A few years ago I visited my first National Park, Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Talk about breathtaking beauty! Since then, it’s become a personal mission to add all 58 National Parks to my bucket list. Yes, I intend to see and conquer them all. No matter where you’re located in the U.S., there’s likely a park within a day’s drive from you, making it a perfect destination for a family road trip this summer. From rocky coastlines to towering redwood trees to stunning mountains, the parks will inspire a little nature loving for parents and kids alike. Ready to get your adventure on? Here’s my guide for travel essentials when tackling your favorite National Park!
National Geographic National Parks App 1 of 10
I am totally in love with National Geographic's National Parks app. You can pull up maps and guides for each park and even make note of your favorite parks and locations.
Get it from the App Store.
Rain Parka 2 of 10
A lightweight waterproof parka is essential for rainy days. I love this one, which is cute and comes in three colors.
Buy it at Athleta.
Water Bottle 3 of 10
Never underestimate the need for water when wandering the parks! You'll want at least one big bottle for each person.
My pick is this aluminum bottle from SIGG.
Cool Camera 4 of 10
In addition to your iPhone and digital camera, a cool camera like this striped Lomo will capture perfect heirloom-quality images.
Get it from Lomography.
Instabook Scrapbook 5 of 10
Need to catalog the memories when you get home? These petite-sized scrapbooks are perfect for Instagram photos.
Available from Rag & Bone Bindery.
Reusable Lunch Wraps 6 of 10
Reusable lunch wraps are the best way to pack food without a lot of bulk or waste. I love the pretty patterns they come in, too.
Shop for this one and similar patterns at Lulu Wraps.
Picnic Blanket 7 of 10
Don't forget to pack a blanket for impromptu picnics. Especially with little ones, a soft place to sit is essential.
I love this one from West Elm.
Spray-On Sunscreen 8 of 10
Sunscreen is a must-have when you're spending the day outside. I love Coppertone's Continuous Spray because it's sweatproof and doesn't make a mess.
Available from Amazon.
Maps 9 of 10
For the days technology may fail you, paper maps are definitely required. Get maps of all the National Parks at the USGS Store.
Photo from A Dollar a Day.
Sunhat 10 of 10
For sunny days, you'll definitely need a hat to protect your face from the harsh rays. I love the pale blue color of this one.
Get it at REI.
Top photo from National Geographic.