Visiting a National Park? Here’s What You Need to Know
There are a few mistakes to avoid in national parks across the United States. Camping anywhere requires a degree of preparation and awareness. In order to preserve natural areas, it’s important that we walk these lands with care.
Throughout the country, the United States is home to stunning natural areas. These national parks are some of the most incredible attractions the country has. When it comes to our rentals, our patrons make it a point to see as many as possible. That includes parks in Texas and beyond.
If you plan to visit a national park soon, it’s cause for excitement. In order to ensure you have the best RV trip possible, it’s important to do some research. Head into your park experience ready so that you know what to avoid.
Worried you might mess up? TX RV Adventures is here for you! Below, we cover some common mistakes to avoid in national parks.
When you successfully avoid these national park blunders, we bet your trip will be amazing!
Forgetting to Book a Reservation
Oftentimes, those new to the park system forget that you need a reservation to visit national parks. In fact, one of the most common mistakes to avoid in national parks is showing up without a space reserved.
Generally speaking, people love these parks. As such, they see high levels of visitors during peak seasons. This means that a camping reservation is essential when you want to roll your motorhome rental into the park.
Moreover, many parks today require reservations in order to enter and take part in some activities. This is due to a limited capacity during the pandemic.
As you plan your trip, take the time to do some research. See whether you need a reservation for your plans. Then, make those reservations far in advance.
Forgetting to Check the Park Website
Today, everyone has a website. This includes our national parks. The U.S. National Parks Service (NPS) maintains a website with a page for every park in the country. The pages of this site have a great deal of essential information.
When you take advantage of these pages, you have a much clearer plan for your trip with no surprises.
- Whether certain roads or visitor centers are closed
- What activities require reservations
- When they expect inclement weather
- General information about the area, safety, and more!
As you plan your trip, avoid this common mistake and check out the website.
Bonus tip: Another one of the most common mistakes to avoid in national parks is forgetting to check the website again the morning you plan to arrive.
Did You Plan for the Weather?
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid in national parks is a lack of planning. If you ask us, there’s no real bad time to visit state or national parks. For example, it’s important to know when to expect crowds.
Additionally, it’s essential to plan for inclement weather.
Oftentimes, natural areas contain extreme environments – heat, cold, snow, and storms. When you educate yourself about what to expect, you enter your RV trip ready for anything. That means appropriate clothes, sunscreen, rain ponchos, and more.
Food and Water
The majority of national parks are massive. Not all of them have refill stations for water or restaurants in or near the park. As you pack up your RV rental, we recommend a backup water supply and picnic meals. That way, you and your companions stay hydrated and well-fed.
Of course, you also need to ensure you dispose of any garbage properly. Hold onto your waste until you find an appropriate receptacle.
Interacting with Wildlife
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid in national parks is feeding or trying to play with the wildlife. These natural areas are not petting zoos. There’s no domestication among the wild animals, and there’s nothing between them and you.
Wild animals have the potential to harm visitors to national parks. Approaching them or trying to feed them has the potential to cause harm to you and the animals.
Additionally, it’s important to keep food put away. This keeps it out of reach from nosy animals like raccoons, possums, and even bears.
Plugging In Too Much
It’s normal to want to shoot some amazing pictures. After all, these areas have incredible views to take in. However, one of the biggest mistakes to avoid in national parks is staying too glued to your phone.
Aside from snapping some great photos, it’s a good idea to keep your phone in the pocket of your bag for most of the trip.
If you even have a signal, screen time in a national park is kind of a waste of your time, right? You miss out on so much that the park has to offer!
When you go on vacation, it’s easy to sleep in or take it easy. You want to unwind, and we understand that. However, we recommend taking one morning to head out into the park to watch a sunrise at least once.
A sunrise in a national park is truly a spectacular sight to behold. It’s one you remember for the rest of your life.
Being early is important, but so is slowing down. If you’re off to a national park with a “dark sky” designation, you have some wonderful nighttime views to look forward to. These parks offer up absolutely incredible views of the night sky, devoid of light pollution.
When you don’t mind staying up late, grab a blanket and a telescope. Head to a clear area and explore the stunning night sky in its true beauty.
Running On Fumes
As we said earlier, some of these parks are massive. Oftentimes, this means hauling your RV rental around throughout your visit. Unfortunately, not many parks have gas stations that are easy to get to.
Another of these common mistakes to avoid in national parks is not planning ahead for fuel. Always fill up your tank before you head into a park!
Out in the wilderness, it’s tempting to explore. However, another one of the biggest mistakes to avoid in national parks is to wander away from the trail. It sounds like a hoot to go on an adventure other visitors don’t witness.
There’s a reason people don’t deviate from the trails, though. For one, it’s an easy way to get lost, which puts you and others in danger. Second, it destroys habitats.
Oftentimes, this situation leads people into extremely unsafe situations. For your safety and for the good of the natural area, please stay on the designated trails!
Now that You Know What Mistakes to Avoid in National Parks, Are You Ready to Travel?
Armed with the knowledge of what mistakes to avoid in national parks, it’s time to plan your adventure! When you need a place to stay out in the wilds, trust in our RVs to keep you safe and comfortable.
At TX RV Adventures, we boast the cleanest RVs in Houston. Moreover, they have everything you need to stay safe and comfortable out in national parks. When you want to turn your next vacation into an adventure, we’re here to help!