What to Pack for a 12 Day Southwestern Bus Tour
The Southwestern United States is one of the most beautiful regions of the country and a perfect place to explore on a comprehensive bus tour. As you prepare for your 12 day bus tour, look over the itinerary to see what sorts of activities and attractions are planned. Some bus tours will require you to leave the bus very rarely, while other tours may include hiking options, city tours or other planned activities off of the bus. In addition to basic necessities such as toiletries and clothes, pack weather appropriate gear and accessories.
Many bus tours focus on the myriad national parks of the Southwest such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Canyonlands National Park in Utah and Big Bend National Park in Southwestern Texas. Look over your itinerary and see how much time you will spend in parks and whether you will hike in the park. If your tour includes hiking options make sure to pack hiking boots, hiking shorts or pants and a hat/visor. Summers in the Southwest get quite hot depending on your location since much of the region is desert (from 80 to 90 F in the high desert to the 100′s in the low desert). Thus, even if you don’t plan to hike, you must bring short sleeved shirts and shorts for the time you are off the bus. In addition, bring warmer clothes for the evenings. Desert temperatures may drop dramatically. For instance, summer nights in Capitol Reef National Park get as low as the high 40′s.
If your tour takes place in the winter, bring long sleeved shirts and sweaters. Many southwestern cities get quite cold and you may need a heavy jacket, gloves, winter hat and scarf. While Phoenix only drops to the 40′s and 50′s (Fahrenheit) in the winter, Albuquerque’s winter lows are in the high 20′s and low 30′s and the ski town of Taos may drop into the teens.
No matter what you do off the bus, a bus tour will ensure that you spend lots of a time on the bus. Thus, pack plenty of loose fitting, comfortable clothing for any driving heavy days.
If your bus tour includes hiking in national parks, monuments or forests you may want to bring hiking poles. More importantly, you will need to drink a gallon of water a day in the summer months while hiking. Consider a Camelbak or another hydration backpack. If your tour will take you through any forested regions, pack bug spray or cream. Regardless of the season, the southwest is a rather sunny region of the country. Bring plenty of sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses. For city tours, pack a pair of walking shoes as well.
Winter bus tours may include stops at some of the ski resorts in the Southwest. If you have ski boots, skis/snowboards and poles,
print cards against humanity, inquire about whether you may bring them on the bus. Remember to bring sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from the sun’s reflection off the snow.
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