Washington DC Tours FAQ
What tours does Trip Hacks DC offer?
We specialize in private walking tours at affordable flat rate prices where you pay a flat price per group. We also offer public walking tours that you can book per person and join some fellow travelers for a tour.
What’s the benefit of a private tour?
On a private tour it’s just your group and your guide. The tour will move at your pace and the material will be tailored to the group’s interest. For example, if it’s a group of photographers, we’ll help point out our favorite shots and angles. If it’s a family of history buffs, we’ll delve deep into the history behind all of the sites on the tour. On our private tours you won’t get placed in a group with people you don’t know or hear a dull boilerplate tour.
I don’t see the date I want on the tour calendar, what can I do?
Public tours are offered on a regular schedule and don’t run 7 days per week. Private tours depend entirely on the availability of our guides. If you don’t see the date you want on the tour calendar, it’s either because our guides are all fully booked or it’s too far in the future and we haven’t opened up the schedule for that month yet. Either way, contact us and let us know when you are visiting and we will see what we can do.
Why do the tours have a maximum size?
Both our private and public tours are capped (private tours at 10 people, public tours at 12 people). The reason is because we want to provide the best possible tour experience that we can. Once group sizes start to exceed around a dozen people it’s very difficult to provide a great experience. Other tour companies might try to put more people on a tour to maximize their profit. We won’t.
How do I make a reservation?
Most of our tours can both be fully booked online. Visit the tour page, check the calendar, and if it’s available on the day you’d like to take it, you can take care of everything online. School groups and corporate groups can fill out an interest form with information about their trip and we’ll see if there is a tour we can offer.
Can you drive me around the city?
Unfortunately, no. Trip Hacks DC offers exclusively walking tours. On a private tour we may be able to take the DC Circulator public bus for part of the route if someone in the group has mobility issues.
Can you take me on a tour inside the White House or Capitol?
Unfortunately, no. White House tours must be arranged through your member of congress (international visitors should contact their embassy). Capitol tours can be arranged through your member of congress or through the Capitol Visitor Center. For more details, check out Rob’s video on touring the three branches of U.S. government.
What’s your tour cancellation policy?
Cancel 48 hours or more in advance for a full refund. Cancellations less than 48 hours before the scheduled start time of the tour will be refunded 50%.
What if there is bad weather?
Tours run in all four seasons and in rain, snow or sun. Washington, DC is not San Diego and less-than-ideal weather is just a fact of life here. If there is extreme weather, like a hurricane, we will work with you to reschedule. If weather conditions are poor and we can’t reschedule then we will waive the 48 hours cancellation policy and offer a refund.
Are the tours family friendly?
Yes! The tours are very family friendly. However, our 3-hour tours of the monuments of the memorials require about 3 miles of walking. Young children may struggle to cover this distance, especially after a full day of sightseeing. Strollers are permitted on tour if you don’t think your child is up for all the walking.
Are the monuments and memorials accessible?
Yes. Two of the memorials (Jefferson and Lincoln) have stairs, but there is an elevator up to the main chamber. The other memorials don’t use stairs and are accessible.
Do you offer tours for student groups?
Yes, we offer 2-hour and 3-hour evening tours of the monuments and memorials for school groups that don’t have a full-time tour guide escorting them during their trip. Please check out the student group tours page for more information.
How do I get to the starting point?
You will received specific instructions for your tour after you book. For tours of the monuments we strongly recommend taking a taxi our using a ride hailing app if you are coming from somewhere other than the National Mall. The closest metro stations to the monuments are about 1 mile away. Please be mindful that many evening tours start during rush hour and traffic in DC gets heavy.
How much walking is involved?
Our 3-hour monuments tours require 3 miles of walking from start to finish. Our 2-hour monuments tours require about 2 miles of walking. If you have a mobility issue and sign up for a private tour we can use the DC Circulator to cut out about half of the walking, but the number of monuments you’ll be able to see will be fewer.
When do I need to arrive for the tour?
Your guide will arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time. We suggest arriving 15 minutes early as well. Evening tours begin during rush hour and Washington, DC traffic is no joke. Your guide will provide his or her phone number after booking. Please text ahead if you are having trouble getting to the meeting location.
What do I need to bring?
The most important item to bring is a pair of comfortable walking shoes. We also recommend a bottle of water and sunscreen (especially on hot days). If rain is in the forecast a small umbrella or jacket isn’t a bad idea. Please don’t bring luggage or excessively large bags as you’ll need to carry anything you bring with you.
Do you offer tours in languages other than English?
We only offer scheduled tours in English at this time. If you’d like a tour in another language contact us and let us know which, and we will see about arranging a guide to accommodate.
Should I tip my tour guide?
If you had a great time on a public tour in Washington, DC it is appropriate to show a token of your appreciation to your guide with a tip. However on a private Trip Hacks DC tour tips are neither necessary nor expected.