Hit prime National Parks on weekdays

If at all possible, try to avoid visiting the more popular National Parks on weekends, as the crowds can put a damper on your experience. This especially applies to National Parks that are located within a 3-hour drive from a major city, making it a weekend destination for its many inhabitants.

Once, on a whim we pulled into a campground on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on a Thursday afternoon and were delighted, and somewhat surprised, to find they had one site left, for one night only, due to a cancellation. That was just what we were looking for. We knew we were quite lucky because the campgrounds in the Grand Canyon are usually booked months in advance. I don't think we would have been so fortunate on a weekend.

Try to time it so your weekends are either travel days or spent at less well-known destinations. The state parks have a lot to offer and are often less visited than the national parks.