Author Topic: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!  (Read 3186 times)

steevven1

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Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« on: August 15, 2019, 01:34:54 PM »
"You Spent How Much?! Our Cost To See Every National Park (And How We Paid For It)"

https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/money/our-cost-to-see-every-national-park/

Happy to answer questions!

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 03:21:54 PM »
Must be a popular thing.  On our ferry ride to Fort Jefferson, I met two different millennial aged couples (one was a family of 4) doing the full national park journey, both were blogging about it, too.  Looks like fun!

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 03:56:52 PM »
Must be a popular thing.  On our ferry ride to Fort Jefferson, I met two different millennial aged couples (one was a family of 4) doing the full national park journey, both were blogging about it, too.  Looks like fun!

One of them could have been us, lol. Was your ferry ride on August 6? We talked to a few people about it because we were so excited. Dry Tortugas was our last park to visit.

The hardest-to-reach parks are self-selecting places to find people doing the whole list. In, say, California, people were amazed by our story. In American Samoa, we would tell people what we were doing, and they'd say, "yeah, obviously...why else would you be here?" Haha.

Anette

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 04:50:32 PM »
Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 09:48:37 PM »
Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing

Thanks for reading!

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 10:38:02 PM »
How'd you keep the food budget so low while traveling? Only 1.2k for two people groceries for seven months?

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 11:14:27 PM »
How'd you keep the food budget so low while traveling? Only 1.2k for two people groceries for seven months?

Ashamed to report that the grocery budget was kept so low because we ate out all the time, LOL!

Go back and look at the budget for dining out :-p

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 11:43:01 PM »
PTF

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 07:42:49 AM »
Must be a popular thing.  On our ferry ride to Fort Jefferson, I met two different millennial aged couples (one was a family of 4) doing the full national park journey, both were blogging about it, too.  Looks like fun!

One of them could have been us, lol. Was your ferry ride on August 6? We talked to a few people about it because we were so excited. Dry Tortugas was our last park to visit.

The hardest-to-reach parks are self-selecting places to find people doing the whole list. In, say, California, people were amazed by our story. In American Samoa, we would tell people what we were doing, and they'd say, "yeah, obviously...why else would you be here?" Haha.

It was last year. But yeah that does make sense as Dry Tortugas has a limited amount of visitors they can handle and it would naturally be somewhere you would congregate these types of travelers.  I think early next year we may camp at Jefferson.  It's such a special place.  We are also making an effort to visit a lot more of our State parks (Florida).  But I fully understand the challenges of these journeys people like you do.  A good friend of mine is on the most extreme version, probably in history.  Every country in the world without flying, without returning home, and at least 24 hours in each country.  He's been gone nearly 6 years and only has about 20 countries left at this point.  I'll never understand what gets people to do these things, but that's because I don't have a travel bug, at all.  So I just can't mentally relate!
 http://www.onceuponasaga.dk
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 07:45:28 AM by EngagedToFIRE »

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 08:55:32 AM »
Must be a popular thing.  On our ferry ride to Fort Jefferson, I met two different millennial aged couples (one was a family of 4) doing the full national park journey, both were blogging about it, too.  Looks like fun!

One of them could have been us, lol. Was your ferry ride on August 6? We talked to a few people about it because we were so excited. Dry Tortugas was our last park to visit.

The hardest-to-reach parks are self-selecting places to find people doing the whole list. In, say, California, people were amazed by our story. In American Samoa, we would tell people what we were doing, and they'd say, "yeah, obviously...why else would you be here?" Haha.

It was last year. But yeah that does make sense as Dry Tortugas has a limited amount of visitors they can handle and it would naturally be somewhere you would congregate these types of travelers.  I think early next year we may camp at Jefferson.  It's such a special place.  We are also making an effort to visit a lot more of our State parks (Florida).  But I fully understand the challenges of these journeys people like you do.  A good friend of mine is on the most extreme version, probably in history.  Every country in the world without flying, without returning home, and at least 24 hours in each country.  He's been gone nearly 6 years and only has about 20 countries left at this point.  I'll never understand what gets people to do these things, but that's because I don't have a travel bug, at all.  So I just can't mentally relate!
 http://www.onceuponasaga.dk

We camped at Fort Jefferson. It was a really unique experience, but I would recommend NOT doing it in the summer like us. The heat was insane.

