WASHINGTON TRAVEL GUIDE
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! WASHINGTON TRAVEL GUIDE 2023
PLAN AND BOOK YOUR WASHINGTON STATE TRIP
- Washington State Holidays
- Tipping in Washington
- Travel Requirements
- Electronic Requirements
- Cyber Security While Traveling
- Cheap Flights to Washington
- Washington Places to Stay
- Getting Around Washington
- Things to Do in Washington
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WELCOME TO WASHINGTON STATE!
Hi! I’m Gwen, and my passion is using my 27+ years of global travel and sustainability knowledge and experience to help the solo over 50’s be and stay adventurous through solo travel with their eco-friendly, responsible travel foot forward. Here is my travel Washington guide from my Washington travel so you plan and book your trip to Washington with ease. What are you waiting for?
WASHINGTON: DID YOU KNOW?
Washington, “The Evergreen State”, is the 8th largest state in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA and home to Olympia National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as popular destinations and attractions like Seattle, Olympia, Vancouver, Spokane, Tacoma, Mount Rainier National Park, Mount St. Helens, Mount Baker, Snoqualmie National Forest, the Seattle Space Needle, the San Juan Islands, and much more. Entered into the USA as the 42nd state in 1889, Washington’s capital is Olympia and its largest city is Seattle.
Washington is known for its outdoor sporting and wildlife viewing adventures, being weed-friendly, hot sporting and music events and venues, high quality coffee, timber, tech, aviation, and fishing industries. Worldwide recognized businesses such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and Nordstrom are headquartered in Washington. Washington is also known as being the birth to the grunge music scene, Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendrix, among other notables.
Washington’s wide beaches, rocky coastline, Cascade Mountains, Puget Sound, long rivers, multiple volcanoes, red rock desert landscape, lush flora and fauna, diverse marine life, fabulous wine and seafood, fine dining, farm-to-table food, being weed-friendly, great coffee, local breweries, entertainment, and music make Washington a very popular tourist destination.
Popular Washington Activities
Washington’s weather, mountains, lakes, rivers, expansive coastline, agriculture, wineries, museums and entertainment industries and venues offer some of the best hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, camping, kayaking, fishing, wildlife and marine life watching, surfing, boating, sailing, dining, wine tasting, and cultural, sporting and entertainment events in the USA year-round.
Best Beer and Wine Tours in Washington
WASHINGTON TRAVEL PLANNING
Washington State Holidays
In addition to U.S. holidays, Washington may observe additional state or local holidays. It may be a good idea to check what state or local holidays they celebrate to see if there are any public service, school, or other closures as this may impact your tourist itinerary, ability to obtain travel or other services, or it could mean more tourists and/or higher prices in your Washington destination.
Take a few moments to see if there are Washington state holidays to better help you plan Washington travel.
Tipping in Washington
See tipping guidelines in my USA Travel Guide for tipping in Washington.
U.S. states do not impose additional travel requirements, such as documentation and vaccinations, other than those imposed at the national level. See the USA Travel Guide for all USA travel requirements.
All U.S. state electric outlets require a Type A (two prong) and/or Type B (three prong) adapter. See the USA Travel Guide for electrical requirements in the USA.
Cyber Security While Traveling
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CITY GUIDES & ITINERARIES
Use my solo travel guides, itineraries, travel tips, day trip ideas, and recommended things to do in these top Washington destinations, all from my travel in Washington, to plan your best Washington solo travel.
The more I travel in Washington, the more that gets added to this Washington Travel Guide. Keep checking back.
I traveled Washington in 2022 with which I will provide travel information on the following Washington destinations. Until I write about these, here are my recommended things to do in each Washington destination.
Seattle & Olympia
Best Things to Do in Seattle
Best Day Trips from Seattle
HOW TO BOOK WASHINGTON TRAVEL
It’s important to book the top three travel necessities early: flights, accommodations and ground transportation.
No Washington guide would be complete without the booking tools below. These, along with fun Washington things to do and ecotourism ideas, will allow you to realize your solo trip to Washington.
Cheap Flights to Washington
With the ever-growing demand for airline tickets to Washington, flights book quicker these days. Find cheap flights to Washington now.
Don’t Wait to Book Your Flight to Washington
Washington Places to Stay
Second in importance to buying airline tickets to Washington is finding the best place to stay in Washington for your Washington solo travel. Develop your Washington travel itinerary now and find the best Washington travel accommodations to knock one more travel planning item off your solo travel list.
Find the Best Solo Travel Accommodations in Washington
Getting Around Washington
Washington state has all forms of transportation, including Carpoolworld, Uber, Lyft, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area).
