How I Scored Permits to Havasupai This Year!

Before I write this, I have an admission to make…

I had never heard of Havasupai before this year.

I KNOW, I KNOW.

How can I call myself a travel aficionado (I don’t) and not know what this majestic place is!?

For those who are as uninformed as I was, Havasupai Indian Reservation is considered one of the most remote Indian reservations in the good ol’ USA.

Actually, it’s THE most remote village in the lower 48.

In fact, folks who LIVE in this village still get their mail delivered by MULE.

Did I mention this reservation is tucked away IN the Grand Canyon and the only way to get there is to traverse 20+ miles RT on foot? (I mean, okay, yes you can helicopter in but WHAT FUN IS THAT!?!)

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And did I mention that you need a PERMIT to even attempt the hike there?

It’s apparently a BIG DEAL and there are folks who have been trying for YEARS to score permits. They go on sale just one day a year: Feb. 1

I came to find out about this magical place through a fellow couchsurfer I met while in Montana. Remember Montana? And my undying adoration for it? Anyways…

I kept in touch with this fella and he reached out to me at the end of January asking if I’d ever heard of Havasupai. I immediately Googled it and was like, holy bananas, HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS WONDERLAND!?

Fast forward to a few days later, Feb. 1st. Everyone and their mothers are visiting this website to try for one of these coveted permits.

Pro Tip: You have to make an account to even attempt to get a permit, so make one IN ADVANCE! Then, as soon as the window opens, you’ll be logged in and ready to go!

I was logged in half an hour before the window even opened to start buying…once 10AM (EST) came around, I was click-click-clicking away!

By 10:51AM, I had gotten through to the calendar page – where you pick out the dates you want (it’s a set parameter of 4 days/3 nights, no exceptions) – THREE times but the site kept crashing on me.

At 11:03AM, IT WORKED!

I had gotten through and I had the confirmation email to PROVE IT!

Beginner’s luck! It took me over an hour but I was persistent.

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I also kept trolling Twitter with the #Havasupai tag to see how others were making out. I saw a lot of folks having trouble but there were also some beacons of light who encouraged folks to keep clicking through — and that’s exactly what I did!

I also kept refreshing my browser, which I think many folks were afraid to do…fearing they’d ‘lose their place’ — but those were the people who ended up with no permits at all.

Keep in mind this is not a FREE trip. The below info is straight from the website:

ALL campground reservations are 3 Nights / 4 Days.

$100 per person per weekday night
$125 per person per weekend night (Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights)

These prices include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes.

This means that a 3 Night / 4 Day stay will be a total of between $300 and $375 per person (depending upon how many weekend nights are included).

I’ve been told that the prices have gone up significantly (again, I had no idea because I’d never even heard of this, whoopsie!), but I figured it was a solid investment for memories that’d surely last a lifetime.

So, when am I going?! THREE WEEKS FROM TODAY!!!

April 28 – May 2

Fun Fact: This will be my FIRST time legit camping in a tent outside.
It’ll also be the most challenging hike I’ve ever done. Eek!

Stay tuned for my packing list and TONS of photos.

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Traveling Solo but not Alone

Traveling Solo but not Alone

Well it’s been over two weeks since I embarked on my adventure to the West Coast and I’ve already seen so many cool things and met incredible people along the way. As much as I adore NYC and all of my friends back there (seriously, I miss you guyssss), I have this immense fear of getting stuck in a rut and routine…turning 80 and regretting allllll the things I didn’t do.

IMG_3416I used to dream of having some super important job with a fancy title and corner office somewhere in Manhattan; a job that would allow me to afford a penthouse overlooking Central Park and a personal driver. While all that sounds pretty sweet, it’s definitely not everything, or really anything, life should be. People are so focused on gaining material items based on what society deems as worthy and in style. It’s literally absurd when you think about it. Whenever I go to buy something now I think to myself, do I really need this? or shall I spend this money on a bus/train/plane ticket somewhere? 

At the end of your life will you really remember all the clothes/electronics/shoes you bought or the adventures you went on and the people you met? You can totally have both, but our society’s priorities are so screwed up! It’s OK to be different and not follow the norms of what others think life should be. 

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Met all these lovely folks in Seattle!

When I was in Seattle, I met two awesome guys who literally sold everything back home and took a train across the country on a whim. With no jobs or apartment lined up, they managed to secure a place and some interviews in the time I was there (which was like three days). How awesome is that!?

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”

Through this adventure I’ve met people from all over the world and have experienced so much generosity and kindness along the way from total strangers. It’s incredible. Like right now, I’m sitting in a room with four people I met in Seattle who invited me along on their Canadian adventure from Vancouver to Whistler. I DIDN’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE TWO WEEKS AGO! Thanks to Michelle, TJ, Alan and Trevor for letting me explore a bit more of the world with them!

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On our way to Whistler from Vancouver! We were super stuffed in there…I literally couldn’t move my head. Good times!

Traveling solo is a truly insane, invigorating thing and I’m loving every minute that I’m not sitting in an office wasting away.

In just two weeks time I’ve seen the Golden Gate Bridge, had my first In-N-Out burger (can we please get these in NY?!), stayed in hostels for the first time and met so, so many cool people, saw the Space Needle (which is not nearly as tall as you’d think), rode a bike for the first time in YEARS in Portland (thanks for being so patient, Kayla! haha), ate a ton of Voodoo doughnuts which I subsequently worked off on the steepest hike of my life in Canada and zip-lined for the first time in Whistler!

Booking a one way ticket across the country has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s so refreshing to meet so many other travelers who have that same desire to see the world and continue learning with each new venture.

I would encourage everyone to take a leap of faith and if you’re itching to go somewhere, GO! You’ll only regret the things you didn’t do.

Happy Travels!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie