By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Our summer vacation plans are to drive to Arizona. We hope to see a lot of the US. Our particular interests are Colorado, Arizona, Nevada & Utah. I'm having great difficulty trying to obtain US Travel contact numbers to obtain maps, hotels, and points of interest. Who should I contact for information?

A: It's great to hear you're interested in obtaining information on maps and contact phone numbers. This too should follow suit in any road trip preparation.

Since you'll be heading out on an extended road trip, it's best to make some pre-arrangements. Ensure you have someone to cut the lawn, pick up mail, and feed the pets, if any. Of course, check your driver's license. Is it still valid? The condition of your automobile is of course crucial. So get a tune-up before you leave and avoid an unwanted surprise.

As for as the above-mentioned states, tourism offices are available where agents are prepared to mail maps, and free publications upon request. Most publications include detailed listings of accommodations, attractions, and calendar of events along with maps and points of interest.

Contact 1-800-COLORADO to reach The Colorado Tourism Office and ask to receive a free copy of Summerkit. If you'd like more details on road conditions, the Colorado Department of Transportation can assist you when you dial 1.877.315.ROAD in the U.S. Nevada travel info can be obtained when you call 1.800.NEVADA.8. Ask for a free copy of Nevada, a 120-page glossy magazine, which is chock-full of visitor information.

Once the cities have been pegged down, more details on road conditions can be obtained by contacting any of the local Chamber of Commerce. Contact the state tourism office for phone numbers. The Utah Travel Council can be reached at 1.800.UTAH-FUN. Request a copy of the Utah Travel Guide which details all the latest.

Your final destination, Arizona must include a visit to the Grand Canyon. Arizona Journeys, a free tourist destinations guide is organized by geographic region. It also comes equipped with a pull-out state road map, and can be ordered from the Arizona Office of Tourism at toll-free 1.888.520.3433.

If you're travelling with children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a stop every two to three hours on a long road trip to give tiny muscles a chance to stretch and to release their pent up energy.


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