Washington DC, and the surround DC Metro Area, can be ridiculously expensive. There is also a ton to do here. There are so many amazing places to eat, museums, history (or otherwise) sites to see. Some days Mr. Air Force and I think that we could see something different every day and never repeat anything for years. It can be overwhelming and a little intense on your wallet. So how can you get away with some time together on the cheap, or for the least amount of money.
1. DC By Foot – This is a really cool concept. This is a “no-fee upfront” tour guide company. Yes, you heard me. It’s basically free! Theoretically you could take the tour, say good bye and that would be the end of it. Pay what you think the guide deserves, earned, or tip them. You have so many options and I absolutely love it. There are your typical Arlington Cemetery, National Mall and Capitol tours. This company also does more unique tours including food and photography ones. There’s a calendar on the website so you can see what is coming up.
This is a Georgetown self-guided tour that we’ve personally done ourselves. On that night the hubby and I ventured to Martin’s Tavern ( one of my favorite places to eat in DC ) and then kept up the Kennedy theme by checking out the local landmarks associated with the Kennedy family. You can find out more about this in my first “Cheap Date Nights….” post.
3. Geocaching is one of our newest discoveries. We haven’t been doing it for very long but it is a lot of fun, and Mr. Air Force is really good at it. You can do this basically anywhere, so even if you don’t live in DC, you are good to go. We even did it while on vacation. Apple has an app, and I’m sure other carriers as well. The free membership is perfectly suitable for anyone, but you can upgrade to the premium version for a small subscription fee.
Have you ever heard of sittercitty? If you haven’t you’re missing out! I’ve been using them since my oldest was little. It has saved us when we were somewhere without family or friends to help us out. I love the program, I love the background checks that are included in the free membership. The people at Sittercity are amazing as well. They are always looking for ways to improve this program and it is just so cool. Use it!
All that being said, I wanted to also encourage you to rely on your friends, especially when you are in a place without friends or family. I remember my parents doing that and its always been a part of who I am. It creates a better community and encourages relationships that are deeper and more amazing. I whole heartedly encourage you to do that!
**update, Sittercity is no longer free for military, but both Sittercity and Care.com offer great military discounts, as well as having a USAA member discount.
DC is one of those places that can easily overwhelm, and for several reasons. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is TRAFFIC! Whoa! You try to explain it to people who are moving here and most of the time its something they can’t really appreciate until they live here; no matter what you say to convince them. The sheer magnitude of historical sites is also overwhelming. We have seen and done so much in the two and a half years we’ve lived here but I feel like we haven’t even scratched the service. In fact we keep a running list of thing we want to do and see and I’m pretty sure its taking up a huge chunk of my hard drive. The third is expense. It’s expensive to live here, its just the way it is. Its something we’ve had to factor in to our daily living, this includes Date Nights. Date Nights are not generally something I’m okay with living without. So you come up with creative ideas to be cheap and you make it work. Now, we opted to go to a fancy restaurant in Georgetown, so that did up our price tag, but its a very affordable place when you compare it a lot of DC eateries. So, if you’re looking for a fun, and yummy, place to eat in DC check out Martin’s Tavern. I never get tired of it.
first stop was Martin’s Tavern and the “proposal booth”
A favorite cheap date night for us is the “walking tour”. There are a plethora of options in the area. But a really fun and romantic one is through the streets of Georgetown. Georgetown is probably one of the coolest “historic” towns that I’ve ever been in. It’s quaint and old-fashioned and charming. It was founded in the mid-1700s and predates DC itself. It’s adorable row-houses and federalist architecture is a treat for the eye. And while the whole place is one giant walking tour and shopping bonanza, it is the one centered around the Kennedy’s that I truly love. It’s important history, and while not in my life time, its not so ancient that its hard to imagine. We have pictures and video that really can connect us to the Kennedy’s and the beautiful Jacqueline. Georgetown is their stomping grounds.
the house they lived in pre-Presidency
lived here as Senator
On this tour you can visit the homes where they lived before his Presidency, after President Kennedy’s Assassination, their church and several other important Kennedy landmarks. Walking up and down the pint-size streets and you can’t help but be swept up in the rich history and the sweet whimsy of it all. And while the transportation and the babysitting (although I strongly suggest you swap with friends! It’s cheap and encourages community. We do it!) isn’t free, the walking tour is.
Bundle up and bring your hot chocolate, coffee or tea from home and enjoy a nice leisurely stroll in Georgetown. I guarantee you’ll love it!
For more information on the self-guided Kennedy walking tour, visit GeorgetownDC