Anatomy of Vacation Costs: Weekend in Phoenix

Here is a full breakdown of our expenses for our most recent trip:

Days:  3 (Saturday – Monday)

Total spent:  $552.32

Per day breakdown:  $184.11

Per person / per day breakdown:  $92.06


$259.92 SW Roundtrip flights for two
$0.00 Holiday Inn Express PDX, 1 night with points
$0.00 Hyatt Place Phoenix, 2 nights with points
$8.00 Bus day passes for 2
$8.00 Bus day passes for 3
$2.00 Shuttle driver tip
$1.00 Entertainment Book digital membership
$2.50 Rolling Dough donut
$9.00 Rossen House tour (with Entertainment coupon)
$80.00 Half Marathon – Groupon price
$23.00 Pizzerio Bianco
$21.12 Ruby Tuesday (with BOGO free coupon)
$22.00 Desert Botanical Garden (with Entertainment BOGO free coupon)
$34.32 Gertrude’s restaurant
$7.00 Glass of wine at hotel
$2.25 Prune Face donut
$19.00 The Grill on Mill dinner
$18.00 Heard Museum
$25.23 Ruby Tuesday
$10.00 MAX tickets roundtrip for two


Category Breakdown:

$134.00 Food
$288.00 Transportation – flights, buses, shuttle
$130.00 Attractions & marathon


We saved at least $200 on our Hyatt hotels by using points, $100 at the Holiday Inn Express, and almost $50 by using buy one / get one free coupons from the Entertainment digital coupon book, which we bought for a $.99 30-day trial a few days before.  We looked at renting a car, but they were really astronomical so it worked out to just get the public transportation day passes and using the hotel shuttle.  We also had Lyft and Uber at our disposal, but ended up not really needing to use it.  The marathon was normally $120, but I found a last-minute Groupon deal that brought the cost down to $80.  As far as food, the hotel provided us a hearty breakfast on Saturday, Sunday and Monday that filled us up for most of the day.  I actually didn’t even eat breakfast on Sunday as I wanted to run on an empty stomach.  Our airline tickets were pretty reasonable at $130 each round trip, or just $65 each way.

Final Thoughts:

We had a great trip and our hotel was really  ideal for the location and amenities for only 5,000 Hyatt points a night.  We hit up the major attractions, but for future weekend visits we’ll try to make it out to the Arts District in Scottsdale and we’ll try to visit the Music Instrument Museum.  If we were to stay longer, we’d rent a car and check out points south and north up to Sedona and the Grand Canyon — Phoenix is really ideal just for a few days and we feel like we’ve seen most of it in our short three day weekend.

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