Top Five National Park Vacations

Sometimes, it’s best to get outdoors and do some exploring of our National Parks, knowing that at the end of the day, you can relax in the luxury of your vacation home rental.  Nearly all of our nations parks have numerous vacation home rental options you can find at places like within a few short miles of the park entrance. Below are five of our favorite that all have many home rental options available.

National parks are not only beautiful places to visit, but beautiful places to vacation as well. The top five National Park Vacations include Yellowstone National Park, Acadia National Park, Yosemite National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and Glacier National Park.

Yellowstone National Park, located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, is characterized by towering geysers, prismatic springs, mountain ranges, and alpine lakes. There is a wide array of natural wildlife in this area, including bison, wolves, elk, and grizzly bears. Yellowstone was one of the first areas in the United States to be given the protection status of a national park. On a vacation here, you can visit the hot springs and spectacular geysers and then venture into the wilderness to view some of the majestic and endangered creatures.

Acadia National Park offers its visitors pine forests, granite peaks, the breathtaking lakes of Maine, and is the home of the mountain lion. Vacationing on this national park is typically for people who are looking to hike or bike through the rugged and jagged landscape of the national park. The hike to Cadillac Mountain to see the unforgettable view of the sunset is completely worth the trip. After hiking to your heart’s content, you can head on over to the beach to soak up the sun.

Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular parks and is known for its valleys filled with spectacular glaciers. Yosemite offers vacationers views such as granite domes, hanging valleys, and deep U-shaped valleys. There are over 300 lakes and Yosemite is home to five of the highest waterfalls in the United States. Yosemite is known as the best vacation spot for national parks.

Mount Rainier National Park is characterized by the tallest mountain peak known as the Cascade Range. This peak features 14,410 feet of glacier covered slopes begging for experience climbers to attempt to scale its face. It is also possible to hike the bottom of the mountain range where you will find thousand year old trees, waterfalls, and beautiful meadows.

Finally, Glacier National Park, located in Montana, is known as the hiker’s paradise. This park features over 700 miles of trails that lead hikers through the wilderness where they will see glorious lakes, pristine forests, and alpine meadows. You can also explore the hemlock rainforest using the boardwalk that is located there.

National Park Vacations are an excellent way to relax, unwind, and recharge. A vacation at any one of the five parks listed above will ensure that you will have a great time.

New To Vacation Home Rentals: What You Should Look For?

Vacation rentals are a wonderful way to enjoy your vacation. Unlike booking a hotel, a vacation rental means living in an individual’s house while on vacation. This means dealing with several issues and questions that may seem mystifying for a first-time traveler. So before you set out on your very first holiday with a vacation rental, here are a few things you should know.

Use a reputable website to find your vacation rentals — There are several websites offering vacation rentals. You may have specific requirements like pet housing, proximity to hospitals, etc. and you should keep these in mind while booking holiday homes. Choose a website that has several homes listed and sorted according to specific needs, budget, etc.

Read the reviews — Try to pick a home that has been visited previously. Read the reviews listed on the website and contact the owner through emails or direct phone calls before you book the holiday home.

Ask a lot of questions — Homes are individual and they may have several quirks that are specific to the owner. Its not unusual to find owners asking visitors to space our baths to ensure hot water availability. Some owners may also be specific about house cleaning, parking availability, food and grocery shopping, etc. Make sure you ask as many questions as possible to ensure a smooth visit.

Clarify all costs upfront — If you are booking through the website, the main cost is the vacation booking. However, incidental costs may pop up and this may cut into your holiday budget. For example, some owners may charge a cleaning fee in the house is cleaned prior to your arrival and after you leave. Usually, the fee covers the house cleaning but it may also include/ not include laundry charges, breakage, and other incidentals. Make sure you clarify all charges and deals before you go ahead with the rental.

Security deposits — All owners require a security deposit before you will be allowed to rent the home. However, the deposit will be cut in case the house is damaged during the stay. It’s a good idea to evaluate the home as soon as you enter the house. Let the owner know any visible damage and clarify that you did not do it. This protects your security deposit and ensures that the owner is aware of the issue.

Part of the attraction of vacation home rentals is spending your vacation on your terms in lesser-known locales. This offers a great way to explore a new city by living in a small home. If you do your research correctly, you may even find that your vacation home rentals are far cheaper than a hotel booking and all its incidental expenses.

How To Find Inexpensive Rental Homes

If you are looking for a vacation home to rent on your next trip, there are a lot of choices available to you. The good news, with services like AirBNB and VRBO you are only a few steps away from finding the best vacation get-a-way at an affordable price.

On a recent trip to Zion National Park, my family, along with 2 other families found a beautiful 7 bedroom cabin located on the East Side of Zion that comfortably accommodated all 12 of us including private bedrooms and bathrooms for each family along with plenty of living room, kitchen, backyard and loft space to enjoy. At the end of the day, it only cost each family $200 for the 3 days and 2 nights we stayed at the cabin which was way less expensive and more enjoyable than staying at a local hotel. We even enjoyed making a few BBQ and other meals on our own which also saved us a bit of out of pocket cash for our vacation.

A few tips when using services like AirBNB and VRBO:

  1. Read the fine print. Many of the property owners have specifics such as maximum number of people, pets allowed, children allowed, etc… that may be important to you.
  2. When you put in your request for the properly, be specific about your group so that the properly owner can make a quick decision to approve your reservation.
  3. Bring some simple cleaning supplies (i.e. disinfectant wipes, paper towels, etc…) so that you can easily wipe things down and get a full refund on any deposit you may have on file.
  4. Follow all of the house rules and instructions. Some property owners will leave you with a binder that details how to lock up the properly, use the electronics and even how high/low to set the thermostat for best results.
  5. Treat the rental home like your own — with care and leave a positive review for the property owner if you enjoyed your stay.

Happy vacationing!!!