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PyCon DC 2004 For Cheap

See also PyConAccommodation.

Register Early

Early Bird deadline extended! The $175 US Early Bird Registration deadline has been extended to Feb 22, 2004.

After the deadline, it is still cheaper to register in advance ($250 US until March 17th) than at the door.

Save On Meals

The conference serves a continental breakfast from 8-9 every morning.

Last year breakfast was also free at the Best Western Key Bridge. Note: IIRC, this small buffet style breakfast was due to renovations closing down the more extensive restaurant.

The conference serves a lunch too.

-- is breakfast definite? I thought there was only lunch at the con. - PaulWinkler -- Yep, breakfast is definite. Danishes, bagels, and juice, perhaps even fruit. -- MichaelChermside

Hotels

If you're looking to keep hotel prices low, you can stay at a hotel out in the burbs and take advantage of the metro system.

One of the best bets appears to be Best Western Key Bridge; it is half a block from the Rosslyn metro station, one stop away from GWU. It is in Arlington VA, not Alexandria VA as erroneously reported in last year's wiki.

Last year on Feb24, Jeff Kunce got a booking via Expedia for $58 a night. This year (as of Jan31) Expedia shows $87 US ($115 CAD) for Tue and Wed, $75 US ($99 CAD) for Thu and Fri. Travelocity's prices were even higher. Hopefully these will drop over time. Anyone find anything else? Don't be shy!

I used Hotwire.com to get a room near GWU for a very reasonable price. You won't know exactly which hotel you're getting until you pay for it, but they've divided DC into 20 areas, and the Kennedy Center / GWU area is small - about 10 blocks at most to GWU. -- Joel Pearson

Jan31 update: Hotwire.com shows a 2.5/5.0 star unnamed hotel for $62 USD per night in that area. -- Shane

March 3 update: Prices are going up. Best values I've found so far this evening is (via hotwire) a $95US/night place in Arlington, and $82US/night in the "South of Mall" district, which I gather is right downtown somewhere, though the description of the neighborhood seems to be "most people don't go there". Via Travelocity the BW Key Bridge is $108.02USD/night. Best expedia can do is $117.87CDN ($88US)/night, but it seems to be quite a ways away (5 miles from downtown).

Hostels

(For the budget-conscious, who know they aren't going to be spending much time in their hotel anyway.)

Beds at the Washington International Student Center go for $22/night, and there's at least one private room for $55/night. Breakfast & kitchen facilities included. It's located in the Adams-Morgan area ("on the hippest street in town"), near the Dupont Circle metro station, about 3 km (2 miles) from PyCon (GWU). Open to anyone, not just for students.

(Update) As of a Thursday the 4th of March, the hostel still had some room left for the 23rd through 27th.

Flights

National Airport (DCA) is on the metro system but is usually the most expensive.

Dulles Airport (IAD) may be cheaper but requires a shuttle to the West Falls Church metro station that costs about $7. Bay Area residents may want to fly JetBlue from Oakland (OAK) into Dulles.

BWI also serves the DC Metro area and has transportation to the metro system. It is the farthest away but usually the cheapest. Southwest flies out of BWI a lot, be sure to check their web site for fares.

Getting to the DC Metro System from BWI: You can take the Marc trainhttp://www.bwiairport.com/4grndtrn/in_mrct.shtml from BWI to Union Station to catch the metro or you can take the Metro Express Bus http://www.bwiairport.com/4grndtrn/in_mb.shtml which will take you to the Greenbelt metro station.

Other Transportation

The conference is close to Metro (subway). If you're taking the train, Union Station is on the metro system. Amtrak stops there. Union Station is a quick train ride from the conference site, much easier than the airports. Amtrak is often similar price to flying, but depending on the length of the trip, can be much easier and more pleasant.

Consider 1-day or 7-day Metrorail Passes if you're staying on the metro line out on an edge stop where the fares will be higher, especially if you'll be travelling during peak hours (05:30 - 09:30 15:00 - 19:00 weekdays) (which you will if you want to see the keynotes :-)).

Visit the Metrorail Stations page and click on your starting station (e.g., Vienna / GMU) to calculate fares and determine whether or not a pass is worthwhile.

Parking

See http://cafritz.gwu.edu/cafritz.php?id=1929&site=cafritz - a full day of parking is $13. This is downtown DC, you won't easily find a better deal. Street parking is all metered with a 2 hour limit. When the garage is full, there's another one one block to the west with similar rates. *Don't park illegally* - DC police *will* ticket or tow you. The no-parking signs are very confusing but worth careful reading. Also avoid the faculty parking lots.

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