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5 Tips for Road Trip through the Desert

When planning a road trip through the desert, you should plan how to deal with the high temperatures, limited shade, poor terrain, and the undying thirst for water. 

Before you embark on the long trip or you wonder what is useful for driving in desert, pack enough supplies to last you through the journey. You should also service your car to check the fluids, test the lights, align the tires, and replace the air filter, among other maintenance needs. 

Without proper planning, the harsh temperatures and poor roads can take a toll on you and your vehicle while driving in desert. The last thing you expect is to get stranded in the middle of the desert without any supplies.

Here are a few tips to help you have a smooth desert road trip with families:


Carry an Ice Chest

The high desert temperatures will make it hard to keep the ice cold and your food supplies fresh while travelling through the desert. An ice chest is a handy solution to preserve the ice and prevent your food from getting soggy. 

If you are going on a long desert trip that will last a week or more, you should plan to have a durable ice chest. Pick an ice chest that will keep the food fresh for a long-time, preferably one with a large holding capacity. Since metal ice chests retain heat longer, plastic ice chests are a better option.


Emergency Supplies

You may not be able to avoid certain emergencies, so it is better to plan and pack some emergency supplies. These supplies include spare batteries, GPS/maps, chargers, flashlights, and cell phones.

You should also take car maintenance tools like a jack, spare tires, tire gauge, jumper cables, oil, funnel, and gas can. Additionally, pack personal items like water, first aid kit, money, matches, snacks, canned supplies, and emergency reflector triangle.


Proper Equipment

You will need proper equipment for your desert road trip adventure. 

Make sure your packing list includes proper clothing (windbreaker, brimmed hat, cotton scarf, fleece, warm gloves and hat, and white/reflective clothes), sleeping bag, sunglasses, compass, sunscreen, lip balm, microfiber towel, and hand sanitizer.

Medication is also important, so your medical kits should contain essential items such as insect repellents, painkillers, tweezers, and anti-diarrhea medicine. Make sure your vehicle is in proper condition while routing towards desert.


Service the Car

You should take your car to the best car service center for regular maintenance ahead of your desert road trip. 

Some of the maintenance checks to be done may include changing the oil, checking the fluid levels, replacing engine air filter, replacing burnt lights, replacing windscreen wipers, as well as tire balancing and alignment. 

When driving in the desert, it is best to limit your driving speed to about 250 miles a day even if the car is in exceptional shape. Doing so ensures you do not get exhausted from driving in the harsh terrain. 


Check the Weather

It is essential to monitor weather reports and watch out for harsh weather conditions like winter, dust storms, rainstorms, and flash floods. Adverse weather conditions make the road difficult to navigate and may limit your visibility when driving.  


Bottom line

Driving through the desert can be a dangerous experience, especially when you are not prepared for the trip. Before embarking on the desert road trip, ensure you have a quality car, pack enough food and emergency supplies that you will need during the expedition. Also, ensure that your car is properly serviced and ready for the rough desert terrain. 


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Best Road Trips in Arizona

While the Grand Canyon is probably the first thing that will cross your mind when you think of trip in Arizona, the Copper State has a lot more to offer. It is an outdoor state with many fantastic opportunities like kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, skiing, and canoeing. With your car and essential supplies, you can explore the lakes, desert, national monuments and parks, wildlife, and forests. There are myriad options for Arizona road trips. 

Here are the best road trips you should take in Arizona:

Ghost Town Road Trip

The 19th Century mining boom brought about the rise of many towns. However, the rapid growth was halted abruptly due to the depletion of precious metals. Many residents moved on, giving rise to ghost towns which make a great adventure in Arizona.

Some popular destinations include Tombstone and Bisbee. However, for a truly unforgettable adventure of Arizona, explore the ghost towns that are entirely unoccupied and located off the beaten paths.

The Petrified Forest Road Trip

The Petrified Forest is renowned for fossils especially fossilized trees and some reptiles and plants. This forest is one of the top destinations in Arizona that you should add to your bucketlist. You can explore the entire forest in a day because it is a small park.

To get there, you will spend three hours coming from Prescott and one-and-half hours from Flagstaff. There are numerous hiking trails. Be ready to have some fun but be respectful and do not interfere with the fossils or remove ANYTHING. 

The Painted Desert runs through the park. It is a badlands area that resembles South Dakota’s Badlands National Park. It is an excellent location to stop by for a short backcountry hike and take photographs which make your road trip more interesting.

Natural Wonders Road Trip 

Craving to see Arizona’s natural beauty? Take a ride through Nothern Arizona to feast your eyes on some of the most stunning landscapes you will ever see. Start your trip by going to Red Rock State Park to Sedona’s red rocks, see Oak Creek, and take a short hike.

The next stop is the Lava River cave for some beautiful views. Make sure you bring a light source and a jacket. The famous Grand Canyon is a must-see on this road trip. You can decide to stick to the popularly explored locations or opt for less-traveled areas.

The others locations include Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Meteor Crater, Tonto Natural Bridge, Petrified Forest, and Canyon de Chelly. It may be your best family road trip in Arizona.

You can make a road trip in Arizona a weekend endeavor to fully enjoy the state. However, a day trip can also offer great satisfaction if you can’t spare a couple of days. 

Route 66 Road Trip

An Arizona road trip will not be complete without experiencing the incredible Route 66. The route crosses through eight states spanning over 2400 miles beginning in Chicago and ending in Pacific Coast, Santa Monica. 

This road will take you from across Arizona. You can drive further to Santa Monica pier to complete a remarkable trip even better.

You will come across mountains, desert, small towns, large cities, and farmlands during your trip. There are also numerous roadside gas stations, cafes, tourist attractions, and motels along this road which will make this road trip in Arizona more special.

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