President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration has not been short of controversy: The long list of politicians not attending the ceremony and the fact that Donald Trump is the least popular president-elect in modern history might make you think accomodation in Washington, D.C., over the inaugural weekend wouldn't be in high demand.
You'd be wrong.
The protests and marches in response to Trump being sworn in will turn the capital into a proverbial sardine can. And Washington hotel prices have skyrocketed, increasing by 927% — to more than $2,000 per night for a standard double room — in anticipation of the hoopla.
1. Harness your network and stay with someone who lives in the Washington, D.C., area
In case you haven't done the obvious: You likely have hundreds of friends on Facebook and chances are at least one of them lives in Washington — or knows someone who does.
A friend of a friend can become a new friend!
Turn to Twitter and Facebook and send out posts asking whether anyone knows someone willing to host you. You can even offer to pay — but you will have the benefit of naming your own price.
You could also offer to bring a gift special from your hometown (Vermont maple syrup? Beignets from New Orleans?) to sweeten the deal for the host.
2. Stay in the outskirts and travel into the center
This is a general pro-tip for anyone looking for affordable accomodation while traveling.
As of Wednesday afternoon, you can still find hotel rooms in Arlington, Virginia, for less than $200 — and you can get to Capitol Hill via public transport for a low $3.60 in approximately 45 minutes.
3. Find lists people have compiled of the most affordable hotels during the inauguration
You aren't the only person looking for affordable accommodation — as the 927% hike in hotel indicates. So there are plenty of people who have done the legwork for you and compiled lists of hotels on the cheaper side.
One such list can be found on HotelsNearDCMetro.com, which offers their top three recommendations.
4. Rent a room — not an apartment — on Airbnb
People are renting out spare bedrooms during the inauguration weekend for less than a hundred bucks, so if you go for a room that fits two to three people, that's $33 to $50 a night per person.
In reality, you won't be spending much time in your room, between all the festivities and/or protests. You basically need a place to sleep, which is why renting a single bedroom makes financial sense.
5. Hold out for last-minute and express deals on sites like Priceline
This is probably a risky move, and might not work out — so have a backup plan. But sites like Kayak, Hotwire and Priceline work by selling "unused inventory" — i.e., filling up rooms at the last minute that would otherwise be vacant.
There are currently hotel deals on Priceline for as low as $105, though you may need to stay outside of D.C. As the date gets closer options might get better (or worse).
You also have the option of bidding for hotels by naming your own price.
Going the last-minute route is a gamble, but it could really pay off.
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