Image courtesy: NASA

On August 21 across the United States, the total solar eclipse is expected to wow crowds of onlookers from Oregon to South Carolina. Smart family travelers know this is likely they only time in their lives that they’ll see a total blackout caused by the moon’s shadow upon the earth. The path of totality (where the sun will render complete darkness for 2-3 minutes depending on your location) stretches for 70 miles north to south. My town here in Oregon is in the path and therefore we’re ground zero for 1 million people that officials say will be coming to witness the total eclipse.

Whether you’re watching the eclipse from Oregon, Colorado, Kansas City or South Carolina – let’s run through some keys to be prepared, safe and smart this August 21.

NASA Eclipse Plane

1. Get a spot!

Do you know where you’d like to watch the eclipse? NASA will help you plan with their informative website. Whether you’re going to visit family, camp or get a hotel – our advice to you is to make plans NOW. Here in Oregon, all hotels and campgrounds are booked solid, so most now your main hope is asking a family member to stay at their house or maybe camp in their back yard. 🙂

2. Expect a huge crowd

Once you figure out where you’re going for the Great American Eclipse, it’s time to get prepared. Have cash along with food and fuel stocked already. With millions of people converging on a finite stretch of the US, resources in those places will be strained for days before and after August 21. Here in Oregon, the government authorities held an Ask Me Anything and gave fantastic information for travelers to our area. From the AMA: plan to be in huge traffic tie-ups along the path of totality and be prepared.

3. Equip yourself

The eclipse is NOT safe to look at with the naked eye. Therefore, it’s important to get Eclipse Glasses ahead of time. Amazon is your best bet – I bought a 10-pack for $12. Just be sure that the pair you get have the certifications necessary as there are fake and counterfeit glasses on the electronic retailer. The glasses I bought are CE and ISO certified.

P.S. Have fun!

It’s important that your family knows what an eclipse is, so learn up before August 21.

Also, to enjoy the eclipse, be sure to make it fun! Plan to meet your family or neighborhood friends and have an eclipse party! Take photos during the event and take in the moment!

What are you doing to get ready for the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017?

Photo credit: NASA