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Tips for traveling to the Women’s March

Meghan Crowe of Dracut, Mass., and her 7-year-old daughter, Cora, are hopping on an overnight Amtrak train in Boston to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21., a day after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

“I saw info about the Women’s March [on Washington] on Facebook pretty soon after the election and wanted to go,” says Crowe. March organizers aim to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights.”

“It seemed at first like a pie in the sky thing,” Crowe said. “But the more I read and thought about it, it felt like it was something I needed to do. I felt so small and powerless after the election, so this was a way to make a choice to do something.”

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Lucky for Crowe, her friend Linda Warren, founder and president of Early Childhood Associates in Framingham, also wanted to attend. “We had lunch the week after the election . . . and a week after that she said she booked a block of hotel rooms to give to great women she works with because she wanted to feel like she was doing something. I believe there are eight or nine of us total,” she says.

Crowe and her group of friends are staying in Baltimore at the Marriott Courtyard next Friday and Saturday returning Sunday morning on Amtrak to Boston.

“Because it’s more of a pilgrimage or mission trip, I’m not worried about quality of accommodations or nice restaurants or anything I usually check for before I travel,” says Crowe. “I’m assuming D.C. and surrounding cities will have such a population surge of travelers that even the best laid plans may go awry, so I’m leaving myself lots of options,” she says, including getting into D.C. a different way than the MARC train service from Baltimore if she needs to.

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Crowe said she expects the march to be a historic and once-in-a-lifetime event. “I want my daughter to be overwhelmed by amazing, strong, brave, powerful women,” she said. “I want to contribute, even if it’s just with my presence and voice.”

While the march in Washigton is the main event, many states and overseas locations are also holding marches, including one in Boston Common.

Li Bensley of Cambridge is also traveling to D.C. to march with friends. “I am going to New York City on the 20th,” she says, adding that she will spend the night in a hotel, before getting up at 5 a.m. on Saturday to drive to Washington, D.C., with a couple of friends. Like Crowe, Bensley is also ready to wing it in D.C., accepting that there may be a need for Plan B, even Plan C. Asked where will they park once they arrive, and how will they get to the march, Bensley said, “No idea, we’ll figure it out.”

The Women’s March in Washington, D.C., will be well represented by New Englanders — and it’s not too late to join them.

From Massachusetts alone, 8,400 people are expected to attend, says Tami Gouveia, State Lead Organizer for the Massachusetts Chapter of the Women’s March on Washington. “Registrants come from diverse geographic and identity communities across the state,” says Gouveia. “We have received numerous e-mails and Facebook posts by people indicating that they are coming with their mother, grandmother, dad, husband, boyfriend, kids, etc. The bus I am taking will have six kids (including two boys and one transgender child) on it and five men out of 49 people.”

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And demand continues, says Gouveia. “We receive at least 20 e-mails a day by folks seeking information on bus tickets. Some may decide to attend the Boston event, which is considered a sister march. There are also sister marches in Pittsfield and Greenfield.”

There are still bus and train tickets available, according to Gouveia; for availability, visit http://tiny.cc/upg7hy. And social media is another place to turn for updated info. “We have created a very sharing and committed online community through our Facebook event page, www.facebook.com/events/589686194556600/,” says Gouveia. “Individuals who decide last minute can post requests and questions via Facebook, and e-mail the lead organizers at massachusetts@womensmarch.com.”

At press time, there were still flights to get you there, too. Round-trip flights on Friday and or Saturday begin at around $300 on airlines including Jet Blue out of Boston. www.jetblue.com

And, Amtrak still has some tickets available for travel to Washington, D.C., from Boston — but not many, so better get moving. www.amtrak.com

Where to stay

If you are seeking a place to crash for the night (aside from a hotel), visit www.couchsurfing.com/events/women-s-march-on-washington-d-c for postings related to the march, says Gouveia. “Additionally, you can post your request for lodging on couchsurfing or marchmatch.org.”

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And, there are also (relatively-speaking) affordable hotels available — just not in D.C. Kimpton is a well-represented hotel brand in and around the area and, at this writing, there was still availability at a few of the properties. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor in Baltimore, for instance, had availability in its Mediterranean Suites, which can sleep up to four. It’s a quick train trip from Baltimore’s Penn Station to D.C.’s Union Station. Rates begin at $399 per night on Jan. 20, and $379 on Jan 21. www.monaco-baltimore.com

And the Marriott Courtyard Dunn Loring Fairfax in Vienna, Va., located near the Dunn Loring Metro station for easy access to D.C., still had rooms available for Jan. 20, including a king with sofa bed (sleeps three) for $319 per night. www.marriott.com

Charitable eats

While in town, consider eating at one of D.C.’s restaurants and bars that will be donating a portion of sales to community organizations that support D.C.’s diversity by providing inclusive spaces and services. “This initiative runs Jan. 20-22, so it covers Inauguration Day and the Women’s March, too,” says Kate Gibbs, media relations manager for Destination DC.

Restaurants include: Bourbon (www.bourbondc.com), whose causes include Planned Parenthood and Martha’s Table (an organization that offers educational, health, clothing, and food support to the D.C. community); Momofuku CCDC (www.ccdc.momofuku.com), which will support SOME (So Others May Eat, an interfaith, community-based organization that helps D.C.’s poor and homeless); and Chez Billy Sud (www.chezbillysud.com) which supports Ayuda (an organization that helps immigrants from 104 countries who reside in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia).

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Or, grab a pie and brew at Pizzeria Paradiso — at locations in Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and Old Town Alexandria. The restaurants will support participants of the Women’s March on the 21st with pourings of Denizen’s Lowest Lord (a majority women-owned brewery) — with proceeds from the beer sales donated to the League of Women Voters. www.eatyourpizza.com

And, Jamie Leed’s Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle, a New-England-beach-fare-inspired restaurant, will offer a special discounted food and drink menu in the restaurant’s UpBar from 3 p.m. to close on Jan. 21. “We really wanted to focus on offering people that are visiting a safe, comfortable space,” says a restaurant spokesman. “This is Jamie’s way to show her support for the community . . . through hospitality.” www.hanksoysterbar.com

Marchers will gather near the Capitol at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW at 10 a.m. on Jan 21. For more information, visit www.womensmarch.com


Laurie Wilson can be reached at laurieheather@yahoo.com.