Driving through the Desert

desert driving vacation tips

Tips to Reach Your Desert Vacation Villa Safely 

You've had it with the beach and you've had it with skiing, and now you want something different - a total change in scenery. Whether you're just passing through on your way to a Vegas rental home, or you're planning to spend your time relaxing in a Sedona desert vacation villa, visiting the desert is a great way to see a part of the world that's like none other.

So what sort of things should you expect? You may know that deserts can be blazing hot during the day and absolutely freezing at night. What you may not know is what to do about it. Although it's recommended that you prepare an emergency kit no matter where you travel, it's crucial that you think seriously about going into the desert. What starts out as a simple pass through could easily become dangerous or even deadly if you aren't prepared. Before you head out, make sure that you've done everything you need to do.

Prepare for Heat

You need a good, cold, working air conditioner if you want to be comfortable. If you don't take heat well, like if you have a past history of trouble with extreme heat, reconsider whether or not you really should be driving through the desert. Temperatures can be as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit! Even inside a car with the AC on full blast, you could still become dangerously uncomfortable. Those who are particularly susceptible to heatstroke, such as the very young and the elderly, might not want to drive through the desert for safety's sake.

Bring an Emergency Kit

Water! Water! Water! Fill a cooler in your trunk and/or your back seat with bottled water. Try to keep it cool, because water that's been heated in the desert sun could burn you - if you don't have a cooler, put your water somewhere shaded in your car. Bring at least two or three gallons a person, just in case your car breaks down and you need to survive in the desert for a few days. It never hurts to be prepared, and water doesn't go bad. Also, pack blankets and warm clothing in case you wind up stuck in the desert overnight, when it can get astonishingly cold. Bring enough food to tide you over - you can always eat it later on your trip.

Car Maintenance

desert vacation travel tipsMake sure your oil is changed, your gas tank is full, and your coolant levels are normal. It's a good idea to get a regular check-up for your car before traveling into the desert, since the desert is one of the last places you want to wind up stuck on the side of the road because something broke. Drive slower than usual and keep an eye on your temperature gauge the whole time you're on the road; bring extra water for your radiator in case the heat's too much for your car. Also, fill up with gas every opportunity you get. It never hurts to be prepared. Know how to change your tires and bring a spare.

Don't Leave the Road

Chances are you'll be fine if you stick to the highway; if something goes wrong or you need to pull over, you'll be able to find gas stations and oases of civilization in the sands. But whatever you do, don't go off on back roads or off-road unless you're sure where you're going. It's easy to get lost in a desert, and once you're lost, you'll have a hard time finding your way back - all the while lost in a harsh and unforgiving climate. If you must take a detour, consider buying or renting a GPS system so that you can help rescuers find you if necessary and so you can find your way more easily off and on the road.

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