The hype is building around this Saturday’s Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington, DC. You’ve been wanting to jump on the bandwagon, but you’ve been holding off because you’re just a little sick of all the Tea Party talk, heresy denials and non-political gatherings on the National Mall lately. Of course, now the day’s almost upon us, and you’re catching the fever… but your best friend gave your seat away before you made up your mind and you missed that Daily Show episode where Oprah gave everyone a free trip to the rallyyyyyyy. So how the heck are you supposed to get to DC to show your sanity in an insane election season? Your options are limited this late in the game, but all hope’s not lost. Here’s what it’ll take to get down to the Mall and back again in time for Halloween.
Your first thought, BoltBus, was everyone else’s first thought… last week. That’s why it’s completely booked both ways until well after the weekend (unless you’re content with getting in late Saturday to hit up an after-party or two). However, its less-flashy competitors still have some open seats in time for the rally. Megabus, Peter Pan and the Chinatown buses offer slightly more expensive fares—around $30 each way. Of course, seats are filling up fast there too. BoltBus’s parent company, Greyhound, also has lots of room. Tickets to DC are fairly inexpensive, but a ticket back in time for your Halloween party is going run you upwards of $70. Better prices can be found if you can take Monday off and come back then.
Amtrak is an option if you’ve got money to burn. The cheapest trains, round-trip, will cost you $150. The Acela commuter trains, $600. Like we said, Money. To. Burn. If you handle it, though,you’ll certainly be riding in style.
If you’re broke and desperate to impress that cute redhead you’ve had a crush on for a year who’s definitely going to be there this weekend, one option is ride-sharing. Craigslist has a few offers for one or two seats going south. Private ride-share websites, which you can read all about here, show a few open seats as well.
Or, if digital hitch-hiking isn’t your game, there’s on last choice: renting a car. You can find a car as cheap as $50 per day on carrentals.com. This may be your best bet if you split the cost with a few friends, even with $25 in tolls (both ways) and gas. But parking in DC is an expensive hassle even on quiet days, so the convenience of a car will lead to lots of work once you get there.
No matter what your means of getting down to D.C., you’ll need money for the Metro, food, water, and, of course, beer money for the after-parties in Adams Morgan. If you’re truly dedicated, this could be one of the coolest rallies you’ll ever brag about.
Rally to Restore Sanity, Oct. 30, Noon to 3 p.m., The National Mall, Washington, DC