The United States is full of so many tempting destinations that for adventurers everywhere, it is a must-see destination. Massive, with world-class cities and even better national parks, there are so many reasons to visit. However, booking and planning is a must to transform a journey into an adventure, so follow this guide before you travel to ensure you have created the ultimate itinerary and have everything you need to enjoy a national park.
Get Your Visa or Electronic System for Travel Authorization
Canada is the only country that can enter the US without a visa. For everyone else, you will either need a tourist B1 or B2 visa or, alternatively, an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Both will require you to achieve them before you fly, though it is far easier to get the ESTA as it can be done online and achieved in a few minutes.
When to Visit
The best time to visit pretty much every single national park in the United States is during the summer, or more specifically, May through to September. Even parks that would look stunning in winter, like Yosemite, aren’t that great to visit that time of year because most of the roads linking up the park are closed due to snow.
Things Book Up Fast
National parks might be massive, uninhabited gems of natural beauty, but there are only so many places you can stay unless you are traveling through the backcountry. From the campgrounds to the hotels, popular destinations like Bryce Canyon book up fast, and you could be looking at settling for a place an hour or more away if you don’t look up and book the best hotels in Bryce Canyon as soon as you decide on that as your destination.
Activities Book Even Faster
You can go on donkey rides through the Grand Canyon, horseback riding in Bryce Canyon, water rafting, explore the natural beauty on hikes that only a few are ever allowed to go through at a time, and so much more. A lot of these activities are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and not to be missed. Unfortunately, because of the park restrictions (some areas in parks can only be visited if you are taken by a guide), they book up fast.
That is why it is almost always better to ensure you can secure accommodation and go on the activities you really want to do before you look at flights. Otherwise, you might just miss out on something incredible.
You Will Want to Invest in Camping or Hiking Gear
The best part about exploring national parks is hiking, so when you head there, you will want to bring proper camping gear with you. For long hikes, this could mean a backpack that holds a day’s worth of water, but mostly it will mean good hiking shoes and proper hiking attire.
Always Invest in Travel Insurance
Finally, you will want to make sure you have travel insurance that covers all of your activities in the national park (or else you won’t be eligible for care). The healthcare situation in the United States means that one visit to the hospital could land you a bill that is in the thousands, minimum. Having travel insurance is essential to enjoy your stay with peace of mind and the backup in case you need medical attention.