Guide to the WestPart of the

Travel Checklists

Why traveling in America is great:

  • Not a single retailer will try to overcharge you 500% more than they charge natives.
  • You can shop anywhere you want and nobody will follow you around shoving merchandise in your face.
  • All prices are listed and that’s what you pay (plus local sales tax of about 7%)
  • There are not foreigners fees, no visa fees, no entry and exit fees to the USA.
  • Unless you live in the Middle East – Gas is relatively cheap. 🙂
  • You can travel freely between states, no checkpoints, no papers, you do need a valid drivers licence, and obey the traffic rules.
  • Internet Wifi is free, unlimited and plentiful and pretty much every hotel and restaurant.
  • Drivers are mostly polite and friendly
  • The people are happy and helpful

NOTE: The Navajo Nation is NOT America.  Here you may find people trying to rip you off and lie to you almost every chance they can get. It’s like going to a 3rd world nation, so just beware.


Travel Checklist:

  1. Decide what you want to see 
  2.  Pick your starting point and build your itinerary
  3.  Get your permits, if necessary (The Wave, Waterholes)
  4.  Book your hotels or camp sites and car rental. If camp sites are first come first serve you NEED to have a black up plan. There is not one trip in which I didn’t need to have a backup camping plan.
  5. Check the weather (Current and historical weather is on each page here)
  6. Load your GPS up with all your
  7. Add my google Maps to your bookmarks.


Car+Hotel Checklist
Car+Camping Checklist

Photographers Checklist


Most of the time this Dessert area is sunny, rarely does it rain, and in southern Utah, it sometimes it snows in the winter.

The following are off-road, but I’ve done it in a front wheel drive Honda Accord with no problems under dry summer conditions:

Valley of the Gods (Utah)

Chaco Canyon (New Mexico)

Zebra Canyon (Utah)

End Part of Capital Reef

If you are planning to do any of the following, I would suggest a renting a Subaru or another High Clearance Vehicle :

Monument Valley Loop

Cottonwood Canyon Road

Canyonlands Loop (Permit Required)



Photographers Checklist


Before you go you may want to check these:

-Is an $80 National Park Pass a good deal for you? Entrance into these parks can be $25 per car. If you are heading to Utah alone (5 parks) this will be a good deal. If you are going on the Red Loop, it’s a must!

-At Each National Park, they have a “Passport Stamp” some people like to buy a book that they sell at the park, or Stamp their own Passport.

Photographers Checklist:

It will be almost impossible for you to look like a bad photographer when taking pictures in these beautiful parks. Make sure you get a good camera.

-Check the Sunrise, Sunset, Moonrise & Moonset times; plan accordingly. Even if the moon rise time is at noon, you may just take a note of it, because wherever you are, you may get a really striking photo as it comes up across the horizon.

-Change your Camera’s clock the time zone in your destination. This just helps if you are coming from the other side of the world to remind you when you took the pictures, local time.

You may want to take pictures of the SIGNS of where you are going before you get there. It makes it easier when you get home, and can title frames

If you have a little point and shoot Canon camera, check out CHDK to make some nice HDR photos


Car/Hotel Checklist

-Make sure you have a cooler or unit with a fridge to refreeze yoru water.



Car/Camping Checklist

-Trim your finger and toe nails before you go or bring clippers. Nothing is worse than a hangnail in tents and sleeping bags.

-Bring earplugs

-Bring a fun book on audio. Make travel awesome.

-Bring a GPS and load all the stops



Movies to Bring & Watch:

Cowboys & Aliens


Mail Stopped
Clip Finger and Toe nails
Bring addresses or Labels for Post Cards
Post Card Stamps

3. Little Glass Vials for Sand
4. Binoculars & Tripod
5. Mini-Tri-pod
6. Cameras & Batteries & AC Adapter, UPS, Intervolometer
7. Water & Thermos
11. Ipod Fill up/Mp3 headphones
12. ear Plugs
13. Hand Warmers
14. Debit Card and Capital One Card for international trips
15. Lip Gloss
16. Moon & Sun Rise & SEt Times
17. International Drivers Licence
18. Hot SALT
19. Jawbone and charger
20. Solar panel charger
21. Picture flushing device
22. Air mattress, sleeping bags, pillows
-GPS Maps, External Antenna, LAN cable for internet etc, HDMI cable.

Road Trips:

Printed Directions
Pre-treat Windows
Snow Chains & Tow Rope, shovel.
Treat & Clean Windows
Check seasonal roads!!!



Winter Specific:

Hand Warmers
Long underwear
Ear Muff 180s
Summer Specific:

Aloe Vera

Camping: bug spray?