Two and Half Days in Arizona – Road Trip Costs

ItemCost (CAD $)
Accommodations and Transportation
     Nissan Rogue Car Rental  72.66
     AirBnB Campsite Rental  60.23
     Hotel Aspen (breakfast included)161.57
     Gas (duration of trip)  66.27
     In N’ Out  31.08
     Groceries from Trader’s Joe  27.18
     MartAnne’s Cafe – Dinner  61.22
     Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles 63.36
     Maria’s Flight (covered as part of extended company
     Anson’s FlightN/A*
     Angelo’s FlightN/A*

*These items are marked as N/A as its been quite a while and unfortunately we never did get a chance to update each other on the flight costs! If we ever find them again, we’ll be sure the update the post with the additional costs.

For our Two and a Half Days in Arizona, our group of three shared a total road trip cost of $543.57 CAD (excluding flight costs). On a per night basis, this equates to $90.56 CAD/ night per person. Compared to the Quebec Road Trip Costs, (which worked out to $75 CAD /night per person) there was an increase in expenditure. This costed 30% more than the Quebec Road Trip, but given a smaller travelling group, and the additional costs of currency conversion, the added expenditure for this trip was understandable.

Our spending comprised of the following categories:

  • Accommodation $227.84 (42%)
  • Transportation and Gas (excluding flights) $132.89 (24%)
  • Meals $182.84 (34%)

Accommodation and transportation made up a whopping 66% the total shared expenses we had. But given that our focus for this trip was sight seeing and hiking, this is certainly not bad at all. In fact, I’d say that by spending majority of our trip on accommodations and transportation meant we were really focused on doing low-cost vacation activities.

What I Learned From My Road Trip

As this was my second road trip documented on the blog, this trip strengthened the idea that it is definitely possible to keep trip costs to well below $150/night while still have our days filled with fulfilling and meaningful adventures. Some the key learning that came from this particular trip are highlighted below.

1. Pair Work Travel with Vacation Travel

When work pays you to fly you to a new location, its always worth investigating with your company to see if you can delay your return flight back home and pair a vacation afterwards – saving you a huge flight cost.

2. Unique Experiences can Save on Accommodation Costs

If you and your group are willing to try sleeping on the desert grounds in a tent or in a car, your accommodation costs can be brought way down. If you scroll back up to our costs breakdown, you’ll see that our campground rental was about $60.00 CAD, less than 40% the cost of the AirBnB that we paid for the next night. What I really love about our group is that we are always open to trying new and potentially more ‘difficult’ sleeping accommodations for at least a portion of our trip. We think it builds character, and opens up unexpected opportunities to experience things we might not otherwise have experienced. If anything, it makes for great return stories when we share it back with our friends back home!

3. Grocery Stores are your Best Friends

Even if you stay at places without a kitchen, its still worth visiting the city’s local grocery stores for some essentials like bottled water, packed snacks and packable fruits and spreads. These essentials are great for when you’re in a pinch, or when an adventure takes you beyond regular food hours. By purchasing these at grocery stores, you’re less likely to eye those convenience stands, food stalls, or tourist gift shops for marked up prices of foods. Bananas, a loaf of bread, and cookie butter really saved our group from hunger multiple times on this trip (hello pre-sunrise morning hunger, post 6 hour hike hunger, and long night drives post-dinner hotel check-ins).

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