Planning Your Trip to Washington D.C.

Jan 15, 2024

Every American should visit Washington, D.C., at least once in their lifetime. There is so much history, crucial to the founding and running of our great country in this one city, that is just too important to miss. However, first time visitors to Washington can easily feel overwhelmed by the city and all its offerings. So, if this is your first time to visit D.C., then you should use the expertise of a professional travel advisor.

Planning your trip to D.C. will vary on the time of year you wish to visit. While winter and spring will be less busy than summer, you’ll have cold, wet weather with which to contend. Contrast that with the summer months where it is very busy with tourism and very hot and muggy. 

For many, the blooms of the beautiful cherry blossoms surrounding the National Mall are a sight to behold. On average, the peak of these blooms is the last week of March or first week of April. So, this will be a slightly busier time as well.

What makes D.C. such a great tourist destination beyond its rich history is that it is a very cost-effective destination as most everything you can visit or tour is free. Yes, there are some private museums, tours and excursions that do have an admission fee, but for those on a tighter budget, you can certainly fill your vacation with plenty of free things.

If you are looking for a unique experience, consider visiting the monuments at night when all lit up. There are even tour companies/guides you can pay to walk you around and give you the history and religious significance of the monuments. Click the link or ask your travel advisor to help you book one of these tours.

Should you get a rental car for D.C.? Save some money and don’t worry about a rental car. Getting around D.C. is easy. You can easily use the Metro (subway) all around D.C. and into some of the suburbs. By forgoing the rental car, you don’t have to worry about the heavy traffic and limited (and pricey) parking.

If you are on a more budget-conscious trip, consider staying out in one of the suburbs where hotels will be less expensive than directly in D.C. Remember, the Metro has stations located in some of the suburbs. Be sure to discuss this with your travel advisor.

You will already be walking a lot in D.C., so you don’t want to waste time wandering all over. Therefore, the best way to see D.C. is to either take a guided tour or make a list of all the monuments, museums, and other places you wish to visit. Then map them out so you can be efficient about your time. Most of the monuments and national museums you will want to visit will be around the National Mall. 

Looking to visit The White House, U.S. Capitol or The Pentagon? Access to these three popular tourist destinations is not as easy as you think. They do require careful advanced planning. For The White House and U.S. Capitol, you will need to request free tickets through one of your state representative’s offices. If approved, you will have to undergo a background check. For the Pentagon, you can request free tickets through the Pentagon’s website at You will also undergo a background check if admissions tickets are approved. Remember, these are popular destinations to visit and do require you request tickets months in advance, and your travel advisor will not be able to book these for you. 

Our nation’s capital has so much to visit and experience that you likely won’t fit everything into one trip, but you can certainly try! Use your favorite travel advisor to help you make the most of your Washington, D.C., vacation.