On Rails to DC: Background

Trip Index

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Background

A friend of ours is getting married this Saturday so we decided to make it a long weekend and do some sightseeing in Washington DC. In planning this trip, my mind immediately switched into points-mode and some early decisions were made. I have some Amtrak Guest Rewards points that are going to expire and Joann has never taken a trip on an Amtrak train before. I don’t think either of us would mind skipping the famous DC traffic. After this trip, I should be a short ride away from a nice redemption on Amtrak. I got started on AGR points thanks to a business trip I took on the Acela 2 years ago. And now that Chase Sapphire Preferred can transfer directly to Amtrak, I’ll have no trouble redeeming that Acela First or Business Class award!

Next up was lodging. This was my first attempt at Priceline’s Name Your Own Bid process so I did a lot of research on the process and, admittedly, a bit less on the actual location. After deciding that Dupont Circle would do, I won a bid for 3 nights at the Marriott Wardman Park¬†for $84 a night. Compare that to the retail rate of about $175 per night for the 3.5 star and above hotels. I’m not in this game for stay/night credit or elite status so the savings far outweighs the few hundred points I would otherwise earn.

With that, we should be ready to rock. I’m sure we’ll figure out what to see and where to eat (my favorite thing to do on vacation) when we get there. See ya Monday!