Sunday, November 16, 2008
Planning Your Inauguration 2009 Trip
The Planning for the Inauguration 2009 trips started as soon as President-elect Obama completed his acceptance speech. The theme for this year is "A New Birth of Freedom". Hundreds of thousands of people will be pouring into our Nation's capital for this momentous occasion of the installation of our 44th president and the Nation's 56th inauguration overall. What makes it even more special that this momentous occasion is occuring on Martin Luther King's Birthday weekend. I know he is looking down because this must be the Promised Land that he saw.
Washington D.C is a great vacation destination even when there is no great event like the Inauguration. It certainly has been one of my family's favorite vacations trough the years. We have been there at least 4 times and have yet to see everything.
One thing that disturbs me as a travel agent is the many fly by night companies that are "charging" for tickets to the Swearing in Ceremony. I want to set the record straight. Tickets for the swearing in ceremony are free and can be obtained from your Senator's office or Congress Representative. Check for information at the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
Hotel rooms are going rapidly. One suggestion is to look for hotels in nearby Arlington Va or nearby Bethesda Maryland which is just off the suburbs of Washington D.C. Some hotels are requiring a 3-4 day minimum stay. Check on www.GailsDreamVacations.com for hotel availability.
My suggestion for getting around Washington D.C. is the Metro. Its a subway that is amazingly well kept. Avoid the long lines and purchase your daily passes in advance. Rule of thumb that kept me from getting lost. Dupont Circle is the nucleus of the Metro system.
Most of the events surrounding the actual inauguration will be outdoors. Washington D.C can be pretty cold in January so remember to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Be prepared to do alot of walking and standing. Also be prepared for HUGE crowds. A record amount of people are expected for the Inauguration.
There are so many attractions available for a family in Washington D.C. My faamily favorites are the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History,
and the National Museum of American History. One of our favorite exhibits, the Capital Children's Museum closed its doors in 2004. I understand that it will re-open in 2012.
The events of the day for the public begins with the Swearing in Ceremony. That is followed up by the Inaugural Parade down Pennsylvania avenue. I am told there will be alot less bleachers available to accomodate the people that are expected.
Unless you got some serious conections its a safe bet that you will not be obtaining tickets to any of the official balls on Inauguration Night. However you may be able to get tickets to the State Society balls and some of the smaller events open to the public.
UPDATED INFORMATION ON THE INAUGURATION
*National Mall Will Be Open to the Public on Inauguration Day
WASHINGTON, DC—In keeping with its pledge to make the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama one of the most open and accessible in history, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced today that, for the first time, the entire length of the National Mall will be opened to the public so that more people than ever before will be able to witness the swearing-in of the President from a vantage point in sight of the Capitol.
See the Official Obama Inauguration Website.
Important information for Inauguration Day, including prohibited items, Accessibility, Tickets and more.
Some Banned items are: Backpacks,Duffel bags,large bags,strollers,lasers,thermoses, coolers, umbrellas. Click on the link for the full list.
For more information on the Inauguration, go to the Official Presidential Inauguration Website.
Visit the Inauguration FAQs for frequently asked questions.
Inauguration 2009 will be one of the most historical inaugurations of our lifetime. Planning Your Inauguration 2009 trip will be one of the most memorable trips you will ever go on.