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where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

USA
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where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

For some tours such as white house, and capitol, we are not allowed to bring items like bags, or food, etc. Traveling with children, this is very challenging, plus we have to bring food all day for one of our kids due to allergies as he can't eat out at all. And we have another child who still requires a booster seat so we were planning on bringing (the bubble bum inflatable one) one in a backpack in case we have to Uber. Where do we put our stuff for these tours? I know there aren't a lot of locker locations.

We are staying in Arlington near the Pentagon City metro which seems too far to go back and forth from DC to the hotel (can't stop in and pick anything up) and back again.

We will not have a car so it isn't an option to drive in and park and leave our stuff in the car while we tour.

Thanks!

8 replies to this topic
Washington DC...
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1. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

Your hotel isn't that far away. It will be a bit of a hassle, but that may be the best solution. After the museums open, there are lockers in a few museums. Or one person can skip the tour and stay outside with the stuff.

Springfield
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2. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

I wouldn't miss a White House or Capitol tour for the sake of safekeeping stuff! Surely, a better solution can be found.

Wear clothes with lots of pockets. Stuff only the essentials that you must have for that particular hour.

One person return to the hotel after the tour to pick up the residual. The rest of the group proceed to the other tourist sites and meet up at an appointed time.

This is probably not the best solution but maybe the only solutions if lockers are unavailable. Perhaps, others in the forum can pipe in.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

You have these choices for storing prohibited items during a White House or US Capitol tour if you don't have a car:

1. One member of the group stays outside with the prohibited items while the others tour

2. You store them in a locker in a Smithsonian museum if the museum is open during the time of your tour. The following link lists those Smithsonian museums with lockers:

https://www.si.edu/visit/tips

3. Store the items at the storage facility at Union Station for a fee. Here's a link to info on that facility: tiburonlockers.com/storage-solutions/union-s…

4. Leave the items at your hotel and retrieve them after the tour.

Edited: 21 September 2017, 19:16
USA
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4. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

Looking at the metro planner, it takes half an hour to get to the hotel and back to mall area again, that would be an hour round trip! I don't think that will work. With tours on different days, we'd also have to do this multiple days. No one wants to skip the tours either!

Do museum lockers fill up?

I'm wondering if it makes more sense to stay somewhere closer to the national mall such as near the convention center or CityCenter DC area, would that be easier to go back and pick up our stuff? It looks closer and easier than the Pentagon area via google maps (and able to walk), however, I was told those distance are deceiving.

Springfield
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5. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

Yes, it makes more sense to stay in Washington, D.C. where you can walk to and fro from the tourist sites. You can also return to nap and come out again.

I like the Holiday Inn - Capitol on C Street, Residence Inn on E Street, and JW Marriott on Pennsylvania and 14th Street. If you want luxury, there is the Mandarin Oriental. You and the kids can easily walk from these hotels. They are in very safe areas.

Whatever you do, do not miss The White House tour.

Silver Spring...
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6. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

"It looks closer and easier than the Pentagon area via google maps (and able to walk), however, I was told those distance are deceiving."

Obviously it is closer. You can also use the walking directions feature which is not "deceiving."

Washington DC
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7. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

A half mile is a half mile, there isn't any way to be "deceived" by mileage. You can't just eyeball it and try to figure out how far a small picture on the internet really is rather than looking at the actual distance.

I wouldn't want to go back and forth from hotel either, that's for sure. I think you are complicating some of these things by carrying around a booster seat all day with you. Most people don't do that. There isn't really any reason you would have to take Uber, some people never take it to get around DC (like me) and there are many ways to get around DC on public transportation.

The Convention Center isn't really that close to the Mall, either, not that you are going to zip back and forth from it in a few minutes walking. If you really want to stay close, you'd have to pick a hotel around Metro Center or Union Stn, Metro Ctr area would be best.

YOu could leave stuff in Union Stn for part of the time (Capitol). IN fact, I think it would be easier to go to/from there than your hotel, if you plan right. I'd forget the booster seat/Uber idea.

If you can easily stay closer to the Mall, that would be better given your concerns, sure. You don't say the schedule for your WH tour and Capitol, those are the only real issues for you. If they were the same day, you could do it without too much trouble, leave stuff at Union Stn, go do tours, come back and get stuff. The WH tour doesn't take that long. As for the food, it's only an issue for those tours, otherwise you can carry stuff around with you, and leave them in museum lockeers while visiting museums.

Falls Church...
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8. Re: where to put our personal items like backpacks/food on tours

The distance at the Pentagon isn't really the issue. It's the tangle of highways that make it a bit mystifying to travel around. I still get lost around there no matter what I'm doing (bike, driving, whatever).

There are lockers at Union Station for the Capitol tour. But ultimately for the White House I think it might just be best to leave it and then pick it up after the tour.

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