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Last summer when I took the kids on our epic road/camping trip to Colorado, we happened on these fun little passports at our stop at Capulin Volcano National Monument. They were sitting next to a stamp and stamp pad you could use in the passport to memorialize your trip to the national monument. We were at the beginning of our road trip, with several national parks left on our docket, and I knew these would be the perfect souvenir–both affordable for our crew (I treated myself to one, too) and a commemoration of our explorations beyond just this trip.

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national-park-passport-map

The basic idea of the passport is that you bring it with you and get it stamped (they call them cancellations) at each national park service unit (which include natural areas, historic sites, national monuments, and a number of other sites  besides national parks). The passport includes a pullout map with all of the different places you can visit, which is fun when you’re planning a trip, too. The passport cover is water-resistant, and there’s a plastic sleeve inside to protect your map. And if you happen to forget your passport? There are always little sheets of blank paper that you can stamp and put in your passport after your visit.

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Some of my favorite additions to our passports are the Capulin Volcano National Monument (New Mexico), Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (Colorado), and Amistad National Recreation Area (Texas). Many of the places are free or low-cost to visit. I’m nerdy excited to add more places to my passport, and it’s a fun way to get the kids excited about seeing the national sites and discover new gems myself. This will be a souvenir we hold onto for the rest of our lives.

Ready to get your national park passport? You can usually find them at any of the national site visitor centers, but you can also order them online through their website and on Amazon.There’s also a national park passport app. I haven’t used it much myself, but I would use it as a compliment to your physical passport–I’m a bit partial to physical pages in my hand! And passport proceeds help support America’s national parks, so it’s a win-win for everyone.