I love resources and so should you. Kids and prepping for your next adventure go hand in hand, so I would like to share some resources that I use (these are NOT affiliate links)
Parks: National Parks, State Parks and even City and County Parks
These are your friends and allies- keep them close. Not only are they inexpensive for a day out or camping trip, but they also run programs like nature walks, festivals and holiday events that are free or low cost! Our nearby State park offers free bird watching walks, canoe trips and even a haunted Halloween walk! Parks are truly awesome.
We would be at a loss if not for Georgia State Parks as well- though they like to hide the best places down a dirt road- go figure! Make sure to purchase a day or more pass for Georgia Parks before you hit the wild. They sell them on-line and at the manned parks (Amicalola Falls, High Falls.)
- https://www.floridastateparks.org/ Florida State Parks
- http://gastateparks.org/ Georgia State Parks
- http://ncparks.gov/ North Carolina State Parks
- http://southcarolinaparks.com/ South Carolina State Parks
- http://tnstateparks.com/ Tennessee State Parks * no day use fee in Tennessee- did they do that because they were nice or for the rhyme?
- http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/ Virginia State Parks
Find a National Park or research the programs of one you know at:
I would be lost without this site:
Always in search of somewhere different, and usually water, my on-line searches have always brought me around to the swimming holes website. Be sure to read the date on the reviews- things change, fees change and the weather can make or break a swimming hole. Their description of the Edge of the World was not what we came across- I wouldn’t have considered swimming in the high rapids, but a summer’s worth of rain had altered the river! Use common sense!
Places to Stay:
The park websites can help you with reserving accommodation, they have everything from tent &RV campsites to cabins, lodges and even yurts!
We’ve used Priceline, Hotwire and Expedia in the past for cheap hotel rooms- Priceline has been a reoccurring favorite, but be sure to read the reviews before booking. And write an honest review yourself afterwards to let the next guests be in the know!
I look for hotels that offer breakfast to save on a meal, but that doesn’t always work out.
Tripadvisor is a great place to look for reviews- hotels, parks, restaurants. We use them a lot when planning as well. Tripadvisor also does a search of the cheapest hotels via all of the hotel search engines and compares them too. Pretty neat.
An added note on the above websites- sometimes it’s cheaper if you call the hotel direct. So find your place via the search site and call the hotel first. Sometimes you may have to sign up for their free loyalty customer rewards, but we scored $20 off of our next stay by doing this.
Check out Google Flights when planning a distance trip- they will send you alerts when your chosen date/destination drops in price as well.