Planning A Family Road Trip To Washington D.C. On A Budget

Food Trucks

If you have always wanted to take your family on a trip to Washington D.C. in order to take in the sights, study the history, and enjoy the other features and attractions the area has to offer, then don’t let a little thing like money hold you back from embarking on your journey. You may have been led to believe that the Capital City is too expensive for a road trip, and certainly there are expensive aspects to the area, but as long as you do it right then you can take in D.C. without going broke in the process. So load your family up in an RV rental and head for Washington, but just keep the following tips in mind.

Avoid Hotels

Since Washington is a bustling metropolis that attracts travelers from all over the world, including many individuals with government business, the hotels are indeed rather pricy both downtown and in the suburbs. Fortunately for you, your RV will be an affordable and comfortable place to call home during your stay. There are a number of RV parks in the surrounding region. Do your research to find the best park to suit your needs in terms of space, amenities, and price. Be sure to book ahead since the parks tend to fill up ahead of each season.

Whatever the case, an RV park will be a lot cheaper than a hotel. You can use the park as your base of operations, heading out into D.C. each day in your RV rental to check out the sights.


Food Trucks

Yes, restaurants can be quite expensive in Washington D.C., especially downtown. The good news is that there are a plethora of highly rated food trucks serving up delicious and varied plates all over the city. This is not the negative definition of “street food” that you have learned to avoid. This is entirely sanitary food served by top line chefs to an assortment of office workers and young hip customers. No matter what type of dish you are in the mood for, from hearty American fare to sushi, you can find a food truck serving up exactly what you need, and you won’t have to go broke in the process.

While many of the top food trucks are located in the downtown district, there are tons all over the city that you can hit up at any time during the day.

Free Activities

Seeing the sites in Washington doesn’t always mean having to fork out cash. As a matter of fact, there are many free tours and activities you can experience in the area. For example, the National Mall offers free tours at certain times. Just check out the main site to find their daily schedule. You also have the 17 different locations of the Smithsonian institute which offer free admission each day. If you stop by the National Cathedral on a Sunday you will be treated to free admission as well. One of the most popular free destinations is the National Zoo, which can be visited for free and offers elephants, lions and tigers, pandas, orangutans, and gorillas.

Located near the Capitol Building you will find the U.S. Botanic Garden which hosts a vast array of plants from desert succulents to rainforest and mid-Atlantic specimens. You can easily spend all day here, and the admission is free. If you’re in D.C. during the summer, you can check out free movies as well. There are many outdoor movie screenings all over the city during the warm months, offering you and your family the chance to spread out a blanket and enjoy a free film on a nice, warm night.

By far one of the most interesting free activities on offer is the free tour of the Library of Congress. Not only is the architecture of this building unbelievable, but to witness the sheer amount of content in storage is a sight to behold. The Library offers free walking tours and you should most definitely check one out. And don’t forget about the National Gallery Of Art which features everything from 18th century French impressionists to modern sculpture. Yes, it is free admission here as well.

Rock Creek Park

This massive city park contains over 2,000 acres of hiking trails, bike paths, picnic areas, meadows, and many activities such as a large planetarium and an amphitheater for summer concerts. On a nice day, Rock Creek Park is perfect for a picnic, a hike, or just a nice stroll to enjoy the fresh air.

Don’t avoid Washington D.C. just because it is known as being expensive. As you can see, there are many free and affordable activities that will allow you and your family to enjoy the Capitol. Make sure to steer your RV rental toward D.C. for your next trip.