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Old 08-23-2016, 02:39 PM   #43
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I'm a little confused about one thing in regards to staying at state/national parks. Many have brought up the benefit of the Senior Pass. However, do the parks give discounts to the America the Beautiful passes??
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:27 PM   #44
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I'm a little confused about one thing in regards to staying at state/national parks. Many have brought up the benefit of the Senior Pass. However, do the parks give discounts to the America the Beautiful passes??
The America the Beautiful pass is just the current name given by the US Park Service for what lots of people still call the Senior Pass.

In my experience most state parks won't honor the federal senior pass (or America the Beautiful pass) unless you happen to be resident in that state. There probably a few that do, but I don't think we've stayed at any that did.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:14 PM   #45
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The America the Beautiful pass is just the current name given by the US Park Service for what lots of people still call the Senior Pass.

In my experience most state parks won't honor the federal senior pass (or America the Beautiful pass) unless you happen to be resident in that state. There probably a few that do, but I don't think we've stayed at any that did.
Actually the old "Golden Pass" is now the Senior Pass. The ATB pass is for us mere youngsters. However, even looking at the park service link below, I'm still unclear of the benefits. It appears that it would cover entrance fees. A definite plus, although I don't know if RV owners are charged anything extra. It does Senior Pass members get 50% off certain things, but does that mean that ATB Pass people get nothing besides park entrance fees?

Here's the link: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:19 PM   #46
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According to the NPS link you provided, all of these passes are part of what is called the America the Beautiful Passes (plural).
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:33 PM   #47
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The Senior Pass, 62+) aka the America The Beautiful Pass, gives you free admission to all federal parks, and 50% off "expanded amenities", such as camping in parks that are not managed by a concessionaire.
We recently stay at Assateague National Seashore, free admission to the park, and it was $15/night, if I remember correctly, as opposed to the usual $30 fee.
Grand Canyon is a concessionaire run park, and the senior pass would not be valid for campsites there.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:52 AM   #48
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Ok, so the link actually gives different classifications: "Annual pass" "Military pass" "4th grader pass" "Access Pass" and "Senior Pass." The Annual is $80. The access is free but for the disabled. So to be clear, I'm not military, I'm not a 4th grader, I'm not physically disabled, and I'm not a senior. Therefore, the only pass available for us is the Annual. Let me ask my question a different way. Are there any RV owners who are NOT seniors, disabled, military, that has the annual pass, and if so, what benefits does it offer?
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:58 AM   #49
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Ok, so the link actually gives different classifications: "Annual pass" "Military pass" "4th grader pass" "Access Pass" and "Senior Pass." The Annual is $80. The access is free but for the disabled. So to be clear, I'm not military, I'm not a 4th grader, I'm not physically disabled, and I'm not a senior. Therefore, the only pass available for us is the Annual. Let me ask my question a different way. Are there any RV owners who are NOT seniors, disabled, military, that has the annual pass, and if so, what benefits does it offer?
We had the annual pass before we were seniors. It gives you free daily admission to any Federal park or historic site that charges admission. The annual pass does NOT provide a camping discount. You can read the FAQs here: America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass

BTW, there is also an equivalent annual pass for Canadian national parks and it is a very good deal if you plan on spending some time there.
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:24 AM   #50
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Ok, so the link actually gives different classifications: "Annual pass" "Military pass" "4th grader pass" "Access Pass" and "Senior Pass." The Annual is $80. The access is free but for the disabled. So to be clear, I'm not military, I'm not a 4th grader, I'm not physically disabled, and I'm not a senior. Therefore, the only pass available for us is the Annual. Let me ask my question a different way. Are there any RV owners who are NOT seniors, disabled, military, that has the annual pass, and if so, what benefits does it offer?
Entry into national parks and monuments is about $30 on average, and a one time pass is good for about a week, if you plan to visit more than a couple parks / monuments a year, the annual pass is cheaper.

Exceptions include Smokey Mountain NP where entry is free for everyone, and is the only NP with no entry fee. On the other hand, the "consessionaire" run areas, still require payment, and Mount Rushmore National Monument is an example of that.

It does not give you any savings on campground fees which are in addition to park access.


As for the general topic of the thread, the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Nigel is not going to be the same price as the Motel 6 in Barstow, even though they are both in Southern California. You have a choice of ammenties and location for hotels as well as campgrounds, and it comes with a cost..........

I will say when we started out with our initial RV budget a couple years ago, we did under estimate the average nightly rates that we have been paying, thinking it was more along the $35-40 rates. Given where and when we have traveled and the campgrounds / RV parks / resorts we have chosen, in most cases we are paying more than that, and in some cases, significantly more. That is also not to say that we have not enjoyed some of the more budget friendly parks along the way, as we certainly have in many cases.

Our original budget was also based on $4.00 / gal. gas, so we are proably ahead of the budget across those 2 lines......

In any case, have adjusted our expectations.

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Old 08-25-2016, 09:05 AM   #51
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I will say when we started out with our initial RV budget a couple years ago, we did under estimate the average nightly rates that we have been paying, thinking it was more along the $35-40 rates. Given where and when we have traveled and the campgrounds / RV parks / resorts we have chosen, in most cases we are paying more than that, and in some cases, significantly more. That is also not to say that we have not enjoyed some of the more budget friendly parks along the way, as we certainly have in many cases.
In any case, have adjusted our expectations.
Regards
Same here. For our first 10-week trip in 2012, I budgeted $30.00 a night and met the goal. We used some Passport America and a COE or 2 to offset a little higher on other nights. I did have to work at it, though. We've not met that budget since..partly 'cause I don't want to work at it that hard and partly because we've realized the types of places we like. It also depends on what part of the country you're in. We traveled the northeast this summer and knew we'd be paying more. I'm avoiding looking at the total. I know it's not going to be pretty.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:13 PM   #52
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For the Annual Pass for the 'younger' population, see the above link supplied by 'docj'. It gives all the information you'd want to know.
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