Every family has different priorities, some want the land and the huge house, others the latest and greatest vehicles, still others could live small and travel big and the best part about it is, there is no right or wrong way to live! This is your life, you only get one, and the way you prioritize it is entirely up to you and others’ opinions about how you do so are irrelevant. For me personally travel has always been on the top of my list.
My fondest memories of childhood almost always occurred during family trips, whether we were whale watching in Bar Harbor, Maine, touring the Corn Palace in South Dakota, or stuck in a broken-down rental car on the Las Vegas Strip, sharing those experiences with one another really strengthened the family bond and even taught us how to handle circumstances in life that are beyond our control and at times to even find the humor in it all. Thus, it’s no surprise that my goal, once we had children, was to take family trips and hopefully recreate and make our own memories that our children could treasure for a lifetime. I’m thankful that my husband and I were able to get the kiddos to Niagra Falls and that we experienced the Smoky Mountains together as a family, and that we were on track for seeing the Grand Canyon with the kids. We had made a deal, in 2018 my husband got a Harley and I was supposed to get my family trip to the Grand Canyon. A lot has gone down since 2018. That motorcycle has since come and gone, 2020 happened, I got served divorce papers, and here we are in 2022 and that trip to Arizona is finally coming to fruition!!! And I can’t wait to share it with you!! I figured the most logical way to share our experiences is to share our itinerary and add a link to each day as they occur, once posted simply click on the day to see all the happening, epic photos, and more from our travels. Day one is included in this post.
Our Arizona Family Trip Itinerary:
Day 1: Travel day, limo picks us up at 5 am to take us to Detroit Airport. Departure at 8:45AM arrival at 9:45AM. Pick up the rental car. Have lunch. Go to Costco to pick up the cooler and food for the remainder of the week. Drive to Flagstaff and check into Wyndom Resort. Unpack, freshen up, and have dinner. Prep food for a picnic at the Grand Canyon the next day.
Day 2: Up early, need to get to the park before there is a line. Pack car- cooler, plenty of water, and sunblock. Drive roughly 90 minutes to Grand Canyon National Park. Enjoy the early morning and a bit of the afternoon in the park. Drive back to Flagstaff quick dinner and then off to Lowell Observatory. Will be back late so we can observe the night sky. Get to bed asap once back, big day tomorrow!
Day 3: Up early, pack a picnic lunch, and get on the road to Page, Arizona. Reservation is set for 1pm at Antelope Canyons. Grab a picnic lunch at the park. Head to Horshoe Bend after Antelope Canyons. Drive back to Flagstaff, grab and go dinner back at the resort. Do laundry and pack.
Day 4: Pack the cooler with the remaining food from Costco. Head to Meteor Crater in the morning. Plan on being on the road around noon and headed to Sedona. Have lunch in Sedona and then continue onto Scottsdale. Check into the resort. Swim. Have light dinner. Sleep.
Day 5: SLEEP IN! Enjoy all the amenities at the resort. Head into Scottsdale for lunch and light shopping. Back to the resort to swim, rest and relax. Do laundry. Pack. Eat remaining food for dinner. Pack.
Day 6: Travel day. Clean out the rental car, have breakfast, and return the car. Flight departure from Phenoix is at 3pm arriving at Detroit at 9pm. Luggage claim and then limo.
Limo picked us up at 5am. Here’s the thing about teenagers, they are going through their last huge growth spurt, so basically they revert back to toddlerhood and require more sleep, in the form of sleeping-in or naps and they are always hungry, lol! Thus, 5am was a bit of a struggle for them but nothing a little caffeine couldn’t fix.
Everyone travels differently and children are no exception, so those who required their Dramamine took it and placed their motion sickness bracelets on and we were ready to take off! I do find that having a conversation ahead of time with children regarding the flight and what is “normal” for takeoff, landing, and turbulence (especially around Kansas) really helps ease their nerves…and if mom/dad is modeling a calm disposition they are more likely to feel at ease. How is your family when it comes to travel? Do you have a couple that gets motion sickness?
The flight was mostly uneventful, other than turbulence over Kansas. We arrived in Phoenix and headed to Alimo for our rental minivan. And get this, they let us choose which one we’d like to drive, which sounds like a great idea in theory unless you’re in our family. We’ve each been raised to speak up, share our opinion in a respectable manner, and listen to others’ suggestions and opinions. So the process of deciding which of the 8 minivans we’d be driving for the next 5 days was a bit of a debate, lol! One didn’t have enough leg room, another smelled like smoke, we couldn’t decide if we wanted a sunroof in order to see the views or didn’t want one because of the sun/heat, etc. We finally all decided on the Pacifica! Ain’t she a beaut!
The next stop was a quick lunch at Culver’s and then we headed to Costco to get a cooler and food for the week. This is not only a great way to save money when traveling and to be able to meet any dietary needs, but it should also be noted that once you get on the road there is not necessarily a huge selection of restaurants or fast-food establishments between most of these tourist landmarks.
After Costco, we were on the road and heading to Flagstaff. Roughly a 2-hour fifteen-minute drive from Phoenix. This is when the toddlers, I mean teenagers napped…
Once we arrived I was blown away by the flora and fauna of Flagstaff, it felt more like Michigan than Arizona…the cacti were gone and replaced with a gorgeous Ponderosa Pine. And the variety of birds and even the squirrels are a bit different than ours…but there were still lizards which were hard for the mind to process lizards and pines?!
We arrived at Club Wyndham resort in Flagstaff, Arizona just before dinner time. We unpacked and perused the grounds which include a golf course, two pools, a workout area, and more before heading to our home away from home for the next 3 days…
We unpacked and grabbed dinner at Oregano’s, highly recommend it, they have the best deep-dish pizza and salads, not many Italian joints can nail both. After dinner, we prepped for the next day, the BIG day, our Grand Canyon National Park DAY!!! We made turkey and cheese wraps for everyone, cut up fresh bell peppers, and strawberries, and put nut mixes in baggies.
I was up and at ’em early, I always am…I try to sleep in when I can, but I just get so darn excited to live life! Every day is like Christmas morning, lol…well maybe not every morning, I’m still human and cranky from time to time. But, man, do thoroughly enjoy my quiet mornings of reflection, having my cup of coffee in solitude, and fully immersing myself at the moment, thanking GOD for all the magnificent people, and beauty he has put into my life…I mean, look at this view…
Day 2: Grand Canyon…. coming soon!
Do you have a bucket list of must-sees with your family? What have you seen thus far? What’s on your bucket list still?