Better defined as "most Americans' favorite part of the country,” Southwest America is a land of scenic beauty, deserts, red sandstones, sweeping landscapes, and great people. A Southwest America road trip is a remarkable experience that takes you to some of the most iconic destinations of the United States.
From the stunning vistas of the Grand Canyon to the thrilling hiking trails in Zion National Park, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, and the renowned Route 66, we're talking, long straight roads disappearing over the horizon, nostalgic sun-filled cities, humble roadside diners, and quirky motels. For these reasons, a classic Southwest America road trip still tops the bucket lists of many travellers. If you're planning on hitting the road, here are some tips that will help you through your perfect itinerary for a memorable road trip and get you the most out of your Southwest America road trip.
Book your accommodations in advance
Being the spiritual home of the road trips, Southwest America, can easily get really busy, especially over the weekends. In some places it's quite easy to arrive at a town and find a room to stay for the night, but most of the time there's a high chance of you either pouring your money down a drain on expensive rooms or not finding a place to stay at all. Book your accommodation ahead of time in order to prevent any struggles or mishaps during your itinerary. But in case you are unsure of the places you wish to visit and don't want to risk booking everything in advance, it’s still worth checking the prices and availability before you go, just to get an idea.
Stock up extra water & food
Dehydration is a serious potential problem, so it's crucial to make sure you have tons of water bottles with you.Also, a travel-size cooler (can be easily picked up from a local Target or Walmart for $15) makes for a great travel partner on your road trip. Stock your cooler with drinks, water, snacks, and even travel lunch boxes. Along your journey, you can stop at supermarkets and restock anytime you find one along the way.
If you buy a reusable freezer block, most hotels have fridges with freezer compartments where you can refreeze them every time to reach a destination. This way you'd never run out of food or drinks on a dusty highway.
Have a reliable vehicle
No road trip is complete without an efficient vehicle. You need to have the mileage and maintenance for a seamless trip in the American Southwest. Take your car for a routine checkup, and go the extra mile to ensure you’re covered on the road. For example, if you had an A7 model, you might want to look into an insurtech company like olive for flexible Audi extended warranties (learn more here: https://gogetolive.com/extended-car-warranty/audi/).
Don’t rely on the GPS
GPS is a great help in big cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix but outside that, GPS will guide you through the quickest route which might not necessarily be the most interesting one. In this case, it's best to take help from guide books and blogs that'll direct you to the most scenic and enjoyable routes!
Another great decision would be to not depend on the time shown by the GPS, even though it's correct most of the time, GPS still tends to neglect a couple of snags like roadworks or thunderstorms. So always keep extra time in hand while planning the trip so that you don't miss out any destination. Furthermore, you should keep a physical map on hand in case you have trouble with service and technology.
Visit the amazing Zion National Park
The striking, colorful landscape at the Zion National Park in Utah, is what makes it a must-visit destination of your road trip. Private cars aren't allowed at Zion so for the best experience, arrive early, and take the Zion National Park shuttle. Also, if you're on an American Southwest road trip, your road trip itinerary obviously has you visiting 5 or 6 national parks, all of which charge a per-car entrance fee. Buying a National Parks Pass when you arrive at Zion, might help you save up quite some bills. This pass costs $80 will save you at least $55 on this road trip alone.
Mix it up
The amazing thing about road trips is that there's so much to do while you're at it, but sometimes you can overdo things and end up spending most of your time in the car itself. Try to limit the driving days and prioritize visiting the destinations more.
The American Southwest is all about the stunning scenic beauty, but after days of nothing but National Parks and scenic drives you can get a bit blasé about yet more beautiful scenery, so it’s fun to mix up your itinerary a bit and try interesting stuff like volunteering at some animal sanctuary, going wine tasting in Arizona and visiting quirky attractions like the museum of old Western film sets.