Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Taking a Road Trip with Children, Part 3: Three Things to Take Advantage of

When we drove into the first national park we visited, the Saguaro National Park, the park ranger asked if we had a fourth grader with us.  And we did!  She reminded us that families with children in the fourth grade get into national parks free.  We had forgotten, so we were happy for the reminder.  

Here are a few things we discovered that you might want to check into, to take advantage of, if you can. 
  1. Every Kid in a Park.  Did you know that you can get into national parks for free, if you have a fourth grader with you?  All you have to do is go to this site and put in your zip code.  It doesn't ask for a name, birthday, or any kind of identifying information.  Then you print out the paperwork and take it to a national park where they change the paper for a card.  Again, they don't ask for any information.  We figure this saved us close to $200 on our trip to the Southwest because of all of the national parks we visited.
  2. Other memberships you may already have.  When we visited Uncle Ray in Albuquerque, he suggested that we visit Explora one afternoon since it was going to be too hot to be outside.  I was thrilled when I realized that we could get in free because we have a membership to the Health Museum in Houston through a reciprocal program.  They even let Uncle Ray in free with us!
  3. Rest stops.  I know I've mentioned rest stops before, but they are the unsung heroes of road trips.  When you bring your own food, they are wonderful places to stop for lunch and/or snacks.  John and I usually ate standing up since we were tired of sitting, but it was especially nice for Hannah since she could climb on the picnic benches all she wanted instead of being stuck in a high chair at a restaurant.  
What other things should we take advantage of when we travel with our children?  If you have any suggestions, please share!

In case you missed them, here are part one about keeping children happy in the car and part two about things you might want to take but haven't thought of.

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