Presidential Inauguration for cheap *UPDATE* | The Frugalista

Presidential Inauguration for cheap *UPDATE*

by frugalista on January 14, 2009

In less than a week, America will have a new president, Barack H. Obama. The historic occasion of the United States sending its first African American and First Lady Frugalista to the White House has many Americans traveling to Washington, D.C. for the ceremonies.  Full disclosure, I attended college in Washington, D.C. I consider the city my second home. Love that city.

Here are some of my tips for how to enjoy Washington, D.C. during inauguration as affordable as possible:

1) Erika Bolstad of McClatchy New Service wrote an awesome article on the hotel rooms still left for inauguration. It’s not too late. Some of the hotel rooms in suburban Maryland and Virginia are cheaper, but make sure they have access to the metro.
2)  Stay with friend.
3) If you are flying into D.C., consider leaving Monday and returning Wednesday evening. Those fares seem to be more affordable. Try different days to get the best deal.
4) If you don’t have tickets to the inauguration, book a flight out of Washington, D.C. before noon on Tuesday. Those rates are way cheaper.
5) There is a free inaugural party Sunday featuring Beyonce, Mary J Blige and Bono at The Lincoln Memorial. The party is hosted by HBO. Revelers can start lining up about 8 a.m. for the 2:30 p.m. concert.
6) If you are going to any of the balls, try to borrow a dress  from a friend or use an old bridesmaid’s gown. Many of the fine department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Sak’s have gowns on sale, also.
7) Don’t rent a car. Traffic will be a mess and half the city is on lock down. Really, I wouldn’t suggest a cab. I say take the metro or walk.

Are you going to inauguration? Do you have tickets? It’s cheaper to stay home and have a viewing party with friends, right?  What suggestions do you have for travelers who want to go to inauguration?

Photo courtesy of Essence


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