AirTran, Virgin America, and More Add Flights to D.C.

Posted November 20, 2008 by Nicki Krawczyk

Refugeecamp If you’re spending your winter vacation days heading to Cabo or Cancun, you’re in the minority. However, if you’re using those days to sample a bit of history in our nation’s capital ‘round about January 20th, you’re in good company. Lots of good company. So much good company, in fact, that major carriers including AirTran, Virgin America, and JetBlue have all added flights into either Washington’s Dulles Airport or Baltimore/Washington International Airport.

Which is wonderful of them. Completely without sarcasm, I’ll say that I think it’s nice to see airlines responding to demand and trying to accommodate passengers. Here’s the tricky thing, though: Many, many, many people who are planning on heading into the city for the inauguration have already booked their flights—and hotel rooms. Meaning, if you’re taking one of the newly added flights from Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Milwaukee, you’re on the late-boat for finding a place to stay.

But calm your panic-stricken mind. If you can’t count on your genial BookingBuddy blogger to solve your travel troubles, who can you count on? It is, therefore, my pleasure and privilege to offer a few suggestions for those travelers who have yet to secure a place to lay their heads.

1. College Friends. Chances are, you know at least one person from your college years who has since settled in D.C. January is a perfect time to visit, stay for a few days and reconnect. Stumped? Get creative: After all, six degrees of separation means you’re actually connected to everyone in Washington.

2. Bipartisan Bunking. Both candidates were aaaaaall about working with members of both parties to bring change-with-a-capital-C to the country. And if President-elect Obama and Senator McCain can be all chummy now, who are you to not follow suit? I recommend reaching across the proverbial aisle and inviting yourself into the home of a member of your rival party. If they’re hesitant, try hinting that your party allegiance is tenuous and you might be swayed with a sleeper sofa.

3. Statue Snoozing. If presidents stand on the shoulders of giants, you certainly have the right to sleep on them. Or, if not the shoulders, try the lap. Especially good for such repose is the Lincoln Memorial, wherein you can snuggle with a national hero and get a lovely view of the reflecting pool.

4. Floating Motel. Speaking of the reflecting pool, that’s an awful lot of unused real estate. With a raft, camp tent, battery-powered space heater, and a little ingenuity, you could outfit yourself quite nicely. Plus, you could bring a few extra and sell them to the highest bidders to demonstrate a little free market, entrepreneurial, all-American moxie.

5. Shantytown, Anyone? Don’t make any plans at all and get a first-hand experience of exactly why both parties have to work together to get the economy, unemployment, and poverty under control. It’s awfully cold on park benches in December, you know—no matter which city you’re in.

Any other ideas? Or have you already booked your hotel? What are your inaugural travel plans?

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