So you might not be able to travel out of state or to a foreign country, but you can still have a vacation. Spend a week at one of your state’s national park and enjoy the natural beauty your state has to offer. No it might not be as glamourous, but you will still have fun, get a great tan and plenty of exercise.
There is a reason why national parks are protected. Beautiful scenary and undisturbed wildlife and natural formations are abundant in the national parks. Not only will you and your family enjoy your state’s history and beauty you will be helping the park to stay open for years to come.
The most cost effective way to enjoy the park is by camping outdoors. Most have designated campsites just for campers. If you are planning on spending an entire week, careful planning is a must. Making sure you have enough food and proper equipment will make your vacation go easier.
Shelter And Sleeping Necessities
First off you will need a tent large enough and sturdy enough to provide shelter for you and your family. Sleeping bags, a pillow and an extra blanket for each family member should be packed. Mosquito netting or bug repellant is a good idea to pack just in case the park is overan with bugs.
Clothing And Toiletries
Clothing should be limited to the very basic. Have enough underwear and socks for the whole week. I would recommend two pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts and 3 to 4 T-shirts per person. A good pair of walking shoes and, or hiking boots is a must for hiking the trails. A pair of pajamas is also a good idea. Just realize you will be getting dirty and sweaty so be prepared. Hey, it’s camping after all.
As far as toiletries, keep it simple. Parks have basic shower and restroom facilities. Stick with shampoo, conditioner and soap. Don’t forget washcloths and towels. Pack deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste and a brush. Face it ladies, wear a hat or put your hair up in a ponytail. Don’t forget sunscreen and keep a package of toilet paper, just in case.
Food, Water, Cooking And Eating
This will take careful planning. It is best to buy your water that you will be drinking in cases. Plan on 4 large cases of bottled water for a family of four. You can always save the bottles and refill at the park. Purchase 5-6 gallon jugs of water for cooking. Stick with buying canned goods and dehydrated foods. Beef stew, chicken and dumplings, chili and canned soups are good choices and easy to prepare. Dry cereals, granola and beef jerky are good choices too. Peanut butter and crackers–the ideas are limitless.
Most parks have cooking pits in the camping area. Make sure to pack plastic utensils and paper plates, napkins and matches. Your pots and pans and cooking utensils need to be sturdy to cook over fire. Don’t forget the salt and pepper.
National Parks offer so much to do. If you plan on participating in several activities packing some extras will come in handy. Fishing gear, swim suits and backpacks should get you started. Before you go on your trip call the park and get information on what they offer so you’ll be better prepared.
It might seem like alot of output of cash to get started, but you will save so much. No hotel room costs, no eating out and a tank or two of gas will get you to a park and your vacation memories will be just as good.