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1) Arizona Seasonal Travel Values
If you're looking to get a good deal on your Arizona travel, book your reservations during the "low" season. The low season will vary depending upon which part of the state you will be visiting. For Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson, the best Arizona travel deals are during the summer. For Sedona, the cheapest rates are in January and February. If you are going to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, October through April will get you the lowest room rates.
2) What to Wear
The dress code in Arizona is ultra-casual, a left over from its cowboy heyday. What you pack for your Arizona travel will depend on where you're going and the time of year. Visiting in August? You will only need a pair of pants if you plan to attend the theater or eat at a high end restaurant. Staying in Flagstaff in May? Bring a coat and pants and shorts too as the days can warm up.
3) Time Zone
During your Arizona travel, you'll probably be phoning home. Keep in mind that Arizona is only one of two states that does not observe daylight savings time. The exception to this is the Navajo Nation, which covers portions of four western states - Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. For them, ignoring daylight savings would be too confusing. For the rest of Arizona, it's Mountain Standard Time all year.
4) Sun Protection
Arizona boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year. While that makes for a great climate, it means that you will need to think about sun protection during your Arizona travel. Be sure to bring a good pair of sunglasses with both UVA and UVB blocking, a wide-brimmed hat and a sunscreen with at least SPF30. Be sure to reapply the sunscreen as recommended by the bottle's directions.
5) Summer Monsoon Storms
If you travel to Arizona in the summer, you need to be prepared for summer monsoon storms. These storms generally begin in mid-July and run through mid-September when air currents shift and tropical moisture flows up from Mexico.
Storms tend to be localized and can be intense with brief but fierce downpours, high winds and thunder and lightening. If you are caught in a monsoon storm while driving, pull over safely and wait for it to pass. Never cross flooded roads or washes. Your vehicle may stall or can be swept away in only 6 inches of water.
Avoid downed power lines. If there is lightening, determine how many miles the storm is from you by dividing the number of seconds between the flash and the sound of thunder by 5. Is it 10 miles or less? Get indoors immediately. Caught outside? Find the lowest spot possible and crouch down with your feet together, eyes closed and hands covering ears.
6) Traveling on Tribal Lands
There are 22 Native American reservations in Arizona. Each is a sovereign nation with its own laws, rules and law enforcement. The tribes welcome visitors and offer numerous recreational and cultural attractions. However, they also value their privacy and lifeways. Remember to obey all posted speed limits and restricted access signs. Some tribes also have restrictions on photography, videography, sketching and note taking on their lands and/or during religious ceremonies. When in doubt, ask before snapping that photo and remember to respect people's privacy and private property.
One of the most common questions I hear from first time Arizona travelers is about animals; specifically rattlesnakes, scorpions, tarantulas, Gila monsters and the like. People are naturally frightened of these animals but there is no need to be. Most Arizona travelers will not see these animals. But if you do, there are a few common sense precautions that will help keep you and the wildlife safe:
1) Pay attention to where you are and keep your eyes and ear open.
2) Watch where you put your hands and feet.
3) Do not ever try to pick up the animal - this is how most people get bit or stung.
4) If you happen upon a rattlesnake, back away slowly, giving it plenty of room. Rattlesnakes don't want a confrontation...that's why they have a rattle, to warn potential predators.
Paula Hartgraves has avoided flooded washes, almost been hit by lightening and successfully captured rattlesnakes (a required duty for one of her Arizona jobs!). To read more of her Arizona travel tips, visit: www.arizona-vacation-planner.com
When planning their Arizona travel, most vacationers focus on where to stay and what to do once they get there. Savvy travelers, however, know that Arizona travel offers some unique considerations that require forethought and advance planning.
Keep these Arizona travel tips in mind during your preparation and packing and you're sure to have a fun and memorable trip.
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