As you start making your summer vacation travel plans, yes, trust me, warmer weather will eventually arrive, I know it seems like an impossibility right now, but sooner or later, summer will show up. When it does, two of South Dakota's popular summer vacation stops will no longer be accepting cash.

Both of South Dakota's west river national parks have made the decision to go cashless.

Dakota News Now is reporting that Badlands National Park has decided to join Wind Cave National Park in transitioning to a cashless operating system.

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Wind Cave Park took the cashless route last year and now claims it actually helped them better manage the revenue generated from cave tours, camping, and pass sales. Badlands National Park has decided to follow suit as of March 1, 2023.

According to Dakota News Now, the switch to a cashless system will allow park staff to focus less on having to manage cash, while also increasing the revenue available for critical park projects.

One would think that ditching cash currency in favor of electronic forms of payment might deter people from wanting to attend both parks, but, as Dakota News Now reports, stats from National Park Services say something different.

In 2022 Wind Cave's visitors were just over 600,000 people, which remained steady with previous years. While Devils Tower in Wyoming, which made a move to a cashless system two years ago saw 480,000 visitors in 2022, that figure also remained steady from the previous year's tourism numbers.

So as you prepare to pack up your family's version of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and hit the holiday road this summer vacation season, don't forget to have your debit or credit card handy as you pull up to a west river national park. You are gonna need them.

And if you're really a planner and want to purchase entrance passes right now, you can by visiting recreation.gov.

Source: Dakota News Now

LOOK: 10 Reasons to Visit the South Dakota Badlands

Returning from a weekend trip to Rapid City, South Dakota for state basketball tournaments we decided to visit the Badlands National Park.

A quick turn-off I-90 will take you into some of the most awe-inspiring scenery.

It's also fun to note that several big-screen movies were filmed in the Badlands. Dances With Wolves, Starship Troopers, Armageddon, and most recently, Academy Award winner, Nomadland.

It's a spectacular park with tons to do. If you're setting out on a hike, bring lots of water and sign the hikers' logs at the trailheads. It could save your life. It's a tough place to survive.

Here are 10 facts about the Badlands:

11 Things You’ll Only Understand After Living in South Dakota

From soda to pop to sloppy Joes, different parts of of the country have their own local quirks and language. Simple phrases can have totally different means, local events may seem weird, and food may go by a unique name.

If you're new to South Dakota here is a sort of translation guide for some odd things you may see or hear.

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