Your friend's goal is oddly specific, haha. Seems pretty awesome though.

yyc-phil

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 09:57:34 AM »
Great breakdown. We travel/live full-time in our truck camper, mostly idle in the same area in the summer (in Northern Canada) but fully mobile in the winter going from Northern Canada to Mexico where we rarely stay put at the same location longer than 3 days. Your overall expenses are very similar to ours, except for fuel and eating-out: we rarely eat out when we are in Canada and the USA, but we splurge on cheaper street food in Mexico...also our fuel cost for our fuel-guzzler F350 diesel may be much higher than yours although I cannot confirm since I decided to stop tallying them up a long time ago to avoid ruining my day...

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 10:40:36 AM »
Must be a popular thing.  On our ferry ride to Fort Jefferson, I met two different millennial aged couples (one was a family of 4) doing the full national park journey, both were blogging about it, too.  Looks like fun!

One of them could have been us, lol. Was your ferry ride on August 6? We talked to a few people about it because we were so excited. Dry Tortugas was our last park to visit.

The hardest-to-reach parks are self-selecting places to find people doing the whole list. In, say, California, people were amazed by our story. In American Samoa, we would tell people what we were doing, and they'd say, "yeah, obviously...why else would you be here?" Haha.

It was last year. But yeah that does make sense as Dry Tortugas has a limited amount of visitors they can handle and it would naturally be somewhere you would congregate these types of travelers.  I think early next year we may camp at Jefferson.  It's such a special place.  We are also making an effort to visit a lot more of our State parks (Florida).  But I fully understand the challenges of these journeys people like you do.  A good friend of mine is on the most extreme version, probably in history.  Every country in the world without flying, without returning home, and at least 24 hours in each country.  He's been gone nearly 6 years and only has about 20 countries left at this point.  I'll never understand what gets people to do these things, but that's because I don't have a travel bug, at all.  So I just can't mentally relate!
 http://www.onceuponasaga.dk

We camped at Fort Jefferson. It was a really unique experience, but I would recommend NOT doing it in the summer like us. The heat was insane.

Your friend's goal is oddly specific, haha. Seems pretty awesome though.

It has to be specific, right?  Everything else has been done. 

Well duh, why would anyone camp at Fort Jefferson in the middle of the summer? lol.  You are crazy.

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 11:08:20 AM »
Great breakdown. We travel/live full-time in our truck camper, mostly idle in the same area in the summer (in Northern Canada) but fully mobile in the winter going from Northern Canada to Mexico where we rarely stay put at the same location longer than 3 days. Your overall expenses are very similar to ours, except for fuel and eating-out: we rarely eat out when we are in Canada and the USA, but we splurge on cheaper street food in Mexico...also our fuel cost for our fuel-guzzler F350 diesel may be much higher than yours although I cannot confirm since I decided to stop tallying them up a long time ago to avoid ruining my day...

Haha, yeah. Gas is killer. We chose our van based mostly on its fuel efficiency. It gets better than 24 mi/gal (12 L/100 km).

FireHiker

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2019, 11:06:37 AM »
I found your facebook and instagram recently and followed it; I have commented a couple of times under my "real" name there. We just downsized to a much smaller home so that we can fulfill our travel goals sooner rather than later. I want to visit all of the national parks too, although I have no need to do them all in the same year! I'm currently at 33, with plans to make it 34 visit Shenandoah next month. I have a 4th grader and a 2nd grader so we'll have two years of "every kid in a park" passes shortly to fill in the gaps of the easier ones. :) We're trying to figure out the more remote Alaska parks...not sure what approach we want to take there. I just moved so I haven't checked your website recently, but I'm curious to see how you did Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk Valley (I think I have the names correct here). I love finding like-minded folks out there; this place is great. :)

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2019, 08:21:16 AM »
I found your facebook and instagram recently and followed it; I have commented a couple of times under my "real" name there. We just downsized to a much smaller home so that we can fulfill our travel goals sooner rather than later. I want to visit all of the national parks too, although I have no need to do them all in the same year! I'm currently at 33, with plans to make it 34 visit Shenandoah next month. I have a 4th grader and a 2nd grader so we'll have two years of "every kid in a park" passes shortly to fill in the gaps of the easier ones. :) We're trying to figure out the more remote Alaska parks...not sure what approach we want to take there. I just moved so I haven't checked your website recently, but I'm curious to see how you did Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk Valley (I think I have the names correct here). I love finding like-minded folks out there; this place is great. :)

Thanks so much for following along! We really like social media because it turns the one-way blog into a two-way conversation. For others, the blog can be followed at these links on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It's also an easy way to get some FI-friendly stuff to casually show up in your news feed from time to time.

