On August 28th, the price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass is increasing drastically. If you'll be 62 or older before then, you'll definitely want to grab your pass the instant you're eligible! I've got all the facts right here for you:
When is the price changing? August 28th, 2017
How much is it now? Currently, it's a mere $10. That's a super bargain for a lifetime of access to our national parks!
How much will it be? On the 28th, it'll go up to $80. Still a bargain, if you ask me! But definitely a huge change.
Why is it such a bargain? Not only will you never have to pay the entrance fees at six different federal agencies ever again, you'll get discounts for lots of things with your Senior Pass! And you'll be able to bring companions along on the same pass!
What's the minimum age to qualify? You need to be 62 or older on the day you purchase your pass.
Can I go ahead and buy one now if I'm turning 62 before the 28th? I'm afraid not. You'll have to wait until your birthday. :(
Should my spouse get one, too? Yes! They're not transferable, so both of you should have one just in case.
Are there any other restrictions? The Senior Pass is only available to US citizens or permanent residents. You'll need some sort of government-issued ID, like a driver's license, green card, or US passport.
Where can I get my pass? Get it at any national park or other federal recreation site where fees are charged. Here's a list!
You can also order online or by mail, but it'll take longer to process than normal - up to a few months. If you order online, print out your order confirmation to present at park entrances. If you order by mail, make sure your order is postmarked by August 28th to qualify for the $10 lifetime rate. There is an additional $10 fee for ordering online or by mail.
What if I miss my chance and can't afford the new rate? It's hard when you're on a fixed income, I know! There are options:
There's a new annual Senior Pass for $20. And hold on to your expired passes, because once you have four of them, you can trade them in for the lifetime pass.
There are also frequent free days at the national parks and other federal recreation areas. You can check the website for the site you're interested in to find out when.
Who else can use my pass? The pass will cover everyone in a private vehicle for sites that charge per vehicle. For sites that charge per person, your pass covers you and three other folks over 16 (folks under 16 are still free).
Who benefits? The National Park Service! Or whichever federal recreation agency you bought your pass from. This is an excellent way to help maintain and improve our federal recreation areas while also benefiting yourself!
So, go get your pass at the first opportunity. Once you've got it, hang on to it: they can't be replaced if lost or stolen. If your pass gets damaged, hang on to it! You can get it replaced as long as you've got proper ID and enough is left of your pass to be identifiable.
Some of the best geology on earth is found within America's National Parks. This is your last chance to see it all for just $10, so if you're eligible, beg, borrow, or – okay, probably shouldn't steal the funds. But absolutely don't be shy about hitting up family, friends, neighbors, and other acquaintances for dollars and/or a ride to go get your pass. It'll be worth every penny.
Hope to see you there!