Plan Ahead For Visiting National Parks In 2009

December 29, 2008

US (ChattahBox) – In an increasingly developing world, it isn’t surprising that more people are turning to nature to balance things out. Which is why national parks are quickly becoming the most popular vacation spots, taking the place of locations like DisneyLand and the beach, which have so long dominated the travel scene.

But if you are looking to get away to a park or two in 2009, (while gas is cheap) you may want to start looking now. According to a recent survey conducted by TripAdvisor, 73% of U.S. participants said they plan to visit a national park in 2009, up from 62% one year ago. It looks like visiting national parks next year will be a hot trend for families seeking cost-effective vacations that will allow them to save a few pennies, enjoy the great outdoors, and make memories that will last a lifetime.  With so many flocking to these national treasure spots, it’s wise to book your accommodations early, to make sure you don’t miss out. The best part about visiting national parks is the variety of unique lodging options. What better way to experience the great outdoors than to “rough it” with the family by camping or parking the RV at the campground.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Food is overpriced in the parks, and the better restaurants are always crowded in the summer. Bring a cooler and pack food from a local grocery store.
  • Your first stop in a park should be the visitors center, where you can get up-to-the minute information on park conditions and purchase permits if you’ll be hiking in the backcountry or camping.
  • If you’re 62 years of age or older, get a Senior Pass at the admission gate of any park. The pass, which costs $10, is good for the owner’s lifetime and allows the pass owner and three adults traveling in the same car free admission to the park, plus deep discounts on other activities.
  • Make sure you have a hat, sunscreen and water when you’re heading off for anything but the shortest walks.

Don’t know where to start looking? Check out a travel book such as the recently released 13th edition of Fodor’s “Official Guide to America’s National Parks”, the number one guidebook for the US and US territories.


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