WEATHER: The weather in the Southwest can be dramatic and unpredictable. You’ll always want to pack sunscreen, bug spray, and an umbrella or rain jacket. Because the temperature here can vary greatly from day to night, you’ll also want to have an extra sweater or jacket on hand, just in case.
OUTDOORS: If you’re planning to spend a lot of time outdoors, which you should when visiting this beautiful area, make sure to take closed-toed shoes, lots of snacks and maps, as cell phone and GPS reception can be spotty. You’ll also want to check with the individual states to see if they offer a state parks pass. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
AIRFARES: Don’t forget to consider discount airlines such as Southwest and AirTran when booking flights in the Southwest. They often offer the cheapest, most reliable transportation to the area. And be sure to look for new and last-minute deals on Tuesday afternoons, which is when most airlines announce their discounted flights each week.
HOTELS: Try to be flexible when booking your hotels. If you’re set on a particular hotel, try to go on less popular nights (between Sunday and Thursday), when rates are considerably lower. If you don’t care where you stay, try discount websites such as Priceline.com, Kayak.com or Hotwire.com for great deals. Remember, the more flexibility you have, the better deal you’re going to get.