As summer approaches, more and more travelers begin planning their next adventure to one of America’s many amazing national parks. If you are one of the tens of millions who are making this their vacation experience this summer, we invite you to come with us as we take a closer look at 7 of our favorite tips to help you plan and enjoy y our experience. Plan better and enjoy more as Christy Spensberger reveals seven tips to help you enjoy your national park vacation experience.
- Choose the right park – from crowds to activities and more, finding the right park to suit your interests is the first step to making the most of your experience. Begin on NPS.gov and do a little exploring. If you are creative, you can even enjoy our most popular parks without being inundated by strangers, you just have to be willing to do number 3 on our list.
- Understand the weather – the weather is another key factor to planning your vacation to a national park. Obviously you will be outdoors for a fair amount of time. If you are planning to visit a park with extreme temperatures, you will need to plan your vacation during the months when the temperatures are most accommodating. This is more important in desert and arctic environments.
- Take your time and get off the beaten path – if you choose to visit a park like the Grand Canyon in summer, you should be prepared to see more than a few people, that is, at the most popular sites. This park is huge and there are plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten path and away from the crowds, even during the peak season.
- Get out of the car – too often people choose to simply “drive-thru” our national parks. While the Going to the Sun Road is one example of a drive you won’t want to miss, it is just one feature of a stunning park and should not be used as a substitute for the national park experience.
- Take advantage of the guided experiences – guides in a national park have insight to these amazing destinations which can offer you a closer look at the many unique and beautiful aspects of the park. Who knows, you may even learn something new. Plus, they are free in most cases.
- Save money with a national park pass – if you are planning a trip to more than one national park, a national park pass is a great way to save money. Though not all parks charge for entry, some can be a bit pricy, so plan instead to get the pass and save some cash. You can learn more about it on their website nps.gov.
- Leave your pet at home – some national parks like Carlsbad Caverns do offer a kennel for the day for just a few dollars if you do bring your pet but be aware, this is not always true. In addition, if you have your dog in areas which do not allow them for their safety, you will not be allowed to leave them in the car, ending your trip before it even begins. Do the smart thing and leave your pet at home or with someone you trust before you head off on your national park adventure.
Just a few of the many things to think about and do to make the most of your journey to our national parks, now is the time to start planning. Enjoy America’s Best Idea and explore a national park near you in 2015.