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Guide to Washington DC for first-time visitors

By Cristiana , in Travel , at November 7, 2022

Washington DC has a lot to offer to visitors, whether they’re coming for a tour or a relaxing vacation. There are a lot of things to see in the city, from history to modern attractions, and it’s very welcoming. One could visit Washington DC every year and never see everything the city has to offer. With that said, there are things you should know about the city before planning your trip to it. While it’s very easy to enjoy a trip to Washington, it’s also very easy to mess up and ruin it. So, in order to help you enjoy your trip as much as possible, we put together a guide to Washington DC for first-time visitors.

Go on a guided tour for your first trip

With a city as big as Washington DC, it can be very difficult to figure out where to start. As such, the first step on the guide to Washington DC for first-time visitors is to get a guided tour. A guided tour will give you the perfect taste of the popular spots and let you familiarize yourself with the city so you can explore on your own. That said, we realize that a lot of people like to explore independently. In this case, we recommend a combination of a hop-on hop-off tour bus pass and a guided tour. With this combination, you get the best of both worlds by having the guided tour introduce you to the city and the hop-on hop-off tour allowing you to explore independently. Also, when coming to Washington of DC, remember to be careful when planning your next getaway to make sure it goes well.

If you want to visit the White House, plan for it very early

Most people are content with simply seeing the White House and taking a few pictures of it. However, if you want a tour of the White House, keep in mind that you can’t just show up. In order to get a tour of the White House, you first need to submit a request to a member of Congress. Keep in mind that this has to be at least 21 days in advance of the date you plan to visit. And once your request is approved, you need to make sure you arrive on the said date, otherwise, you’ll need to put in another request. A lot of people move to Washington DC to be closer to the People’s House, and should you decide to stay as well, make sure you plan your residential move well beforehand. When moving to Washington DC, make sure you hire movers you can trust.

Choose the time of year carefully

Visiting Washington DC at the wrong time of year can make a massive difference. All in all, summer can be a very bad time to visit, if you’re not going on a guided tour. During a guided tour you’ll have the luxury of air-conditioning, but otherwise, you’ll have to prepare for the heat. Fall and spring are generally considered the best times to visit the city, and tourists especially love visiting when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Winter is very quiet when it comes to tourism, but some people consider this as a major bonus. As long as you prepare for it well, winter could be the perfect time to visit. And speaking of preparation, you should consider some steps you can take to become a prepper. In today’s world, being overprepared is usually a benefit, so doing this for your trip to Washington DC is recommended.

Bring a refillable water bottle

A water bottle in Washington DC can cost from $3 to $5, which can stack up during your trip. Instead of spending lots of money on water, consider bringing your own bottle that you can refill. Washington DC has plenty of locations where you can stop to refill your water bottle for free. As an additional benefit, you’ll be helping stop the plastic pollution which has become a serious problem in the city. So, if you want to be eco-friendly and save money, do yourself a favor and bring a refillable water bottle with you. And when it comes to your belongings, keep in mind that experts from Helix Transfer & Storage note that you should be careful with what you leave in your hotel room. If you need to store your belongings, make sure they’re safe, or at the very least bring everything that’s important with you.

Bring comfortable footwear

One massive benefit of Washington DC is that it’s an incredibly walkable city, no matter how you look at it. You can realistically walk almost wherever you want, and visitors like to take advantage of this fact. However, if you plan to do a lot of walking on your trip, remember to pack very comfortable footwear. Fashion can be important, sure, but if you’re going to spend most of the day on your feet, make sure your legs are going to be comfortable the entire time. Of course, driving is also an option, although we can’t recommend it; DC’s traffic is nightmarish at the best of times. However, if you decide to bring your car and drive around the city anyway, make sure you know how to keep your car moving smoothly. The last thing you want is for your car to stop working in DC’s busy traffic.

Guide to Washington DC for first-time visitors – wrap up

Washington DC is a wonderful city for visitors; it’s very beautiful and welcoming to boot. However, there are a lot of things you should keep in mind if you’re unfamiliar with the city. Some of these things can make or break your trip, all things considered. All in all, proper preparation is a must for your first trip coming to the city. But, pretty much everyone who has visited the city agrees that the preparation is very much worth it. So, take your time and plan the trip properly so you can enjoy everything Washington DC has to offer properly. We hope that this guide to Washington DC for first-time visitors helps you out, and we wish you a good day.


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