Today’s Favorite Travel Product: National Parks Passport Book

National Park Passport Book

National Parks Passport Book

Earlier this year we visited the Shenandoah Valley National Park. Honestly, it was the first true effort we put into showing our kids a National Park. We made a point to stop at a ranger station to pick up park maps. As we made small talk with a ranger he asked us if we had a Passport he could stamp.

Skyline Drive- part of the Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive- part of the Shenandoah National Park

Initially, I panicked. We had passports, but didn’t have them with us on our trip to Virginia. Although it took a few seconds, I concluded that he didn’t mean a real passport. With disappointment, I answered “no”. I also made a mental note to figure out what kind of passport he referred to.

Months later we visited Smoky Mountain National Park. We enjoyed collecting park maps and interesting tidbits about the area. Several times throughout the day I thought of the passports (admittedly, for the first time in months.) I took the time to ask one ranger if he knew about the passport. With a dramatic eye-roll he assured me that I was still in the US and didn’t need a passport. My husband couldn’t stop laughing (and reminding me that I’m a blonde) so asking someone else was out of the question.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee

Fastforward to our most recent visit to a National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville. I literally bumped into a display of Passports! Without even pausing to check the price or features, I purchased one.

We unwrapped the plastic right in the visitors center and got our first official cancellation. According to the book: “these ink markings record the name of the park and the date of your visit. Cancellations are free of charge and are usually available at a park’s visitor center.”

Cancelation from our visit

Cancellation from our visit

Again, I hadn’t even taken a peak at the passport prior to purchasing and using it for the first time. However, once we were back on the road and I got a minute to go through it- I wasn’t disappointed! The pages contain compact, but helpful information on the more than 400 sites in the National Park System.

The book is divided by color-coded region. Each section contains locations by state, as well as a brief description of the geographic area. There are many pages in each section for stamps and cancellations, as well as extra pages in the back.

Color coded regions

Color coded regions

Also included with the passport book is a large map. The kids are already looking for future destinations and planning our route!

To avoid missing out on cancellations as you travel (and the embarrassment of asking for one!), order yours today from the National Parks website.

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