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Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

Since I know you girls are the smartest, prettiest, best shoppers around, I need some help.


My mom, sister, and I will be making a last minute trip to D.C. this weekend for a funeral. I'm checking out online getting an idea of what is more economical: driving or flying from NH/Boston. Can any of you deal hunters help?


It would be about an 8.5 hour drive without traffic, or a 1 hour and 15 minute plane ride. Time is a factor, but we are more concerned with the cost.


If we fly, all we will need is a rental car for the day.


If we drive, we will pay gas and tolls, a hotel for one or two nights, and food.

Re: Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

That last paragraph is SOOO true. There is no in between, people are either crazy reckless or absurdly cautious. And if I see ONE more person driving through rain on 66 with their flashers ON (illegal and misleading - flashers mean you are stopped!)...


I grew up in Northern Virginia, and I still don't know if it is the locals or the transients who make the roads hell.


Flying into BWI is often cheaper, and if you are going to be in Rockville, it is probably an easier drive. If you choose to drive, you can go through PA to avoid some of the NJ tolls, but it adds a bit of time. If you are a AAA member, they can help you plot the best route, and may be able to help you get a deal on airfare. Good luck!

Re: Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

Ok, now that I see where you are going   I never use BWI. Reagan (DCA) and Dulles (IAD) are much closer. BWI is often less expensive however. You can check SWA (southwest airlines) for flights to BWI. Otherwise look on Expedia (which won't include SWA in the search results) and check out the flights to IAD and DCA. Search using the code WAS instead of a specific airport because that will show you all DC area airports so you can compare times and prices. I looked for you and there is a Jetblue flight for $178 one way to Dulles arriving at 8:10am on Sunday. There are other flights also getting in early. If there aren't any problems you have plenty of time to get to Rockville. There isn't business traffic in DC on Sundays so flying into Reagan really won't be a big deal.. normally you would just have to be careful not to hit rush hour, but you would be fine. With no weather or unforeseen other problems, you can get to Rockville from Reagan or Dulles in 30 minutes on a Sunday morning. However, for someone not used to the area, I would give yourself an hour to allow for problems and wrong turns Smiley Happy If you drive, you will come down 95 and get on 495 and then you will get off on either the old georgetown rd exit which will put you in the edge of Rockville in about 3 minutes. Or you will keep going and get on 270 if you are going deeper into Rockville. You will completely bypass DC as someone else already mentioned.  

Re: Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

And…. if you are really going in and out same day, you might want to check cabs from dca vs iad to rockville and back.  It would be faster than having to go get a rental ..  I never take cabs there but often times there are flat rates when leaving an airports.  


While you are potentially figuring out what airport you might want to use if you fly, I thought I'd mention that car rentals are not at BWI. You take a shuttle.  It's no big deal but something to account for regarding time constraints. You can double check for this at DCA or IAD as well..  I don't rent cars when we are there.  DCA is the smallest airport which means in/out faster.  

Re: Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

oops, I meant you would take the Rockville Pike exit.. not Old Georgetown.  

Re: Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

I live in Baltimore, and I can say from experience that DC traffic is vastly different than Bmore.  I get lost everytime I go there, but driving is definitely more economical than flying, and flying does entail arriving ahead and bag check and rental car pu, so its not just an hour and a half.  Maryland just increased the tolls, so depending on the way you get to DC, there is an $8 toll crossing the Susquehanna River (pay only one way), and tunnels are $4 now (Thanks Govenor O'Malley).  


Either way, let us know what you decide!  Good luck!


Re: Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

My sister lives in D.C. and has been to Boston a few times, and she says it's best to fly if you can. Also, depending on what airport you fly into, getting around can be easy. I prefer to fly into DCA (Ronald Reagan International Airport) b/c it's close to my sister and it's closer to the city center. The metro is also directly connected to the airport, so if you want to save cab fare you can use that. That said, I would also suggest using the metro for getting around instead of cabs/driving b/c of how crowded/insane DC drivers are, plus it's much cheaper.

Re: Help with Last Minute Trip to D.C.

If you can afford it, I would definitely fly. With the weather and traffic being factors in both directions, it may be a much longer trip than you anticipate. While driving split three ways would definitely be more economical than flying three people, if convenience is a factor, it's also a bigger hassle. 

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