I’m having total déjà vu as I sit here and write this. My son and I have to fly to Washington, D.C. next month. Again.
We traveled there last year on a quest to renew my boys’ Russian passports. During our two days there, I wore my kids out visiting all the monuments. My oldest son especially hated all of the schlepping around.
Well, as luck would have it, he is the one that has to go back. I can’t get into details, but we are having issues getting his Russian passport renewed. We need that for a future trip we are planning to Russia, and the embassy requested to see him again.
Sorry to disappoint, but this won’t be one of those blog posts that boasts about flying in first class seats both ways. It won’t even be about how we scored completely free flights using miles and points. My family’s miles and points stash is nearly depleted after booking flights to NYC, Australia/New Zealand and Costa Rica. I had to use scraps to even reduce the cost of our flights.
We need to fly in one morning and fly back the next night. The cheapest flights using cash cost $320 round-trip per person on Southwest. AA was $20-$30 more.
For flights to DCA, I booked nonstop flights on Southwest using my Capital One Venture Rewards card. I had almost exactly enough Capital One points to erase the cost of those from my statement.
For return flights, I decided to fly back on AA due to the flight schedule. I had a small stash of Citi ThankYou points I used to offset the price, but I still had to pay $238 in cash.
Overall, paying $238 in out-of-pocket cash combined with some points is better than paying $640 for two tickets. So even though I couldn’t get us all the way there for free with miles and points, I’ll happily take the discounted price.
My hotel points are almost non-existent at the moment. I do have some Chase Ultimate Rewards points that I could transfer to Hyatt for one of the Washington, D.C. hotels that cost 12,000 points per night.
As I looked at hotels, I noticed the cash price of the Hyatt Place Washington DC/Georgetown/West End was only $134 using an AAA discount. I really expected much higher prices. So, I booked the cash rate.
This hotel is less than three miles from the embassy, and it’s close to Georgetown. I’m looking forward to staying in a different part of the city this time.
Things to Do
Even though our trip is super short, due to the timing of our flights we will have two free afternoons. What should we do?
My son would be happy with just watching TV in the hotel room and gabbing on his phone. There has got to be some happy medium between doing that and schlepping all over the city.
I have a few ideas:
Arlington National Cemetery—it would be interesting to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Newseum—it’s a museum we didn’t go to last time.
International Spy Museum—a blog reader recommended this. The new, bigger location will be open by the time we travel. Sounds intriguing, and I’m sure my son would love it.
We’ve already been to most of the monuments, the Air and Space Museum and the zoo. I’m open to any and all suggestions if you have recommendations of not-to-miss things with a 15-year-old in Washington, D.C. Please share!
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.