Camping is a great American tradition, and it’s an inexpensive way to rest en route. Plan carefully and you’ll have a great trip. If you do plan on camping, be sure you have all the necessary gear before leaving. You’ll need at least a tent and a sleeping bag.
As you plan the cost of the trip, consider that many national parks charge an entrance fee and campsite fees. Accordingly, if you plan to stay within park boundaries for a day, you should count on spending up to $25. If you intend to stay in several national parks, consider buying a America the Beautiful Pass for $80; it’s good for one year and will get you into all of the national parks without additional charges. If you’re over 62, get senior pass for $10. Go online for full pass details.
Free camping information is also available through any regional National Park Service office. Another fun way to get around, if you can afford it, is by RV or motorhome. Alaska RV trips allow travelers to be outdoors but to also escape the rain and mosquitos whenever they like.
If staying at national parks sounds too expensive, consider staying at state, county, private, or Forest Service campgrounds. The scenery and services are often less impressive than those at the national parks, but if you’re on a tight budget and simply want to sleep, they’re often a much better deal. You can almost always get by for less than $8 a night.