Taking a vacation in a national park can offer great value for you and your family. Generally, national parks are great places to visit during summer because they are ideal for all ages, are affordable and beam with entertaining activities. Even during peak seasons when park fees are high, you can find ways to reduce the cost of visiting national parks with the help of Charter North. Here are practical ways to explore national parks without spending too much money:
- Visit parks on free days
Across the country, park entry fees are on the rise and scheduling your visits on days when entry is free can help you make significant savings. You can schedules your visits on days such as veteran day, national public land’s days or other special days that the national parks service announces free entry.
- Leverage on affiliations
There are categories of people who receive entry fee waivers due to their age or service to the country. For instance, children, seniors and military personnel may be allowed to enter parks for free or at a discounted rate. Leverage on your affiliation with such categories and ask for discounts that are relevant to any members of these groups when they accompany you. This way, you are able to make some savings that in some cases apply to all group members when only one person qualifies.
- Get yourself a park entry pass
If you have a plan to visit different sites in national parks each year, you might want to consider getting yourself an annual park entry pass from the body mandated to manage national parks. Such a pass will give unlimited access to numerous national parks in the country and could cover every person who accompanies you in case the entrance fee applies to each vehicle. In such a situation, you’ll be able to make some savings in park entry fees.
- Offer free conservation services in parks
Volunteer vacations are a great way of reducing cost when you want to enjoy national parks. By volunteering your time in conservation efforts, you get to experience national parks, visiting for about a week without having to pay for accommodation and meals. Though you’ll have to cater for your transport costs, the number of hours that you dedicate to conservation efforts can make you become eligible for a free annual park entry pass.
- Opt for camping or cabin stay
If your plan is to stay in the park for a couple of days, camping is a cheaper option rather than going for hotel stay. To ensure that you get a spot on the campgrounds, be sure to make your reservation early, especially if your park visit is scheduled for summer when grounds get filled to capacity. You can opt for a cabin stay on the park ground, this is another cheaper option to consider. Also, you may find some less costly motels just outside national parks, these can help you reduce your park visit budget.
- Check for deals online
When planning park visits, the internet is the best place to search for deals on travel, hotel and even cars for lease. Narrow your search to firms that offer such services and compare the deals that each has to offer. This way, you’ll be able to find deals that save you a whole lot of money based on your travel destination and the season that you schedule your travel.
- Avoid shopping on park grounds
Buying stuff in parks can be pretty expense and you are better off avoiding this tourist trap. Instead, ensure that you have everything you need before you leave your house. Buy stuff like sunscreen, batteries, bug sprays and other supplies in stores within you locality rather than on park grounds. Bear in mind that food is more costly in parks and can sometime be very difficult to find. In this case, ensure that you carry your own beverages, snacks, even meals to the park. Even as you do this, be sure to abide by park regulations on food storage so that animals do not snatch them away.
- Go for used travel gear
If you rarely camp or go hiking, there is no point spending a lot of cash in getting a new travel gear for your visit to the park. Instead, opt to get a used gear from online or secondhand stores. Also, you can look for people within your neighborhood who want to give away their outdoor gear and you could end up getting one free of charge.
- Visit national landmarks
The government maintains landmarks like preserves, memorials, recreational sites and monuments that are very similar to parks but much cheaper to visit. If you are looking to experience outdoor spaces but have a very low budget, such places can be fun to visit.