Visiting a national park during your vacation trip or otherwise must feature in your bucket list to make your trip complete and successful. However, there are a few strategic planning required when you visit these parks mainly due to two specific reasons. One, the huge expanse of the park needs to be divided into different spots of interest to fit in with your itinerary. The other reason is to make sure that you do not miss out on anything nature and wildlife has in its store for you to witness.
Visiting a park is supposed to be the most convenient and a great way to embrace and spend quality time moving solo or with your family and friends alike. Great outdoors scenes calm and tranquil nature and surroundings add a new meaning to life and you can see nature in a whole new way. Unable to enjoy nature to the fullest in a busy and crowded city life, you will surely crave for more beauty, fun, recreational activities and other programs.
However, there are a few caveats and to overcome these, you will need to plan your trip just like a pro. Right from making your reservations early to avoid sold out rooms to making a list of the places of interest, all need a lot of time and research. Here are a few pro tips from national park experts to make a perfect plan for a hassle-free trip.
Rely On A Reliable Outfitter
Assuming that you have procrastinated more than ever, you must rely only on reliable and reputable outfitter to go ahead with your plan for the central park tours. Reservations are undeniably essential as hotels are often booked in advance up to a year. You will have a hard time to find accommodation in the smaller inns, mom-and-pop motels and stay-ins if you plan your trip in a peak season. Therefore, to ensure availability of rooms plan your park tripas early as possible.
- For the late planners, a better option is to lock horns with a reputed and trustworthy tour company for planning a hiking or biking trip. Few of these programs will even give you access to rooms.
- There are several such multisport trips to some popular parks where the outfitter will offer mountain biking and hiking adventures. You will find these programs in a variety of different travel types and with varying levels of activity.
- The tour operators will also help you out with alternative plans if you are not very comfortable with camping or hiking. There are time-bound trips arranged by them guided by experts that will have a varied activity option to choose from.
These activities are aimed to cater to the diverse needs of different age groups along with preferred activities such as climbing and backpacking.
It is prudent to stay ‘off the beaten path’ spots and also stay off the peak travel times if you want to enjoy your central park tours memorable and adventurous with your family. You will be able to unfold natural and national treasure and explore more to pique your interest. The best time to visit popular parks is during the shoulder seasons such as the spring and fall. Kids are usually in school and most parents will stay off the parks enabling you to find a lot of lodging options and campsites.
If you have a less flexible schedule, you may consider the less visited spots especially those near the entrance of the park. One significant benefit in this is that you will find an overflow of lodging options at a much lower rate than the major resorts inside the park.
Do not be put off at the thought of the drive into the park. You will find that the land outside is as beautiful as it is inside with an added edge of more food options outside the periphery of the park. However, if you stay outside, it is advised that you find and book parking sites well in advance as finding it at the last moment may be an overwhelming experience you will surely not want. Moreover, parking regulations and restrictions may vary from one park to another. Therefore, be safe and prepared beforehand to find an ideal parking spot just near the park entrance.
Packing your necessities is another element of proper planning to have a safe, comfortable and hassle-free experience of the trip. You must protect yourself from the sun out in the open and from the cold in the evening excursions. Bring a daypack along with a few essential items such as:
- A sunscreen and a sunhat
- A reusable water bottle
- Lots of high energy bars
- A cooler and a picnic with food that you can grill as most national parks allow and want visitors to bring own food.
It is also a good idea to pack a few nuts and dried fruit along with protein bars and sandwiches though there are food services and shops inside the park. Keep the food safe in the cooler to prevent spoiling or to draw attention from animals.
As for your luggage, carry duffel or a backpack instead of a clamshell suitcase. Also, carry a lot of water as you will dehydrate fast while hiking or biking. Make sure that you notify the ranger’s office if you intend to go off the beaten path so that they can make arrangements when you relay go off the track and lose it as well. If you decide to take on the challenging and high demand trails, then you may also have to register yourself for safety reasons. Therefore, check out the rules and regulations of the park from its website before you visit.
Consider Lesser Known Parks
You can also go off the grid by choosing parks that are lesser known but are equally attractive and adventurous. Make sure that these have versatile trails that are easy even at the advanced levels for your family and kid to explore and enjoy. Also look at the interpretive centers and guided tours to find the right option for you and your family.