Money Diary: A Weekend in Phoenix, Arizona

girl standing in front of a heart sculpture

I flew to Los Angeles to meet with my friend, and we rented a car. We took a road trip to Phoenix where we stayed for three days. Here’s a log of my expenses:

Pre-vacation spending

Transportation – One-way to LAX (Los Angeles) airport $133.30, One-way PHX (Phoenix) to BOS (Boston) $263.30, car rental $79.50 for my half

Accommodations – I covered the hotel since my friend covered our comedy show tickets. Hotel $166

Self-care – Eyebrows, wax $26, Olly Sleep $13.99

Snacks – Freeze dried fruit $3.99

Total $686.08


6:15 pm – I made plans for my friend to drop me off at the airport. When I arrive at her house she tells me she’s not feeling well so she calls me a Lyft instead. She’s so sweet!

7:45 pm – My flight got delayed, so I have extra time before my fight. I find a spot at the bar at Shojo and I order a glass of wine, fish tacos, and duck fat fries. $33.02

8:50 pm – I feel extremely dehydrated, so I buy a bottle of water from Hudson News. $2.70


1:45 am PST – I land in Los Angeles and I get a text from my best friend telling me to call ride service to her apartment because she’s been drinking. No biggie. Better safe than sorry! I call a Lyft to my friend’s place. $12.36

8:30 am – And we are on the road to Phoenix! We originally were supposed to stop by at Joshua Tree, but we calculated what time our arrival time would be in Phoenix, and we would get in too late. We want to make sure we have enough time to get dolled up for Jonathan Van Ness’ comedy show.

12:00 pm – We make a stop for gas and then decide to get food too. We stop at a Del Taco and I try the Beyond Meat taco, which was so good! My friend pays for gas, so I pay for lunch. $15.49

3:00 pm – We arrive in Phoenix and check in to The Clarendon Hotel. Parking at the hotel is only $10 a day. $10?! I’m super shocked because that’s the cheapest I’ve ever seen for parking at any hotel EVER. I’m not complaining. Swipe my card, Clarendon! It ends up being $39.50, but we split it. $19.75

3:30 pm – After settling in our room, we change in to our bikinis and head out to the pool to soak up some of that Phoenix sun. By the way, 103 degrees fahrenheit is no joke!

4:30 pm – From the pool, I order UberEats to be delivered to our room so we can get ready for the comedy show while we eat. I order the Sebastian roll, a Buddha Roll, a pork banh mi, and a Saigon noodle salad from Rice Paper on 7th. The Buddha Roll is my favorite! $48.39

7:15 pm – Oops! Running late. Jonathan Van Ness‘ comedy show started at 7 pm. I call a Lyft to Comerica Theatre. $9.59

9:15 pm – After the show, we head to Lustre Rooftop Bar. My friend buys the first round of drinks.

11:30 pm – We are told that Scottsdale has the best clubs with hip-hop music, so we make our way to Casablanca Rooftop Lounge. I buy a round of drinks. $28.91 And then we meet some lovely people who buy us drinks all night.


2:00 am – We are back in Phoenix and we are starving! My friend brought instant noodle bowls from home, and we do a muk bang (where you eat tons of food in front of a camera). That video may or may not ever be shown! Haha.

8:00 am – Why am I up so early? My friend orders us breakfast via UberEats.

10:00 am – We head up to the rooftop of the hotel for Hood Yoga. It’s complimentary admission for guests of the hotel.

11:30 am – We head back to our room and change in to our bathing suits and lay out by the pool. My friend orders a mojito and I order cranberry juice (they didn’t have wine) and a shrimp taco from Tranquillo. She covers the tab.

2:00 pm – We head out to get lunch at Angry Crab Shack. We order lobster, shrimp, and dungeness crab. Best believe we finished everything! Seafood in the middle of a desert sounds sketchy, but the restaurant has tanks where they keep the live seafood. $74

5:00 pm – We try to do some shopping in Old Town Scottsdale, but it was too hot. We head back to the hotel to rest before dinner. I’m extremely tired. It could be a combination of jet lag and the heat. I set my alarm to 7:30 and take a nap.

8:15 pm – I wake up, but not from my alarm. I realize I set it to 7:30 am instead of pm. My bad! I go to the other room to wake up my friend. We both decide to cancel dinner since are still full from lunch anyway. I get ready for bed and then I turn on the television to National Geographic and watch until I pass out again.


7:45 am – Wake and bake! In the sun, that is. The pool is empty, so we put on our bathing suits and have an impromptu photoshoot.

9:30 am – I call the front desk and ask for a late check out. The front desk clerk informs me that I can check out late at 3:00 pm for a fee. My friend and I split the cost. $22.51

11:30 pm – We arrive at The Henry for brunch. I highly recommend the Harvest Bowl. We get a couple rounds of mimosas and talk about business ideas. $52.25

1:55 pm – After brunch, I call a Lyft and we head back to the hotel to pack. $14.76

3:15 pm – We head over to the Phoenix Art Museum to enjoy some art before I go to the airport. $18

6:00 pm – After walking around the airport for a good 45 minutes trying to find the best place to eat, I settle on getting dinner at Olivy & Ivy. I get a salad and water. $19.48

8:00 pm – NEVER SETTLE. I hate my salad and am still hungry. I get a sandwich from Zooks before I board the plane. $8.15


5:15 am EST – I land back in Boston earlier than scheduled. My friend is supposed to pick me up from the airport, but she’s running late so she sends a Lyft to pick me up instead. She’s the best!

The Breakdown

Transportation – $512.81
Accommodations – $208.26
Food & drink – $286.38
Entertainment – $18
Souvenirs – $0
Other – $39.99

Total spent $1,047.44

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