There will be no repeat of Inauguration Housing Madness the weekend of the Rally for Sanity. The number of private rooms for rent on Craigslist is in the low double digits, hotel rooms are available (and priced accordingly), and if you want to have a "pig sex" party, you should be able to avoid the scrutiny of right-wing websites.
Reports in September that hotel bookings for the rally were outpacing those for the Glenn Beck rally haven't translated to a room shortage: A quick check of Orbitz and Expedia on Wednesday afternoon found plenty of rooms downtown:
At the W Hotel, you can get a a queen-size bed, in a non smoking room, parking, two drinks, PLUS access to a "cordless phone" for $300 per night. The Liaison Capitol Hill offers "modern lighting, sleek and stylish furnishings," including a bed, and free WiFi in the lobby for an average of $399/night.
Of course, some of you may travel with your own "cordless telephone" and would like to save a few beans. You have other options. Outside of the District, rates drop quickly; there are lots of rooms in Fairfax and Prince George's County for less than $100/night. You can drive to a Metro station pretty easily from those areas; just remember to check Metro's website for the last train heading out that way if you're planning to stay in the District to party after the rally.
If that's your plan, you might be happier using a shared-housing site anyway. CouchSurfing.com lists nearly 200 people in Washington, D.C. Sleep on the couches of people write things like, "I think there is so much to learn from de-constructing people's conversations," or who takes a photo of himself bound in a bathtub. Fun nights ahead!
The site doesn't list available dates, though, and anyway you have to become a member, so feel free to wade into those waters yourself (and don't miss this list of parties to crash.) I'm going to move on to Roomorama, which has 12 listings for this weekend (when searching for 1 guest for Oct. 29-31). Prices range from $40/night for a Ikea sofa bed in Columbia Heights (with a purebred Russian Blue kitten; "he's *very* social") to $390/night for a luxury three-room unit in Adams Morgan (which also includes a "one-time $200 cleaning fee").
Better yet, Airbnb produces 114 results for this weekend. There's a pullout couch in Fairfax — with a jacuzzi and sauna, improbably — for just $25/night. For $300/night, you can get this Capitol Hill apartment advertised specifically for the rally. Or just go ahead and splurge on a $2000/night penthouse on L Street NW (plus a 14.5 percent "lodging tax"). That's not a ripoff, not at all. Other sites of note: iStopOver and Crashpadder.
Or you can sleep outside. D.C. doesn't usually get bone-chilling cold till January, and the weekend weather forecast looks quite amenable to camping. Greenbelt Park is 12 miles from D.C. and has 174 campsites for $16/night on a first come/first serve basis. Prince William Forest is 24 miles down I-95 from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and offers, as a bonus, "petrified" camping on Saturday night. Starting with the Swain's Lock campground 16 miles from Georgetown, you can camp for free at the hike-in/bike-in campgrounds in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, but the path out there is mostly gravel, so leave yourself a lot more travel time (and pack spare tubes) than you might normally.
That's not the only free option: The Greyhound station is open 24 hours, though obviously this is a situation you should consider only when all other options have failed. Much better: Both Reagan National Airport and Dulles are open all night. Reagan's FAQ all but says you can sleep in its magnificent César Pelli-designed terminal, and Dulles' explicitly grants permission to "passengers":
Can I stay overnight in the Airport?
There are many hotels close to Dulles with transportation to and from the Airport. However, passengers are allowed to stay in the Main Terminal or Concourses overnight if they wish. Seating may be limited. Restroom facilities are available but other facilities may be closed during overnight hours.
Wherever you stay, remember this: The D.C. area is more or less completely overrun by bedbugs and stinkbugs. To avoid bringing the former home, read this section of TBD's comprehensive guide. There's nothing you can do about the latter except maybe pray. Which is a good way to stop a "pig sex" party, according to what I read.
For more tips, follow @TBDguide. Additional reporting by Ryan Kearney.