Traveling to Washington DC on a Budget with Kids

A few weeks ago my family and I attended a convention in Washington DC.  I was trying to keep the cost down since I was paying for both of my children to attend the convention, I spent a lot of time researching a money saving way and I wanted to share what I discovered with my readers.  

Many families from our area take trips into Washington to see the sites.  Many of the hotels in D.C. have high parking costs $30-$50 a night.  If you drive into to Washington there is free parking in the mall area but it's hard to find unless you're there very early in the morning.  If you find a parking garage you can pay $25 or more a day to park your car.

After some research, I found out that if I stayed in the town of Bethesda and took the red line metro into D.C., we would be in walking distance to the convention hotel.  I never knew how easy and convenient it was.

Where to Stay
We found the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, which is right by the entrance of the Metro.  Which turned out to be perfect because it was raining on Saturday.  The Hyatt was just renovated and was gorgeous and perfect for our family.  I loved the modern finishes in the room.  The kids loved the mirror showed the time.  The staff at the Hyatt were so helpful with helping us find restaurants, offering umbrellas to use when it was pouring rain and giving us tips on riding the metro.

The town of Bethesda is a great town for families everything was a no more than a 10-minute walk from our hotel.  Plenty of restaurants to choose from and many different price points.  For instance, they had budget friendly choices like &pizzaNoddles & Company to a romantic date night Morton's Steak House.  If you want a special treat after dinner or lunch Georgetown Cupcake is there and also a frozen yogurt store. We loved window shopping after dinner at all of the boutiques.

Riding the Metro
Since we arrived after dinner on Friday night we decided to check out the metro before we needed to board it on Saturday morning.  I do have to warn you there is a very steep and long escalator that you need to take to get to the Metro.  You can purchase passes right at the station you load the SmarTrip card with money and you can use the card over and over just reload it with more money. I found the Metro station clean and the metro cars were clean.  Coming from Bethesda and going into DC you pass many stops, for instance, the zoo, Smithsonian, Dupont Circle, and so much more that are perfect for sightseeing in the area. The D.C. Metro website has tools for you to plan your trip using the Metro.

Overall, we found staying in Bethesda and taking the Metro a fun experience and would do it again.  My husband and I couldn't get over how easy it was and how much money we saved on parking and the stress of driving in the DC area.