So I just had the BEST time ever for a few days in Arizona. Solo trips can be unnerving but they are definitely worth it.
The reason for a solo trip is simple, I can do what I want and for how much of it that I want. Who doesn’t like to get away?! I have been trying to make a trip around my bday become a yearly adventure but with mine and the kids’ schedules around my birthday a trip wouldn’t have been feasible soI had to pump it up a little. I refused to not take a trip just because it wasn’t during my birthday week.
My goal while on this trip was to relax, enjoy, and to step out of my comfort zone.
So with this thought in mind I decided to book. What I did was looked for flights first and then booked the trip around the best price instead of trying to find a flight around a particular date. I didn’t mess around when I found a flight that worked. I also set a tracker to see if the flight stayed grounded price wise. Once I found the price of the tickets to be within my budget I booked it. I then worked on hotel accommodations after the fact. There are a lot of deals out there so I focused on the amenities that meant the most to me. I felt like I had a lot of wiggle room since my family wasn’t attending this trip!
I picked Arizona because for quite some time I wanted to travel to this location. The other reason is the weather. I love heat. So I wanted somewhere that I felt I could get it and Arizona definitely didn’t disappoint. The weather was over 90 each day. And I was able to do a lot of activities, rest, and eat well.
So let’s break this trip down:
I arrived in Phoenix on Friday. My travel started very early. With that I was up at 230am and once I landed due to the time zone change, morning started all over again. I was extremely jet lagged. However once I checked into my hotel, a burst of energy and excitement came over me.
I stayed at the Grand Canyon University Hotel. It’s located in Phoenix and its through the college campus and ran by students. This hotel is super nice and super clean.
Now let me give you the pros and cons of this hotel.
- Campus atmosphere
- Restaurant and bar was great
- Pool and cabanas
- Easy going staff
- Baristas are super bomb almost better than Starbucks
- Security is tight. They had an armed guard not a flashlight cop throughout the premises
- No usb cord plug ins
- No microwave or fridge
- No safe in room to secure belongings
So as you can see the pros outweighed the cons. Not having a fridge wasn’t a huge issue. It stopped me from getting more food than I needed which in the long run was a good look anyway.
Few things if you are traveling alone:
- Do not be afraid to eat out. I enjoyed it and didn’t stay on my phone to take the edge off of me being alone
- Keep both hotel keys on you at all times
- Never reveal that you are alone while out and about
- Do a tour of the hotel so you know where everything is
- Be vigilant while out aka stay off your phones so your guard isn’t down
- Social media- do NOT check in while away. I used Snapchat and Instagram stories the whole time and made sure I didn’t reveal the city or state etc!
My first stop was the Phoenix zoo. I had a blast. Although yes I could go to the Philadelphia zoo, it was a great way to start the day. I was able to feed giraffes, touch sting rays, and ride camels. I felt like a kid. Anyone who knows me knows I’m the biggest kid. Waking around eating snacks, enjoying the heat and doing the activities was exactly what I needed.
As if I hadn’t been traveling and should have been tired from the hours at the zoo I spent, I headed over to IFly Phoenix. Now they do have one in Philly however I’ve been too scared to try it. IFly is the experience of flying suspended in the air and trust me it’s an experience of a lifetime. You go through a class that trains you on what to expect since while suspended you won’t be able to hear. They are with you and guide you through. This experience was definitely worth it. You can check out my video here IFly.
After the flying experience I was tired. The excitement was wearing off and the earliness of the day was creeping up and I slowly walked to Target to get a cord. That didn’t stop me from getting a drink or two before heading off to bed once back at the hotel.
So I got 9.5 hours of sleep. I still woke up as if I was home and after I realized I didn’t have to make my son’s 6am breakfast I quickly went back to sleep. I was off to the pool to do a few hours of lounging. I enjoyed the steady flow of cocktails and water. Word to the wise in Arizona, water is your friend. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Even at 8am it was already hot.
I love laying around at the pool but I love even more is just the heat. I did get in the water which I know my husband was under the impression that I wouldn’t. The way that heat was set up even under the cabana it was not playing games. Just think it’s just Spring in Phoenix and already well into the 90’s.
So to continue on with my day I decided to attend the Cajun Fest and meet up with my girlfriend who lives in the area. It was so much fun. They had all kinds of food from crawfish to alligator bites. I stuck to brisket, Mac and cheese and beignets. As with any festival the drinks was super weak so we decided to opt for beer. The local favorite is called the Purple Haze! I really enjoyed it!!
Oh by the way, there was a watermelon eating contest which was a blast and a half to watch. We also went with the intention of bar hopping. “What had happened” was we got stopped at the first bar and called it a night. I ain’t in my 20’s anymore. Plus it just allowed me to go back to the hotel to eat and drink some more.
