HOW TO SAVE MONEY & ENJOY AMERICA'S BEST PARKS
This comprehensive guide covers everything vanlifers need to know about national park passes. From researching which parks to visit, to determining the best pass for your trip, this guide is designed to help vanlifers save money and make the most of their national park experience. The guide covers the different types of passes available, including the America the Beautiful Annual Pass, the America the Beautiful National Park Specific Pass, the Senior Pass, and the Access Pass. It also includes tips on how to save money on campsite fees, and information on RV hookups and dump stations. Whether you're a seasoned vanlifer or planning your first trip, this guide is essential reading for anyone looking to explore America's beautiful national parks.
Start by researching which national parks you plan on visiting. Each park has its own entrance fee, so it's important to know which parks you'll be visiting in order to determine which pass is best for you.
- The most popular pass for #vanlifers is the America the Beautiful Annual Pass. This pass grants access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites, including all national parks, for one year from the date of purchase. The pass costs $80 and can be purchased online or at any national park. 1-888-ASK USGS (1-888-275-8747) between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Mountain time, or from the online USGS store.
- If you're a frequent national park visitor, the America the Beautiful Annual Pass might be the best option for you. However, if you're only planning on visiting a few parks, the America the Beautiful National Park Specific Pass might be more cost-effective. This pass grants access to a specific park for one year from the date of purchase and costs between $30-$55 depending on the park.
- If you're a senior citizen, you may be eligible for the Senior Pass. This pass costs $80 and is valid for a lifetime. Additionally, the senior pass also grants access to a companion for free. ( apply HERE )
- If you're a U.S. military veteran, you may be eligible for the Access Pass. This pass is free and is valid for a lifetime. Additionally, the Access Pass grants access to a companion for free.
- If you're planning on camping in a national park, it's important to note that campsite fees are separate from entrance fees. Many national parks offer discounts on campsite fees for pass holders, so be sure to inquire about this when purchasing your pass.
- Keep in mind that most national parks don't have RV hookups or dump stations, so plan accordingly. Research nearby towns or rest areas for dump stations and water fill-ups.
- When planning your trip, always check for any updates on park closures or reduced services due to weather restrictions or other reasons.
- Before you hit the road, be sure to check the regulations for each park. Some parks have restrictions on where you can camp, and others may have length limitations for RVs and Sprinter vans alike.