How to Budget for DC

You are planning a trip to the wonderful destination of Washington, DC. Part of that planning is and will be to have a budget. You want to be able to do all you can while you are and have the means to do so. I always like to tell people to have it all wrote down, what exact cost will be and to search for any special sales or coupons that may be available. It is also a great idea to research the time of year when prices tend to go down, that way you still get to enjoy the trip but with less people and less money spent. In this article I will go over the average cost for most people when they come to Washington, DC. Let’s get started!

Book a Guided Tour

You may not have even considered booking a guided tour for you trip to Washington, DC. Booking a guided tour can save you time and money all in one. One of the best benefits to doing this is having insider knowledge and some group discounts as well that may be available when you do. Not to mention the guided tour give you the luxury of not having to run around and find all the places you are wanting to visit and see on your trip.

Average cost

How much money will you need for your trip to Washington? You should plan to spend around $155 per day on your vacation in Washington, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $30 on meals for one day and $37 on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Washington for a couple is $181. So, a trip to Washington for two people for one week costs on average $2,169. All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget. These amounts can and will vary. Depending on how many are going on the trip. It is a good idea to start saving before you go. Most banks will allow you to pull a percentage out of each paycheck and put into saving for your adventure, you won’t even notice it is gone, and soon it will add up and you won’t have to be worried if you are able to afford it or not. A vacation to Washington for one week usually costs around $1,085 for one person. So, a trip to Washington for two people costs around $2,169 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs $4,338 in Washington. If you’re traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid’s tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Washington can often have a decrease your  daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.


Going out to eat can be what really ends up breaking the bank when you take a vacation. The best part of visiting Washington, DC is that you have a lot of areas where you can sit down and have a nice picnic and enjoy the views. Let’s be honest it is always less pricey to go grocery shopping and bring food with you and cook and prep yourself. If that is not an option for you here is what average cost of food looks like for DC. While meal prices in Washington can vary, the average cost of food in Washington is $30 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Washington should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Washington is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.