Category: Travel Tips

“Passing” at U.S. National Parks

“Passing” at U.S. National Parks

My first visit to s U.S. National Park was over 50 years ago, maybe even as many as 60.

Since then, I’ve been to nearly every one in the Western U.S., and met the woman I’d marry (we’re still together) in Yosemite in 1968. (We’ll run another story about Yosemite tomorrow.)


Way back then, I’d guess it costs $5 to spend time in one of those major parks.

Today I read that the entrance fees for a 1 to 7-day stay in Yosemite will rise to $20-$30, depending on the season in which you visit.

You’ve got these options for paying park fees:

  • Pony up the new fees at one park, then pony up again at another park.
  • Buy an annual pass for a single park, if you plan to visit that park more than once.
  • Buy an annual pass that covers “more than 2,000 federal recreation sites,” including national parks, forests, and BLM lands.
  • Get a free pass “available to U.S. military members and dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and also, Reserve and National Guard members.”
  • Buy the $10 Lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over (which includes me).
(NPS Photo)
(NPS Photo)

So don’t pass on visiting national parks or other federally managed recreation areas this year.

Just take a pass with you when you go.

(Click here for more information on the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series.)

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Tips for Traveling to Europe

Tips for Traveling to Europe

(Tales Told From The Road just completed a virtual month-long trip across Europe visiting France’s Alsace and Austria’s Tirol regions, and the cities of Berlin, Dresden and Munich in Germany, Prague in the Czech Republic, plus Amsterdam and London. Here are some tips for planning your next European journey.)

Here are some things to know before you go if you are an American tourist planning a trip to Europe this year:

Trip StuffPassports: Check the expiration date on your passport.  Some European countries will deny you entry unless your passport will be valid for 3-6 months after your scheduled date of return to the U.S. Others (like Turkey and Russia) require you to have a visa as well as a U.S. passport.

Renewing your passport is cheaper than getting a new one issued(More information).

Rail passes: Rail Europe is one of the largest sellers of European train rail passes and point-to-point train tickets.  You need to have your Rail Europe pass in hand before leaving home; you can’t buy one in Europe(More information).

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