Calling on the Wild
By Jason Jourdan
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are now more than 4,000 national parks around the globe. Weighing factors like accessibility, an abundance of wildlife, camping opportunities, and breathtaking natural landmarks, U.S. Travel News has compiled a list of the 20 best national parks in the world.
The United States is home to many of the top-ranked parks. Even with the pandemic-related challenges of 2020, the U.S. National Park Service still recorded over 237 million visits to its parks. It can be tough for those already wearing a Yellowstone or Grand Canyon t-shirt to choose which natural wonders to visit next.
There are hundreds of spectacular international parks to consider, from the Rishiri Rebun Sarobetsu in Japan to the Mana Pools of Zimbabwe; national parks offer tourists a refuge from the technology-driven shrill of modern life. These preserved natural sanctuaries invite guests to immerse themselves in the indigenous flora and fauna and experience the tranquility of the most pristine regions on the planet. Travel + Leisure highlights 11 of the most incredible international parks when exploring possible destinations for a nature excursion abroad.
Killarney National Park, Ireland
The Galapagos National Park, Galapagos Islands
The Azores, Portugal
The Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
In addition to positively impacting local economies, Mental Floss cited a list of reason why tourists should visit national parks:
- Mental & Physical Health
Another benefit to national parks is the positive impact on the environment and a nation’s sustainability practices. The government of Norway recently signaled preservation commitments and is hoping planned expansions to its nationally recognized lands will also aid in combating climate change. The Scandinavian country announced it would create ten new national parks by adding four entirely new parklands and upgrading six landscape conservation areas to national parks. Norway also plans to expand eight already existing national parks.
Not every park is the same as each preserve has its codes of conduct, access to sights, and rules regarding protected animal species. International adventures require advanced planning. It’s essential to prepare before visiting a natural attraction. Luckily, Popular Science has compiled a guide for pregaming a park trip, including:
- Plan for multiple days to explore
- Check vehicle restrictions if driving an R.V.
- Review the park map and mark destinations
- Always bring snacks and water
National parks come equipped with their own set of unexpected circumstances. Planning is key. In addition to expert-rated footwear and trail mix, it's a good idea to include the peace of mind coverage of Point Comfort® Travel Insurance. An insurance policy cannot account for every risk associated with international travel, but it can provide tailored policies for individual itineraries and activities. International Park tourists will want the simple, fast, and secure coverage of Point Comfort® Travel in their rucksack:
· COVID-19 Medical Expense Coverage up to the Policy Maximum
· Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
· Emergency Medical Reunion
· Return of Minor Child
· Emergency Traveler Assistance
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