New Mexico & Southwest Cultural and Sustainable Tours ‘Travel Information & Recommendations’
• Seven Directions provides water and snacks on all tours. Please note distances between towns and sites throughout the Southwest can sometimes be great and bathroom breaks are thus warranted
• Baggage. Please limit luggage to one suitcase and one carryon item.
• Sun protection. Lotions and creams are important preventive skin assets throughout the Southwest. Here the sun rules with authority and the air is usually dry, the temperature tepid, and sometimes hot. Hats, scarves, and dark glasses are recommended.
• Healthcare. Bring along your medicines or doctor’s prescriptions. If one doesn't have health insurance that’s accepted in the United States, expenses can be very high for making a doctor’s appointment or urgent care. A specific insurance for healthcare and emergency medical evacuation is highly recommended.
• Credit cards. These are accepted in most places. Visa and MasterCard are the most popular. ATM machines for cash withdrawal are common. Travelers from abroad are limited to U.S. cash, checks, or travelers’ checks under $10,000.00 USD.
• Phones. Calls made to places outside the United States require dialing the international code of said country. Calls placed within the United States require dialing “1” then the area code and number. Cell phones registered in other countries requires an international setup. Telephone calling cards, both in-country and international, are also cheap and reliable.
• Photos. Cameras or video cameras function reliably in most places. Please note: photos by any means cannot be taken on Native American Reservations and their people unless a special fee is paid or permission requested. For more information about this special clause please consult the guide and/or Seven Directions.
• Food. The Southwest offers a wide variety of cuisine. Generally, Mexican food can be hot and highly seasoned. Otherwise, food selection runs the gambit of mild to spicy. However, gourmet food menus are limited to select cities and towns, and sometimes National Parks.
• Beverages. A decent selection of fine wines from around the world is usually available in most towns and cities (though alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all Indian reservations). Beers from national and local breweries, as well as some international brands, are also readily available. Tap water is safe to drink, but Italian, French and Canadian bottled waters are popular. Regional bottled water is also available in abundance.
• Driver’s license. To rent a car, most national driving licenses are accepted.
• Adapter. Please be sure to bring an adapter for any electrical equipment you want to use; also, a 220 to 110 volt converter.
• Airports. Albuquerque's International Sunport Airport is the only regional airport in New Mexico offering national and international connections. Santa Fe Municipal Airport has daily flights to and from Dallas and Los Angeles. Smaller airports are also located in a number of other New Mexico major cities and towns. In the other Southwestern states there are one or more international airports. From Europe, the main layovers are usually in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Dallas.
• Passports. If you are not a US citizen and don’t hold a valid Visa that allows you to enter into the U.S., please check with your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy about the latest requirements. In any case, you need an electronic passport that features an electronic picture.
U.S. Department of State. Before departing America to any destination obtain the updated and necessary traveler’s information. http://travel.state.gov/ posts tips for traveling abroad, passport and visa applications, and document requirements.
The Universal Currency Converter™. This website is the world's most popular currency tool. This handy website shows how to perform interactive foreign exchange rate calculations on the Internet, using live and current currency rates.
Worldtime. This website is ideal for listing global time zones and is one of the easiest to navigate.
New Mexico is blessed with abundant sunshine, even in winter—an average of over 325 days of sun every year! Generally, the weather is mild throughout the four distinct seasons. The air is usually dry, clear and clean. Winter snows can begin as early as late October and linger through April in the high country. Summer brings tepid to hot weather in the southern regions, though milder temperatures in the north and its higher elevations. During the monsoon season (from July into early September) afternoon thunderstorms add welcomed relief to the increased dryness during part of the day. However, evenings and nights tend to be cool and refreshing.
Summer temperatures throughout the Southwest can soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) in the deserts and in select regions of Southern Arizona. By comparison, fall and winter temperatures are enjoyable.
Attire for the summer season is generally casual throughout the Southwest. “Layering” for one’s comfort is always recommended. Hats and comfortable shoes––a must! In winter, wool clothing is recommended, also a heavy jacket or coat. Scarves and waterproof walking or hiking shoes are equally great assets. For evenings, there is usually no dress code per se; however, in some exclusive restaurants, or when attending the Santa Fe Opera, music halls or theaters elegant apparel is recommended.