National Park Travel Tips
Get a taste of why these national parks are so special. Our expert guides, guest lecturers, and savvy NPCA staff provide their unique insights to help you plan an extraordinary trip.
to help keep plastic waste out of our parks and out of the landfill — including water bottles, coffee mugs, tote bags and reusable straws. Remove as much plastic packaging (e.g., from food items) as you can before your visit.
Properly dispose of all waste you aren’t able to pack out. Carefully read designated signage on all waste and recycling receptacles to determine what is recyclable and compostable in each park.
Don’t feed wild animals, as they will become desensitized to humans if they become accustomed to being fed. Not only does this harm animals, but when bears, coyotes and other animals see people as food sources, it can cause wildlife to become less afraid and more likely to approach humans, creating potentially dangerous situations.
Sunscreen is essential no matter the time of year, but many traditional brands include ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate and other toxic components that can damage aquatic life and harm coral reefs.
Give wildlife plenty of room and keep a safe distance during your visit. If wildlife reacts to your presence, you are too close.
While some aspects of national park landscapes and sites may seem unbreakable, it is a good reminder to appreciate all from a distance – for example, be sure not to disturb artifacts, touch cave walls, lean on dwellings or climb trees. And always be sure to treat cultural sites and the resources within with respect.
and leave rocks, vegetation and artifacts where you find them for others to enjoy. Seemingly small objects such as twigs and stones are part of much larger ecosystems that nourish and shelter a range of plant and animal species.
(and within their boundaries) to avoid damaging flora and fauna that surround them. Pay special attention to avoiding sensitive areas, such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams. Check trail signs and be mindful of barriers and fences.
Be aware of your surroundings when you take pictures. Standing too close to the edges of cliffs, overlooks or waterfalls can put you in danger, and posting these kinds of photos encourages other people to take similar risks. Be respectful when taking photos at sacred and cultural sites and always get permission before taking photos of others.
that support cultural heritage, maximize the economic benefits in the destinations they operate in, and establish guidelines for managing environmental impacts. NPCA carefully vets our tour partners, so consider taking an NPCA trip. For more information, visit npca.org/trips.
Be sure to share these tips on how to adventure responsibly with your friends and family! Follow along on social media with NPCA (@NPCApics on Instagram, @NPCA on Twitter, @NationalParks on Facebook) and Travelodge® (@Travelodge on Instagram, @Travelodge on Facebook) to learn more.
As a National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) member, you can enjoy up to 20% off Travelodge’s Best Available Rate at participating hotels. After you complete your stay (by December 31, 2021), Travelodge® will donate 5% to NPCA to help protect and preserve our national parks. Click here to learn more.