Glad to hear about your downsizing. It really is one of the fastest paths to increase savings rate. House and car are the things nobody wants to give up, but they just have an insane effect.

Regarding Gates of The Arctic and Kobuk Valley, they were super cool, but I don't think I can overstate just how remote they are. Getting to those was the single biggest expense of our trip, and we didn't even get to fully enjoy them because the extremely long ride in an extremely tiny airplane made us both throw up...a lot. Anyway, here's a photo I took of Gates of The Arctic. It's definitely a magical place.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 08:45:52 AM by steevven1 »

cap396

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2019, 12:42:56 PM »
Great blog, thanks for sharing all the details.  We are also full time travelers (but in countries outside the US) and enjoy reading about other travelers.

redhead84

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2019, 01:51:27 PM »

Regarding Gates of The Arctic and Kobuk Valley, they were super cool, but I don't think I can overstate just how remote they are. Getting to those was the single biggest expense of our trip, and we didn't even get to fully enjoy them because the extremely long ride in an extremely tiny airplane made us both throw up...a lot. Anyway, here's a photo I took of Gates of The Arctic. It's definitely a magical place.
[/quote]

Thanks for sharing the link to your blog. It sounds like an amazing year. My husband and I have been slowly ticking off the National Parks. We'd love to see them all, but your comment above makes me think we'll set our goal for all in the continental US. 

FireHiker

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2019, 05:01:53 PM »
I've seen that photo on your Instagram account; it's amazing. Did you spend much time at either of those parks on a guided outing or what did you actually do while you were there? We've looked at Alaska Alpine Adventures because they have guided backcountry outings but it is so expensive. At the same time, when we finally get all the way up there, we want to spend some time and see some of the park. I look forward to reading more about that part of your trip when you write about it!

I am still giddy about downsizing. It's been so much work, but we are really excited about the opportunities it will free us up to experience now. We're planning a (very non-mustachian) trip to Jamaica in April and an educational trip to Greece and Turkey next summer or the following one (our 9 year old is obsessed with ancient Greece and has specifically requested Ephesus). Life is too short to have a big house and spend all day working in an office to pay for it.

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2019, 08:37:46 AM »
Great blog, thanks for sharing all the details.  We are also full time travelers (but in countries outside the US) and enjoy reading about other travelers.

Thanks for sharing the link to your blog. It sounds like an amazing year. My husband and I have been slowly ticking off the National Parks. We'd love to see them all, but your comment above makes me think we'll set our goal for all in the continental US.

Thank you for reading! Way more fun when someone sees what we write, haha.

I've seen that photo on your Instagram account; it's amazing. Did you spend much time at either of those parks on a guided outing or what did you actually do while you were there? We've looked at Alaska Alpine Adventures because they have guided backcountry outings but it is so expensive. At the same time, when we finally get all the way up there, we want to spend some time and see some of the park. I look forward to reading more about that part of your trip when you write about it!

I am still giddy about downsizing. It's been so much work, but we are really excited about the opportunities it will free us up to experience now. We're planning a (very non-mustachian) trip to Jamaica in April and an educational trip to Greece and Turkey next summer or the following one (our 9 year old is obsessed with ancient Greece and has specifically requested Ephesus). Life is too short to have a big house and spend all day working in an office to pay for it.

Our trip to Gates/Kobuk was the shortest of all our National Park experiences, by a lot. We took a float plane over the Brooks Range (incredible views) and landed nearby the sand dunes in Kobuk Valley for a little while, then took back off and landed on a quiet lakeshore in Gates for a bit to enjoy the peace (and recover from airsickness). Being honest, we definitely shortchanged ourselves on these parks because of time constraints and the fact that we weren't prepared for the way one would properly visit these parks. It takes a lot of planning and time. They just aren't anything like the other National Parks.

If I were to go back, I think I'd take a week to hike into Gates of The Arctic from the Dalton Highway and get picked up by a plane once I was deep inside. I'm not sure my wife is game for that, but maybe.

