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National Park Week: How to bask in nature's glory from home

April 18, 2020
5 min read
National Park Week: How to bask in nature's glory from home
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This coming week is a big one for Mother Earth.

For one, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is coming up on April 22. This milestone also happens to coincide with National Park Week, which runs April 18 - 26. While this year's celebrations will look a bit different with many parks and campgrounds closed and social distancing rules in places, the celebrations aren't completely called off — they're just more digitally focused.

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So while you may not be able to pay a visit to your favorite park in person just yet, here's a round up of a few other ways you can celebrate from home.

Visit a park virtually

https://youtu.be/_Qq9H9Hr5Kw

There are a few virtual tour options when it comes to the National Parks.

For an interactive learning experience, take a Park Ranger led tour through Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. This tour is hosted by country singer, Dierks Bently. The cool part about this experience is that you can actually get a 360-degree view of the park thanks to the use of a 360 camera.

If you just want to sit back and admire a National Park site, tune into one of the many live webcams. For instance, you can check out the cherry blossoms on the National Mall's bloom cam, watch Old Faithful erupt at Yellowstone or see what's happening under the sea on the Channel Islands' live cam.

Plan for a future trip

(Photo by jaredkay/Getty Images)
(Photo by jaredkay/Getty Images)

Just because travel is on a temporary hold doesn't mean that you can't dream and plan for a future trip. If you're thinking of exploring a national park once this is all over but can't decide which one take this quiz to get park recommendations based off your preferences and location.

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Related: 5 epic road trips across America

If you're planning a road trip with the family, be sure to read our guide to family-friendly national parks. And if you want to check more than one off your list this year, you'll definitely want to consider the annual park pass.

Share your favorite National Park memory

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx5IyKbFBBE/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The NPS is encouraging visitors to share their favorite national park memories, experiences and goals on social media using one of these hashtags: #NationalParkWeek, #FindYourVirtualPark, and #FindYourPark.

After all, we could all use some outdoor inspiration on lighten our timelines.

Donate to the National Park Service

There are a few different ways you can help the National Park Service. The most obvious is donating directly to the National Park Foundation, where donations will go toward protecting and up keep of the parks. This can be done as a one-time donation or you can opt to do it monthly. Regardless of which option you choose, Nature Valley will match donations until April 30, up to $250,000.

You can also contribute to the NPS by buying merch through the gift shop. You can buy an array of practical items such as custom playing cards or a reusable water bottle.

To learn about more ways you can help, check out the NPS donations page.

Celebrate Earth Day

Be sure to carve some time to spend outside and get some fresh air on Wednesday, April 22 in celebration of Earth Day. The holiday is meant "for everyone to discover and enjoy the physical and psychological benefits that come with spending time outdoors," according to the NPS. And I think it's safe to say that we all have a much greater appreciation for the outdoors after spending so much time indoors.

If you are able to visit a national park, be aware that staffing is limited so practice being a steward and follow the NPS principle of "Leave No Trace."

Create your own outdoor experience

For some this may mean creating a living room fort and for others heading out to the backyard for a bonfire with the family — or even backyard camping. Either way, this can be a fun activity to do, especially for families.

Take it from TPG's Richard Kerr, who took his kids camping in the backyard. It just goes to show that there's always a way to turn lemons into lemonade.

Richard Kerr Camping
(Photo by Richard Kerr/The Points Guy)


Featured photo by Matt Dirksen/Getty Images

Featured image by Getty Images

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more