Post # 1
My FI and I really like to watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I guess while I was at work today he was watching a rerun of the show on tv and when I got home he showed me a clip of the show announcing their Rally to Restore Sanity. He was super excited about it and we have NEVER been on a trip before outside of Chicago. (which is like an hour from our house) I told him I would look up info online and I think he’s pretty serious about going. We would have to leave on 10.29.10 and come back the latest 10.31.01. I’m super excited and if we can find a way to travel cheaply I think he’ll do it!
I was looking up stuff online for flights but have no idea where to begin. I’ve never done this before. I was looking on Priceline and Expedia. In your experience what has been the best way to find this information out?
Post # 3
Priceline and Expedia are good, and you should also check out Travelocity and Kayak. I usually compare flight prices across all four sites, and THEN I look up the individual airline to see if the price is comparable. It’s always best to book through the airline if possible, because if there are issues with your flight, it’s easier to get things taken care of if you’ve booked through the airline directly. I do the same thing for hotel rooms. I’ve heard if you book directly through the discount sites, you generally get the worst rooms. I’d look up the cheapest price you can get, and then I’d call the hotel directly and ask them to match it. I’ve never had them turn me down! Good luck, and have fun!
Post # 4
just search the main sites – like you mentioned. it’s pretty simple, just book the flights (make sure to get return flights). Make sure you bring your ID or drivers license to get on the flight. Check baggage fees since most now a days run about $20 a bag (each way). Find a way to get to the airport 1-2 hrs early then a ride home.
Post # 5
Every time I travel, I check CheapTickets, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, etc. I always end up going with CheapTickets, so I recommend checking them out first.
Post # 6
SweetRose, we are also from Chicago and going to the rally. We booked our tickets through Expedia and are going to share a hotel room with friends to keep the costs down. We found a hotel close to the National Mall, so that we don’t have to walk too far. Manby websites help you find hotels near tourist destinations, so I suggest you try hotels.com or expedia and book the flight and hotel together to actually save some $$$. See you there!!!
Post # 7
I always book straight through the airlines. The discount sites have OK prices but they always include weird layovers or odd flight times. When I go to the airlines’ websites I still get the cheapest price but usually am able to also get a direct flight at the time I want. Check Jet Blue and Southwest airlines first as they don’t have checked baggage fees.
As far as hotels, I use Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, etc. in order to check the reviews and pictures on the hotel. Then I go to the hotels’ website and book the room. Again I usually get a better variety of rooms offered at a cheaper rate by going through the hotel. I also don’t have to worry about any mix-ups in reservations because there is no middle man!
Post # 8
@JurisPrudence: If you don’t mind me asking, what hotel are you going to be staying at? I can’t find anything on google around the area when I look at the map that isn’t like $500. Anyways, that’s so exciting someone else is going too!
Post # 9
If at all possible, fly into Reagan National Airport (DCA) because it’s on dc subway transit and you will both be able to get right into downtown for $4 versus a long and expensive trek from the other airports. Once you find a flight time and cost that works for you, book round-trip tickets for the two of you. If you’re not sure about flying, google “flying for the first time” and you’ll get loads of advice. After booking a flight, book a hotel. Washington Circle Hotel is one inexpensive one that I know of in the DC area, and the Kimpton Hotels are always a great deal too. Then, you’re set! If you need advice on restaurants or other touristy things, try Washingtonian.com.
Post # 10
You might want to post a thread in the DC board for some tips from locals. If you stay just outside the city on a metro line, like in MD on the red line or VA on the orange line, you can probably find some better rates. You won’t be able to walk to the Mall, but you pay for that convenience 🙂 Arlington VA would be good, or Crystal City (on blue line in VA). Also, Bethesda MD and Rockville MD would be cheaper, but a little bit further of a ride to get downtown.
Post # 11
Yay! Warmly welcome to DC! 🙂 We’re hoping to be at the rally too – maybe we should have a meet up that weekend so all the out of towners in for the rally can meet up, haha.
Sorry I can’t recommend any hotels, we’ve never stayed in one here in town, haha. But I second the recommendations for Kayak.com – it checks a lot of sites for flights, and there are little scroll bars on the sides where you can limit the times that you arrive/depart, etc.
I also agree that flying into DCA (Reagan) will be the best option, because you can definitely get around on metro while you’re here, and save money (and stress) on renting a car. We don’t own a car, and I get everywhere using metro (including buses, but you’ll probably stick to the subway) – when you arrive, just buy a couple of passes and put like $15-20 on them. The rates of the subway vary depending on time of day and how far you’re going (I think it’s more expensive than Chicago), and range from just over a dollar to over five during rush hour, haha.
If you want restaurant/museum/other fun stuff recommendations, definitely check out our local board – there was a great thread pretty recently with a lot of suggestions in it!
Post # 12
What an awesome trip to be taking! My fiance wants to go so badley! We have founds great rates on hotels.com and bookit.com. Also take a look at travelzoo.com. They have fantastic offers, including hotels and cheap air fare. I hope that this works out for you, as I am sure this would be so much fun!
Post # 13
We really want to go to the rally too!