Woohoo! You’re attending the 2017 APA Convention in Washington, DC. But before the fun can begin, you have to figure out how to get to Convention and where to stay once you arrive. Thankfully, the APA website has lots of helpful info and this post will help point you in the right direction (there’s also some travel humor for you, BTW).
How do I get there?
- Fly – For those traveling from farther away, flying may be your best option. There are three major airports that serve the Washington area – Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). Be aware that Reagan is by far the closest airport to the city, so if you fly into the other two be sure to plan your route into the city. Once landed you can take a taxi or shuttle, take local transit, or rent a car to get to your accommodations. The washington.org website outlines the various options for transit and provides rough cost estimates. Use travel search engines, such as flighthub.com or kayak.com, to compare flight options.
- Ride a Bus – A number of private bus lines travel to Washington and a handy list can be found in the transportation section of Washington.org.
- Take a Train – Trains will arrive at DC’s Union Station, where you can get transit schedules, passes and maps. Amtrak has routes that travel to Washington from many locations across the US, but depending on where you’re coming from, these routes can take a significant amount of time – so plan accordingly!
- Drive – If you opt to drive to Convention, APA members and affiliates have discounted rates with the rental car agencies Alamo, Budget, Avis and Hertz. Plus, carpooling is a great way to save money if you’re traveling in a group. If you do plan to drive, don’t forget to factor in the cost of parking for the duration of your stay.
Where should I stay?
For those of you who want to stay where the action is – the Mariott Marquis Washington and the Renaissance Washington are both located across from the Convention Center and will themselves be hosting a variety of APA, APAGS and Division events. Keep in mind that increased convenience = increased cost, so you may wish to find a roommate or book something a short transit ride away.
There are many other accommodations a short walk from the Convention Center – these are just a handful of the closest. These can be searched using Google Maps. Some of the closest options are listed below – but a much larger list can be found on the APA website:
- Cambria Suites Washington D.C. Convention Center Hotel (5 min walk to Convention Center)
- Embassy Suites Washington D.C. Convention Center Hotel (5 min walk to Convention Center)
- Henley Park Hotel (5 min walk to Convention Center)
- Morrison Clark Inn (8 min walk to Convention Center)
- Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel (10 min walk to Convention Center)
- Hampton Inn Washington D. C. Downtown (10 min walk to Convention Center)
- Comfort Inn Downtown D.C. (15 min walk to Convention Center)
- Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Washington D.C. (15 min walk to the Convention Center)
If you’re looking for lower cost alternatives, you might consider renting a condo with friends instead of staying at a hotel or booking something in one of Washington’s interesting areas, like Georgetown. Some options are AirBnB, Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO), and Vacation Rentals. Again, Google Maps is a good way to figure out if an accommodation is within walking distance (or transiting) distance to the Convention Center.
And once you figure out the basics, it’s time to plan the fun stuff like what to do while you on your visit to the city and at Convention. See you there!
Editor’s note: Visit the APAGS Convention page to get more information on Convention travel, strategies to save, and to access the room sharing portal for Convention.