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Mistakes To Avoid In Planning Your National Parks Vacation

National Parks Vacation planning Mistakes to avoid

If you want to visit the more popular National Parks you have to plan well. Check out these common National Parks vacation planning Mistakes to avoid so you are disappointed.

Whether you’re just visiting for the day or you plan on staying overnight, it’s important to do a little research before you show up at a National Park. Some of these parks might be quite the drive, or even a flight away, so you’ll want to make sure you are prepared before you show up only to find out that the park isn’t taking any visitors. Here are mistakes to avoid in planning your national parks vacation.

National Parks Vacation planning Mistakes to avoid

You don’t plan ahead

When planning any vacation, it’s good to plan ahead. However, with a national park trip, it’s even more important to plan ahead. Some parks bring out huge crowds, park closures, and vary on what’s available based on year. Some of them even require permits to visit during certain times of the year. So make sure that you’ve researched the park ahead of time so you can make a reservation or get the necessary permits to visit.

You wait too long to make reservations

Finding lodging or campsites inside some of the more popular parks is a lot like making dining reservations for Disneyworld. Spaces are snapped up fast. For some of the more popular parks like Glacier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite, accomodations at the lodges tend to sell out up to a year in advance. 

If you are planning a National Parks vacation and want to stay inside the park, plan ahead. 

yosemite lodge

You sleep in too late

Sleeping in too late can cause you to miss out on some of the best parts of visiting these national parks. Watching the sunrise of Haleakala, missing the first few hours of empty trails at Acadia, and causing you to have to miss your park day because the park is at capacity are just some things that can happen if you sleep in too late.

Acadia National Park

You only visit during peak season

Peak season is a great time to visit some of the parks because they have unique features that only come out during certain times of the year. However, some parks benefit from cooler temperatures or fewer crowds, so you might miss out by only visiting during peak seasons.

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors but hate loads of people, check out our list of the Best National Parks to Avoid Crowds

You only visit the most popular spots

If you are visiting a national park, clearly you want to see the iconic sites– Half Dome, Old Faithful, Hurricane Ridge, etc… However, if a spot is iconic, that means it is also super popular with everyone. And one of the inspirational reasons to visit National Parks is to actually get out in nature and see things you might not find in photo books. 

So, make some time to visit a remote area of the park, go on a back country hike or raft trip, or just spend time seeing things that aren’t on everyone’s bucket list. 

You don’t understand how to deal with the wildlife

National parks are home to some unique wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else. There will be quite a bit of wildlife at any national park you visit, from bison, wolves, big cats, and even bears. However, these parks are not a zoo, and many animals will come right up to you if you’re not careful. Ensure you understand national park policy rules about wildlife and know what to do if you encounter any animals that might live there. This is especially important if it’s a preserve or somewhere with protected wildlife.

mount rainier marmot

You don’t take advantage of discounts

Discount days, free days, and even discounts for members can be just some of the great deals that you can snag at a national park. Before you go to the national park, do some research on their website to see if you can find any deals or discounts. You may even find that an annual pass ends up being a better deal for your family because you’ll be visiting so many! Also, keep in mind that most national parks require an entry fee!

These rules apply to ANY national park that you visit! From knowing the park’s hours you’re visiting missing out on once in a lifetime experiences, make sure you don’t make these mistakes when you visit any national park.

Check Out These Tips For Visiting National Parks Too!

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