Top 5 Reasons to Choose National Parks for Your Next Family Vacation

Last updated on 02/02/2024

National Park Family Vacations

Planning a family trip can be difficult, but creating a memorable travel experience for you and your loved ones often begins with choosing the right destination. That can be a challenge in and of itself, with differing ideas of what's fun and relaxing (and what's not), as well as appeasing different interests.

National Park vacations, however, offer something for everyone. Beautiful sights that can serve as backdrops to social media-worthy photos? They've got them. Opportunities for exercise and active lifestyles? They've got them. Places to rest in tranquil peace and quiet? They've got those too.

Begun in 1872 with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, the United States' National Park Program has been a source of education, awe, and adventure for generations of travelers. If, however, you're not yet convinced that these are the right destinations for your family, read on. Our experts have gathered the top five reasons for you to consider a National Park vacation, as well as some insights on family travel insurance coverage to protect you while you're away.

You Can Travel on a Budget

Everything feels more expensive when you have a family, but when you embark on National Park vacations, quality family time can fit almost any budget. National Parks are known for being affordable, with some charging per vehicle entering the park, regardless of how many passengers. If you and your family are avid travelers, you may also consider investing in an annual pass, which the government makes available for purchase online. If you plan a trip with multiple National Parks on the itinerary, the pass could be a good idea to help you have an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.

You Can Benefit from Nature

While a variety of trips can help you and your loved ones unplug, few offer the sheer scope, immersion, and grandeur of unplugging with National Park vacations. For starters, there's hardly an argument to be made for screen time when you have the incredible vistas of the Grand Canyon, Angel's Landing or Yosemite sprawling before you. Your National Park vacation ideas are also excellent because of the health benefits that time in the great outdoors can provide. Time spent in nature has been shown in research to possibly contribute to mental well-being, including reduced stress.

You can provide endless learning opportunities for the little ones you're traveling with. One of the beauties of National Parks is the diversity of landscapes they offer—depending on where you decide to go, one park can be home to multiple ecosystems, including mountains, forest, lakes, and brush. As you and your family explore, your children can be amazed by Earth's wonders, which can inspire a lifelong fascination with America's wildlife.

You Can Experience the Adventure of the Great Outdoors

National Park vacations offer you and your family a chance to make new discoveries everywhere you turn while experiencing nature in all its glory. Guided hikes, kayaking excursions, or even stargazing can give you an in-depth appreciation of the beauty that surrounds you. Self-motivated activities can also give you plenty of opportunity for (safely) encountering wildlife, camping beneath crystal clear skies, or taking magazine-worthy photos, all at your own pace.

While there are plenty of adventurous possibilities at any park, you may need to account for specific considerations when developing your National Park vacation ideas. If Dad loves the water, for example, choosing a park like Yellowstone might be wise for its rafting opportunities. Or, if your kids like warm weather and hiking, a trip to Bryce Canyon might just be the way to go.

You Can Create Lasting Family Memories

Whether you're hiking, biking, or paddling (or whatever sporty National Park vacation ideas you have), this kind of trip offers you and your family an incredible and unique backdrop for lasting family memories. For instance, any campground is a place to roast marshmallows on an open fire, but you and your kids would never forget the time you did that while watching the aurora borealis at Denali National Park. These kinds of vacation destinations are rich with a sense of wonder that you can share with those you love, and they'll create one-of-a-kind memories you'll all look back on fondly.

You Can Support a Healthy Planet

Visiting a National Park can be both a great experience for your family and a way for you to make a positive impact on the planet. More than vast homes to adventure and natural beauty, National Parks are often vital conservation areas, keeping the planet's biodiversity thriving thanks to the environmental protections that National Parks enjoy. Visitors' entrance fees and donations may also help fun park maintenance and wildlife protection. That's why it's important to remember, when weighing your travel options, that National Park vacations can help you be a force for good. Being a hero can make any vacation better.

Protecting Your National Park Vacation

An adventure in one of the United States’ National Parks can be the trip of a lifetime. However, unforeseen obstacles can arise on any adventure. That’s why you may want to consider travel coverage for your family vacation to reduce the risk of setbacks having a negative impact on your trip.

While family travel insurance coverage may not be able to stop certain obstacles from occurring, like a cancelled flight or a missing bag, it may offer some protection financially should those things happen on your journey. Family vacation insurance may also cover unexpected medical needs, emergency evacuation, and more, depending on the plan you choose.

To discover which option to choose, we recommend comparing quotes using a comparison tool like InsureMyTrip. As the world's leading travel insurance comparison website, we help travelers form an unbiased understanding of their family vacation protection options, presenting you with a range of coverage possibilities from top providers. We also have a dedicated Customer Care team standing by to answer any questions you may have.

To begin discovering your family travel insurance coverage options—and planning the National Park vacation of your family’s dreams—start a quote.