to bring something home regarding Washington DC, try to keep it minimal. You can quickly exhaust your savings if you spend too much on trinkets and collectibles. Before you know it, you could even cut into the money you need for basic survival such as eating.

Shopping Malls and Stores

Many locations realize that Washington DC is a high-density vacation location. Prices can be higher for some items when shopping in malls and various stores in key areas. Like the gift shops, try to keep your purchases small.

A lot of places in Washington DC are free to visit. Memorials, monuments, museums and the National Zoo are free to get into and explore. This is one of the more memorable ways to explore the capitol as the trip should be about knowledge and discovery and not shopping. This is a great deal of history in this location, and you’d be hard pressed to visit it all in one vacation.

Washington DC can be a memorable experience for people of all ages. Many people in the United States don’t take the time to explore what the nation’s capitol has to offer in fear of the trip being too expensive. Planning your itinerary well and sticking with a schedule can help reduce costs while taking in sights that many people will never see. Make the trip about discovery and not expense.

This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a complete travel platform that allows you to do everything from comparing charter flights and train rides, to finding the best resort hotels and Airbnb rentals.