Ways to Save Money When Traveling to National Parks

May 8, 2018

Posted In: Trip Itinerary

Ways to Save Money When Traveling to National Parks

Back in the early days when our nation’s national park system was in its infancy, there were no fees associated with gaining access to these treasured locations. As the overall population has increased throughout the years and the demand to see Zion and the other national parks has skyrocketed, it was quickly realized that significant funding was required to maintain and protect the parks in addition to providing income to park rangers. This responsibility has since been structured to be shared both federally and publicly, hence the implementation of park fees. These fees offer all those who share the fascination of these incredible places to participate in their preservation. Even though an entrance fee is respectably necessary to national park vacations, there are many ways that, if you wish to make a special effort to create a cheap Zion vacation or trip to any national park, it can be effectively accomplished. Consider the following suggestions.

Free Entrance Days

Stay informed of which dates allow visitors to enter specific parks for free. There are a handful of particular days (sometimes whole weekends) throughout the year where entrance fees are waved in some parks. Visit park websites, follow them on social media, and sign up for email newsletters to the parks that you are most interested in visiting so that you’ll get this information firsthand to help you plan a cheap Zion vacation.

Get An Annual Pass

If your intention is to visit multiple national parks over the course of a year, you would be wise to acquire an annual park pass which will give you entrance to all national parks nationwide for a 12-month period. These annual passes cost less $100, making them more than worth it. The pass allows 1 personal vehicle containing a maximum of 4 adults (kids under 15 are free) into any park for a whole year. This is one of the first steps in having a cheap Zion vacation.


Choosing to camp instead of booking a hotel is a huge money-saver. And not only that, but the outdoor, more personal environment that camping creates is a great way to have even more meaningful experiences and conversation with those in your party. Sleeping under the stars or in a tent, as you probably already know, is one of the best experiences you can have on a vacation. RV hookups and other amenities are often offered at in-park campsites. Achieve a cheap Zion vacation by foregoing the hotel for a tent, even if it’s just for one night of your multi-day trip. Most parks require campsite reservations so remember to get that taken care of beforehand.


National monuments throughout the country require no fees of any kind to view. There are 80 of them total. Find out which ones are near or are on the way to the national park(s) you’re planning on going to.


Some parks offer volunteer opportunities for projects such as composting and trail maintenance, among many others. Volunteers are not required to pay an entrance fee and often receive free items such as t-shirts, hats, and others for their service. You’ll also have a wonderful service experience.


Walk-in entrance fees cost less than automobile entrance fees. Lodge close to the park’s entrance if possible and simply walk into the park and use the shuttle systems (if available) to get around. This is a great way to save money on your cheap Zion vacation.

Look Online

Do your best to stay apprised of local hotel deals and other travel-related discounts in the areas surrounding your national park of choice as another step of your cheap Zion vacation. In order to attract more visitors, local lodges and other accommodations often run discounts of various kinds, sometimes on their own websites or as social media contests.

Ways to Save Money When Traveling to National Parks

Cheap Zion Vacation

Article by Clear Content Marketing


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