I know planning a big National Park trip can look like one of the most daunting tasks to achieve. Looking at the big picture and then all the little pieces, it seems like there are just about a million things to get done and plan. However, you just have to take one step at a time, and usually try to take care of the big things first.

Below are some things to think about as you begin to plan your trip:

  1. WHERE do you want to go? – This is the first thing that you really need to establish. You need to at least come up with a general vicinity that you want to cover, so then you can really start to plan the travel plans.
  2. WHEN do you want to go? – This is one of the most important pieces. This is where your details for your main transportation (planes, trains, automobiles?) will come from.
  3. HOW are you getting there? – Do you want to fly there, rent a car, rent an RV, or take a train? There are so many different modes of transportation that you can choose from. Also, you should book the tickets or the dates for the car as soon as you possibly can. This will give you a cheaper price in general and will also take away much of the overall stress of planning this trip.
  4. WHERE are you staying? – Once you decide the specific parks or places you want to go, you will have to decide where you’re going to sleep at night. Most parks have a super fancy lodge within the park, but it’s usually really expensive. My family would usually either rent an AirBNB, set up a tent at a campsite within the park, or just stay in the RV for the night.
  5. WHAT will you do? – To me, this is the most fun part of planning the trip. This is where you get to research each park or place and really decide what you want to do while you’re there. It helps you get more familiar with the park, so that you don’t waste precious time when you get there. Planning it out ahead of time makes everything a lot easier. Also, it honestly prevents a lot of arguments over what to do each day.
  6. WHAT will you eat? – You will need to decide how you are going to eat every day. Are you going to eat out every single meal? That can get expensive really quick. Are you going to bring all the food with you or maybe go to a grocery store once you get to your destination? There are so many different options for this part, and it definitely takes some brainstorming.


I think that these are all the major pieces that need to be decided while planning a National Park trip for you and your loved ones. Focusing on one specific thing at a time really helps to calm the nerves and take away a lot of the stress of planning a trip.

It also really helps to make sure and plan these things along with the people you are going on the trip with. If one person is making the decisions, the whole group won’t be satisfied with the decisions and some people will most likely be upset. It is honestly super fun to get the whole gang together and investigate all of the fun things that can be done on your trip!

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you. I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s post of National Park Nomad and I’ll see you next week! Stay adventurous!