Some of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts to humans are nothing short of enormous pockets of paradise on our minor blue planet. National parks, or natural parks, as some might prefer. They comprise mountains, wetlands, grasslands, coral reefs, seashores, glaciers, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. The United States boasts a total of 63 national parks that fall under the control of the National Park Service. And most of them are excellent vacation spots that offer everything from breathtaking views to exciting recreational activities to thrill and danger.
If you’re planning a trip to one, it’s essential to have everything planned out and have your things ready before heading out. Here are some tips to follow that will help you ensure your trip a memorable one.
Do your research & choose what suits you best
Before you get started, ensure you know when and where to go. It is imperative to consider the weather conditions and the accessibility of the destination of your choice. For example, Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is inaccessible during the winters as the weather conditions make it extremely dangerous for travel enthusiasts to visit it. Going at odd times, such as off-seasons or shoulder-seasons, lets you enjoy more as the parks are not as crowded as they typically would be. It helps you enjoy the true beauty and tranquility of the place.
Asking your close friends and family for suggestions could help you choose a destination that will cater to your likes and hobbies. Let’s suppose you’re someone that loves being around water and mountains. Most people would recommend you go rafting in the Smokies in Tennessee’s Great Smoky National Park. This place has some of the best waters for ardent watersport lovers seeking some extra thrill. Making a well-curated decision will guarantee a memorable and life-changing trip for you.
Camping is a must
If you go to a national park and don’t camp under a sky full of stars, did you even thoroughly enjoy the experience? NO! You can camp comfortably on campsites located throughout the destination you choose to visit. A quick search on the big G will show you many possible spots, making it easier for camping aficionados to know where to set up their tents on the campground.
Or book a lodge
However, if you’re not an outdoorsy person, you can always opt for private or commercial lodges in the vicinity. They’re well-maintained and add to the rich history of the alongside providing quality service and the best possible views of the surroundings. Who wouldn’t love coming back to a comfy room and hot bath after a long trek in the wilderness?
Know what to do and when to do it
In the midst of it all, you may tend to forget why you went on a trip. To counter this, make a list of activities you plan on doing. Narrow down the list to know what you want to do, regardless of your other activities. You could go to Yosemite National Park and visit some of the must-see places, if not all, by handpicking them according to your likes and dislikes.
National parks are enormous, and there’s plenty of stuff to do and explore. So, don’t hesitate to go off-track too. Numerous places are waiting to be discovered, which may not be on your itinerary and could still end up leaving you in awe. Perhaps, the best bit of it would be that a detour leads you to parts relatively unknown and untouched by individuals, making the exploration worth your while.
Travel right by equipping yourself with the best apps and gear
In today’s world of advancements, it is pivotal for us to make full and good use of technology. Hence, thanks to easy access to the Internet and apps that leave you in reverence of technology, you can make your trip worthwhile with quick navigation and information.
On top of this, investing in the best gear and equipment is equally, if not more, cardinal. For all sorts of activities, high-quality gear will ensure a safe and thrilling experience. Travel light, carry all essential accessories, including chargers, devices, skincare, etc., and have backups for things that may be required more than once. Don’t forget to carry the right adventure equipment if you intend to do some crazy stuff like rock-climbing.
Be heedful of the environment
Robert Baden-Bowell is known to have said, ‘Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.” As a responsible citizen, it’s your job to dispose of waste appropriately, reduce your carbon footprint, and be mindful of the environment. To keep it concise, don’t do anything that would make an environmentalist furious. Besides this, think about what we have to lose if we don’t tackle climate change.
Live and let live
The inhabitants of these natural parks should not be meddled with as it disrupts their state of calmness. Try your best to keep a safe distance from animals and try not to scare them off by pointing things at them. This way, you can truly admire some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations and also allow them to behave how they usually do.
Visiting a national park should be on almost everyone’s bucket list. As the great Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” With the help of the tips mentioned above, you will have the experience of a lifetime. Don’t forget to maintain a digital diary. Hopefully, you’ll have numerous stories to tell for the years to come!