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Brandon and I just got back a few days ago from our little family getaway to D.C. and let’s just say that it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  We had a few hiccups during our trip and ended up leaving a day early because we just weren’t having a good time.  I would, however, still go back and visit one day, just not now while Stink is still so young.

But for those of you who are interested in booking a trip to our nation’s capitol here are a few tips to help make your vacation more enjoyable. 

Don’t pay to park at the small lots in Georgetown for $21 when there is quiet and ample street parking along the waterfront near Georgetown Waterfront Park for $2 an hour.

Don’t bring ANYTHING with you to a White House tour besides your I.D., tour confirmation and maybe some change to take the bus back to your hotel.  You will be turned away before you even get inside the building if you bring any prohibited items, including your purse.

Don’t put $20 on a metro card to use for your entire family.  Each rider needs their own ticket.

Don’t bring a toddler with the idea of doing toddler-friendly activities.  Aside from the National Zoo almost all of the Smithsonian museums are geared toward older children and your toddler will get bored quickly.

Don’t pay for 2 tickets at the National Zoo carousel if your child doesn’t meet the height requirements to ride by themselves.  The attendant will take both tickets if you offer them but you’re allowed to ride free with your child if you’re standing next to them.

Don’t wear shoes to D.C. that are inappropriate for walking.  Brandon didn’t realize that we would be doing so much walking on our trip and had blisters by the third day.  Since he was too cheap to buy a pair of sneakers in downtown D.C. he suffered through the trip with hurt feet.

Don’t get the 3:20 pm tour for the U.S. Capitol if you can avoid it.  You’ll just get a rushed tour of the building before you’re booted out at promptly 4:30 pm when the building closes.  If you can’t change your tour time then be sure to arrive early so you have time to visit the gift shop and take pictures.

All lessons we learned the hard way.  C’est la vie!