Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of budget travel: your actual budget. Because it’s all fun and games until you get home from your magical time spent frolicking and forest bathing and soaking up that Vitamin D…aaaaaand then you look at your bank account.
Did you know that visiting a U.S. national park can range from very cheap to mind blowingly expensive? I tend to get kinda preachy about how affordable I find national parks, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. There are some parks that are just going to steal your wallet, no matter how you dice it. Curious about which parks are secretly pricey and which ones aren’t? I got you!
When traveling with a family, plan ahead, do your research, always be flexible, and don’t try to do too much. With kids, less is more. It makes for happy kids and creating treasured family memories.
While not all national parks are very dog-friendly, for their own valid reasons, there are plenty of parks where I’ve been able to get outside and hike my heart out—at least until I get exhausted from over-excitement, and then my dads will need to carry me. These are some of my very favorite dog-friendly national parks I’ve explored so far, and where you should take your bark rangers, too!
You don’t have to have all the things, or “look” like a hiker in order to hit the trail. The national parks are waiting for you as you are.