Our weather luck ran out in Washington D.C. and we were greeted by grey skies and misting rain. We pulled on our rain jackets and braved the weather to head out and walk around the National Mall's monuments. Our short stay in D.C. was a lot less exciting than I thought it would be. It might have been because this was our fourth big city in less than a week or the weather, but we couldn't have been less interested in touring around. Before long we were freezing and wet and it was time to meet up with my friend for drinks in a cozy neighborhood of Washington D.C. (can't remember the neighborhood's name for the life of me). What was really the most memorable part of visit was catching up my friend and seeing what life would be like to live in the nation's capital. (We also ate some killer late night gyros, so D.C. has that going for it too).
Philly was unexpected. We hadn't planned to go through, but after our friends urged us to stop on our way to Washington D.C., we decided it must be worth the visit. Philadelphia was charming and completely caught us off guard. We loved it. There was way more history than we had anticipated and we spent a full day wandering around downtown. We went to a quaker church, fully functioning since the 17th century and a real quaker showed us around and explained to us the religion. From there we went to the church that George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Betty Ross had all attended. We even learned that John Adams, on a dare, climbed the church spire when he was in his 20's. We also spent a majority of the day dodging school field trips and everywhere we went, the historians seemed glad to talk to adults for a few minutes. We finished up at the liberty bell and decided that we learned more about history today than at all our years at school.
The room where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
George Washington's Church
When it comes to choosing a package holiday via a tour operator, such as those offered through The Co-operative Travel, you'll usually be faced with several board basis choices at some point throughout your search. These will usually include options like bed and breakfast, half board, full board and all inclusive. Perhaps the one that varies the most is that of all inclusive, so to help you understand what it means, read on...
All inclusive is a style of board basis that, as you might imagine, offers a pretty comprehensive range of included features. On a top-level basis, when combined with a package holiday booked through a tour operator, all inclusive will typically offer the following as part of the price you pay:
- Return flights
- Nightly accommodation
- Local resort transfer
- On-site or locally based holiday rep
- All meals and snacks
- Drinks, usually including soft drinks and local alcoholic beverages
Of course, this list varies enormously depending on your choice of tour operator, the standard of the hotel and even the location, so always be sure to read the small print before you book.
Some hotels offer a 24-hour all inclusive basis, which means food and drinks are available all day and all night, while others might stop at a certain time. Some will offer locally-produced alcoholic beverages, while other hotels will go the whole hog and throw in cocktails, spirits and branded beers.
It's also worth noting that some hotels will offer free or discounted access to local or on-site activities as part of their all inclusive offering, such as entrance to the local water park or on-site golf course. If you're the active type who plans to take in loads of local attractions, it's worth taking the time to look for this type of hotel.
In short, all inclusive is a great way to enjoy a memorable holiday without the worry of forking out for meals and drinks - perfect for families, sun-seekers, budget holidaymakers and just about everyone in-between!