January has always been our favorite month for vacation planning. The weather at our base camp in Minnesota is unpredictable and not the greatest for outdoor time. We’ve made it through the busyness of the holidays. The shorter days leave evenings wide open for planning and online reservations.
This past weekend we drafted the last of our vacation plans for the year. Nothing finalized, but we sketched out how many days off we need to request from work and set a budget for how much we need to save to cover the trips.
Today we’re excited to share all about where we are #parkchasing in 2019.
Park Chasing Abroad in 2019
You can read about our 2018 plans in our planning post from last year, however last year we visited 15 new national park units and 1 affiliated site. 6 vacations to 8 different states with stops in California and Washington twice. We brought our total park count to 70 of the 418 national parks.
This year’s planning map looks quite a bit different. (Hint: It includes another continent!)
We’re changing gears in a big way, stepping out for the first time to do some #parkchasing abroad. In February we’ll be joining friends for 14 days in South Africa, including visits to three national parks (Table Mountain NP, Royal Natal NP, and Kruger NP). This will be the first international trip we’ve taken together since 2005 and a major step out of our vacation planning comfort zone. We’re looking forward to new adventures and to experience how other parts of the world view protected spaces.
Where (Else) Are We Headed in 2019
Trip #2: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
After Africa, we’ll be settling a little bit closer to home for the spring. In May, we’ll be visiting Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore during a stay in Chicago. We missed it on our last trip to Indiana and hope to time some early spring hiking in the park.
Trip #3: Colorado Road Trip
Jump ahead to September and we’re planning another Colorado road trip. There’s something about the Colorado Rockies that keeps pulling us in again and again. Rocky Mountain National Park continues to top our list of favorite national park trips ever. Mid-to-late September means we’re also likely to catch the elk in rut.
So far we are split 50/50 between two different routes. One through Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The other route travels more northernly and includes
Trip #4: Christmastime in New York City
In 2016 we had our first visit to New York City’s national parks. While we were there we made a promise to come back and see some of our favorite spots in a different season. Ice Skating in Central Park. Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty with the chilly winter breeze. We’re also looking forward to catching some of the park units we missed last time (African Burial Ground National Monument, Governor’s Island National Monument, Lower East Side Tenement Museum).
Where are YOU heading in 2019?
Now that we’ve shared our vacation plans for 2019, we’d love to hear more about your trips. Where are you traveling this year? Which parks are you looking forward to visiting the most?
Scroll to the bottom and leave us a reply with your own #parkchasing plans for the year. We’d love to help you plan!