On Sunday I had all kinds of intentions of getting out but the way my life was set up I opted instead to workout and lounge and the pool and have a lazy Sunday. It was the best. I got so much journaling done without interruptions. Listened to adult music vs. Johnny Johnny. That in itself was a blessing! 🙌🏾
Monday was a full day to tour Sedona. This was probably the highlight of my trip. I toured through Detour West. They were hands down amazing during the booking process to the pick up and drop off. I learned a lot, saw some of the most beautiful sights and the group I was with was small and a lot of fun!! Shout out to Robert for being the best tour guide!!
While in Sedona, we stopped in uptown Sedona for us to shop and eat on our own. One of the things I love to do is eat outside. So as soon as I saw the yellow umbrellas I knew, 89Agave was the spot for me. 89Agave is a Mexican restaurant which is another one of my favorites and the drinks and food was amazing.
I experienced heat exhaustion from all of the walking so I had to get some more water and take a nap before I went back to the pool after the sun went down. Now I had experienced the heat exhaustion with taking every precautions. I was told this could happen so I was well prepared and knew the signs of heat exhaustion.
Another tip is to keep sunblock on you so you can reapply often. I had 3 different kinds on me and definitely used them. Shout out to my girl Stephanie from sassy codesigns for designing me an awesome drinking cup for my travels. Between some adult juice and water I was drinking in style!
All in all I had a great time. I enjoyed my time away. Now let me just put a few things into perspective, during the tour I met a woman who had been away for the first time in her 17 years of marriage. Although that is a blessing for her to have been able to get away, women we have to get to a place where we take our lives and how we move seriously. No not everyone can book a flight and leave, but you can take a staycation even in your own city. Before you hit me with the I can’t afford talk, let me show you where you been wasting your money.
For the past year I bought a mini notebook and in that notebook I wrote down my bills and every purchase made. I was able to sit and see exactly where I had splurges. After I noticed the money that was wasted on things that didn’t matter I was able to cut those expenses. So less money on frivolous things to save up for a trip is doable. Taking your income tax money and paying down bills instead of getting electronics, bags, or shoes will help too.
The less money in bills you have to pay will put that money back into your pocket. So if you don’t have the money to take some time away even for a weekend it may be time to enlist better spending skills or time to invest into a financial planner. The money I save in couponing I could have stayed longer or taken another trip. Open your eyes to what you are doing in your finances. Even on tight budgets you can find ways to be more frugal.
The benefits to taking a trip alone:
- Being able to do what you want
- Downtime to get your mental in order
- Time to plan your next moves
- Fun on your own terms
- Ability to meet other people
- Way to keep yourself grounded on all levels
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a few extra things that made my travel and planning go so well!
Let me shout out Shein clothing company. They are the ones responsible for my bathing suit. I found them on The Real talk snow Instagram and I wasn’t disappointed. They have all sizes and the clothes were of excellent quality. I got my traveling T-shirts from them as well.
Shout out to Old Navy as they provided the jacket and a few other shirts during my trip!!
Ear plugs, I elected to have the ones that aid in air travel. They were about 6.99-7.99 from my favorite spot, Target!!! You will have to order them as they aren’t sold in stores but this beats the cheaper ear plugs as it regulates air pressure during take off and landing.
It cut down on ear popping and not once did I have to hear the little girl who was screaming her head off a few seats ahead of me. Also I would suggest eye mask. It made me sleep super well on my 4-5 hour flight. Between the earplugs and eye mask I was in an oasis of comfort both coming and going.
So I am always on my phone. However while being out and about in a city and state I’ve never been, having a full powered cell was important. Now you can continue to have to charge one of those cute battery packs that you can get from Five Below or you can step your game up with a Vinsic battery pack.
This battery charger did NOT need to be charged my entire trip! I charged my cell at night and while out I was able to draw full battery time every day that I needed it. You can charge two devices at once. I swear by this battery that once you get it you will never buy another battery pack in your life and it’s approved for flying!!
The one thing I would elect to do is to get a rental car. Arizona is do dense that Uber and Lyft really added up for me. Thankfully I was prepared for the cost, if you want to save a few dollars do rent a car. I just didn’t want the responsibility of having to drive and I enjoyed being able to be carefree with not having to drive.
I accomplished my goals of relaxing and having a great time. While away I was able to finalize my next moves and upon my return I have some new moves that I will blog when it’s time to. I am super grateful for the down time. I know my fam bam is excited to see me and I look forward to hugging them tight and to know all those meals I prepped has given me a few more days of not having to cook.
Shout out to my husband for not stifling me as I continue to grow in my personal development. When I booked he didn’t side eye me once. He encourages this growth so I can be the best woman I can be and in return has been making me the best wife and mother. This self journey has been going strong for over a year from the inside out. Also thanks for following my Uber and Lyft rides so you knew I was safe!
Shout out to my family and close friends who checked in with me and allowed me space to enjoy my time.
Shout out to my readers who enjoyed the blogs I left on my Facebook page while I was away. I definitely didn’t log into my pages while I was gone! Now it’s time to shift into my annual Toibration 10 day birthday countdown and activities and start all of the Mother Day blogs. Some will be reposts and others fresh blogs!!
Thanks for taking the time to read about my solo trip and if you’re ever needing some down time, Arizona is a spot you should put on your radar!!