Of course, you can easily get a taxi or find a rental a car in Washington if it better suits your Washington travel itinerary.
Find the Best Deals on Washington Rental Cars
Washington also has regional buses and is part of the Amtrak train system.
Things to Do in Washington
Here are some of the top things to do in Washington to book for your Washington solo travel.
Best Food Tours in Washington
WASHINGTON ECO-TRAVEL IDEAS
There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Washington. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.
Air Travel Tips
Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.
Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Try to avoid flying within Washington by taking a regional bus or the Amtrak train.
When booking a rideshare in Washington, select the Uber Green option, instead of a traditional rideshare, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Washington.
The best eco-friendly forms of ground transportation in Washington are public transportation, walking, or renting a bicycle or electric scooter.
Explore Washington Bike and Electric Scooter Rentals
Lime also has electric scooters to rent in Washington for fast and clean commuting in select cities.
Look for Washington accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:
Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for USA Green Global members.
Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.
Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.
LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for USA certifications.
Green Lodging Program – Audubon International has an environmental stewardship certification through third-party verification. Search its certified members directory.
GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.
Another way to find accommodations in Washington implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is to reserve a Booking.com Travel Sustainable accommodation. Booking.com started the Travel Sustainable program in 2022.
Find Your Travel Sustainable Stay in Washington
Eco-Friendly Things To Do
Washington has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.
Search Green Global and Green Key awarded members for eco-friendly activity providers in Washington. Some may also have the GSTC Certified logo.
Top Eco-Friendly Activities in Washington
There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel, like bringing sustainable and eco-friendly products to protect Washington’s environment.
For more ideas on how to travel with the planet in mind, read my 10 Easy Eco-Travel Tips and view my suggested Eco Travel Resources to learn more.
WASHINGTON TRAVEL SAFETY
Before You Go
Buy USA travel insurance and international medical insurance for your Washington solo travel to protect yourself and cover for emergencies.
Safety in Washington
In addition to the travel safety tips in the USA Travel Guide, if you are planning on going hiking, backpacking, skiing, camping, river rafting or doing any other activity that will take you into remote places, please ensure you research the local travel and weather advisories in advance and respect warnings not to travel.
Let people know where are you going, provide them your itinerary, and ensure you have safety and emergency measures provided for in your travel belongings.
In larger cities, like Seattle or Olympia, do not be surprised to see an element of homelessness. Although the homeless rate has increased throughout the years, it doesn’t mean all areas of homelessness are dangerous. They may be sketchy or may make you feel uncomfortable. Therefore, read up on the latest updates for safety, keep alert, and avoid walking in certain areas at night.
Fire Season Travel Tips
WASHINGTON BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
Washington Sales Tax
Washington levies a statewide sales tax and cities levy an additional, local sales tax. Where you vacation in Washington could increase your holiday budget. Reviewing Washington cities’ sales tax rates may help you prepare your Washington travel budget.
Best Time to Visit Washington
Washington’s high tourist season, and most expensive time to visit, is in the summer (June to August). Winter sporting areas can also tend to be pricey. The least expensive time to go to Washington would be in the shoulder season to winter months (September to May), depending on where in Washington you go.
Unfortunately, Washington has been experiencing some very hot summer (and sometimes autumn) months. Ultimately, for nice weather, less tourists, and lower costs, recommended months for visiting Washington are September, October, April and May. Still, I recommend booking well in advance. Dress in layers for versatility of weather during these months.
Staying in Washington hostels could save you a lot of money on accommodations in Washington, especially if you stay in a dorm-style room. Save more money by booking well in advance.
Many hostels also offer private rooms, which I choose from time to time. Private rooms in hostels could possibly be cheaper than hotels in Washington – it depends on where you stay and how far in advance you reserve.
Don’t overlook exploring hostels in Washington if you’re on a budget.
Reserve Your Washington Hostel
Best Time to Book Travel
Washington can be pricey depending on your Washington destination and time of travel. The sooner you book your reservations, the more you’re likely to save money and get the best flight, accommodation, and rental car choices and deals.
Ready to book Washington solo travel? Don’t miss out and find the best Washington travel deals. The best time to book travel is now. Bundling flight, hotel and/or transportation reservations may even save you more money when traveling Washington state.
Book Washington Travel Early to Save Money
I grew up in the Seattle area. What a great place to have your childhood. I loved all of the outdoors, from skiing to going to the beaches, visiting the Puget Sound islands, and more. The food was, and still is, amazing. Seafood is always on the list when visiting Washington. Don’t worry about the rain. I never disliked the rain until I moved to the east coast. So, there you go.
I cannot express how much I love Washington state. It’s definitely in my top 5 of the U.S. I need to find more time to get back there. You should, too.