Congrats on your downsize!

FamilyGuy

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2019, 07:49:50 AM »
A great adventure. Congratulations.

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2019, 05:37:19 PM »
A great adventure. Congratulations.

Thank you!

ender

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2019, 07:12:32 PM »
This is kinda neat.

I'd love to do something similar someday. We have a kiddo so perhaps we'd need an RV, though hard to say.

spartana

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2019, 12:11:59 AM »
What a great blog. Photos are beautiful and was fun to read. I'm FIREd also and have been to many Nat Parks in all 50 states but never in one mega trip like you guys. Also have a mini van but find I generally like to set up a tent. I'm in Calif so have lots of the big parks only a few hours away which is really nice.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2019, 12:38:16 AM »
What a nice adventure.

You are inspiring me to visit all Norwegian National Parks. I have been to a number of them, but there are many left that I haven't visited.

How was it to work parttime during this trip? I understand you could the financial boost from a job, but did it feel like "work" and did it influence your experience in a negative way? Or was it positive to have some obligations during your trip?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 02:01:28 AM by Linea_Norway »

DadJokes

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2019, 06:51:20 AM »
So, which parks were your favorites, and which did you feel were a waste of time?

I've only visited Carlsbad Caverns and Big Bend and would love to visit more, though my wife is not a big fan of long hikes.

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2019, 08:25:13 AM »
What a great blog. Photos are beautiful and was fun to read. I'm FIREd also and have been to many Nat Parks in all 50 states but never in one mega trip like you guys. Also have a mini van but find I generally like to set up a tent. I'm in Calif so have lots of the big parks only a few hours away which is really nice.

Thanks so much! That's really cool. I think overall, California is probably our favorite state, or at least in the top 3.

What a nice adventure.

You are inspiring me to visit all Norwegian National Parks. I have been to a number of them, but there are many left that I haven't visited.

How was it to work parttime during this trip? I understand you could the financial boost from a job, but did it feel like "work" and did it influence your experience in a negative way? Or was it positive to have some obligations during your trip?

Yeah, it's a totally reasonable question. At the beginning, I had the part-time work at my company and editing photos to worry about on a day-to-day basis. I think having something "different" to do every few days, and having a reason to take a break from travel and sit down at a laptop for a day, added variety and challenge to my life, and it was really good for me.

Later on in the trip, we launched this blog, and Lauren picked up a small freelance gig too, so suddenly we had this MASSIVE passion project to work on in addition to all that, and really it became a bit too much when combined with all the travel. But we did it anyway, and overall I'm still really glad we did.

I think my advice would be that if you want to really enjoy working while traveling full-time, keep the work to about 8-12 hours per week.

So, which parks were your favorites, and which did you feel were a waste of time?

I've only visited Carlsbad Caverns and Big Bend and would love to visit more, though my wife is not a big fan of long hikes.

We actually kept a ranked list of every park along the way. Obviously it's totally subjective, but some of our favorites were Yosemite, Death Valley, and Hawai'i Volcanoes. We didn't find that Hot Springs was very interesting at all. If you subscribe to the blog's newsletter (bottom of each page on the site), you'll get an email when we eventually post the whole ranked list of 61 in the next month or two.

DadJokes

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2019, 09:59:09 AM »
So, which parks were your favorites, and which did you feel were a waste of time?

I've only visited Carlsbad Caverns and Big Bend and would love to visit more, though my wife is not a big fan of long hikes.

We actually kept a ranked list of every park along the way. Obviously it's totally subjective, but some of our favorites were Yosemite, Death Valley, and Hawai'i Volcanoes. We didn't find that Hot Springs was very interesting at all. If you subscribe to the blog's newsletter (bottom of each page on the site), you'll get an email when we eventually post the whole ranked list of 61 in the next month or two.

Heh, I was actually thinking of swinging by Hot Springs this year. We're driving from Nashville to Dallas to take in the NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day. We'll probably stop overnight in Arkansas on our way back, and I thought staying there would be a little more enjoyable than just going to Little Rock. However, I'll be sure to temper expectations if we do go.

steevven1

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Re: Hit All 61 National Parks In 7 Months - Financial Report!
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2019, 12:06:02 PM »
Slowly but surely getting some writing and photos up about each park. Just finished the Pacific Northwest: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/destinations/national-park-round-up-4/