Adventure comes in many different forms. Whether it's a hike through the woods, a climb to the summit, a white water rafting excursion or an epic camping trip, nothing can help connect you to the land and to others quite like taking a trip into the great outdoors. This summer, take time to go on a trip with family or friends and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Here in the United States, we’re fortunate to have a treasure trove of adventure worthy destinations in our National Parks. If you’re feeling a sense of wanderlust, they’re perfect places to start exploring—and if you’re the parent of a fourth grader you’ll be happy to know that that kiddo of yours will also earn your family free passes,* thanks to the Every Kid in a Park program!

Once you’ve determined which National Park you’re heading to, the next step is to develop an itinerary for your trip. There is no one-size-fits-all adventure plan, so depending on the age of your group, agility and number of people, your agenda may vary. But rest assured, you can create an epic experience that everyone will remember fondly for years to come. To help inspire your creativity, we’ve compiled 3 trusty tips that will help kick your adventure into high gear:

  1. Lend a hand. The National Parks are treasures that need to be cared for in order to be enjoyed by generations to come. Why not kick off your trip by volunteering in one? Service opportunities range from weeding out invasive plants to archaeological explorations, and everything in between. Head to volunteer.gov to find specific opportunities in a park near you!
  2. Do as the locals do. To truly experience a new place, the key is to bypass touristy stops and search instead for the places frequented by the natives. There you'll find true local flavor and begin to see things from a different point of view. Talk to people, find out about local lore and ask about their favorite go-to spots. You never know, you may just find an untapped treasure.
  3. Do something epic. Nothing rounds out an epic adventure better than an epic experience. Whether it's shooting the rapids on a rafting trip, going rock climbing, learning to fly fish or taking a hot air balloon ride, you'll remember your trip for a lifetime if you incorporate something that's normally out of your element.

Hope these ideas helps you plan an incredible summer vacation!

Do you have a favorite National Park? Drop us a note in the comments below.

*Every Kid in a Park pass valid through August 31, 2018

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