Point of Interest: Portland, OR

From my $2000 budget, the flight currently costs $323 from my house and $470 from my mom’s house. That leaves $1677 for me and $1533 for mama.
I noticed that the hotels in Portland are pricey so I started looking at AirBnB and found that the cost of staying ranges from $500-1000 for the duration of our trip. Leaving $1200 for me and $1000 for mama. Meaning we can splurge on our spa day.
  • Rumi Simone this one is my top choice because of the amount of services that they offer. They have multiple day spa packages ranging from $295-520.
  • Dosha offers two different day spa packages from $190-335, which means that we can get add ons. The day long package also offers makeup application for a night on the town.
Paid Activities:
  • DIY Bar is something I am very excited about, I love crafting and making things, and love the chance where mama and I can bond and create something. Each project costs $39 and takes from 1 to 3 hours to create.
  • Kennedy Soaking Pool is a soaking experience where we can relax, have a drink, and swim. I love being in water.
  • Portland Mercado is a market place of diversity, we will be able to eat delicious food from around Latin America and buy some unique trinkets.
  • Portland Aerial Tram will be a sight for us to see Portland in a different way, in the air! We will be able to get a round trip pass for $4.70.
Free-ish activities that I’m looking forward to are:
 I am so ready to visit Portland and make some memories.

Vegas Baby

Las Vegas, NV is one potential location for our trip. I looked on SkyScanner to find affordable flights from multiple airlines. The cheapest flights I found cost around $330 (plus tax) round trip from both of our locations. Plus side is I won’t be breaking my budget just flying and I’ll have plenty for activities.

Now that flights are figured out, where do we stay? I want to stay somewhere close to the Jennifer Lopez show, All I Have (because that is the most expensive activity planned, $100-200). Because I want to make the concert the most convenient thing for my mom and me. I don’t want to get confused about which casino J. Lo is in. I’d rather be close to the action and know that I wasn’t going to miss the show. That would mean staying at Planet Hollywood, which costs around $920 for our weekend.

What else can we discover around Las Vegas:
  • Bodies The Exhibition at the Luxor for $40/person.
  • Red Rock for $84.99 per person
  • Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden is a free activity where we can enjoy nature and a an interesting look at the Harvest show
  • The Bellagio Fountains, go off every 30 minutes until 8PM and every 15 minutes until Midnight
  • Las Vegas Arts District. They have unique boutiques and art galleries and places to explore.
  • Las Vegas City Hall in Las Vegas houses two art galleries that we can see for free.
  • The Neon museum houses restored neon signs. Day tours cost $15 to $19, where night tours cost $22 to $26. It’s an outside museum so we will have to make sure to dress accordingly.
  • The Mob Museum is around $20.95 per person and there is an ability to get combo prices with other museums (notably the Neon Museum)

What about spas? Because for me they’re one of the most important parts of our trip. At Planet Hollywood:

  • Massages range from $95 for a 60 minute foot massage to $235 for the 80 minute Mandara Hot Stone Massage.
  • Facials on their menu last from 50 to 60 minutes and costs range from $165 to $245. There is a 20% charged gratuity for all services.
  • They also offer nail services. They range in prices from $45 for the classic spa manicure to $115 for the Mandara foot ritual.
  • A hair cut at the salon is $100 plus.
  • The spa is in service from 7am-7pm.
Adding these costs together (and averaging the cost of spa services), means that $1500 of my budget is taken away. I’ll have around $500 left to eat, for transportation, to buy souvenirs, and go shopping.

Las Vegas isn’t just a place for casinos and partying, it’s a place with fun art and activities. If we visit Las Vegas we will have the best time.


Location, Location, Location

I travelled a lot as a kid because of my dad’s job. We moved from place to place. I’ve lived in places from Fairbanks, AK to El Paso, TX. And I attended so many different schools. For the past 5 years, however, I’ve lived in the same place, and I’m itching to try something new.
Last year I went on two memorable trips. First, I went on a trip with my best friend to Seattle, WA. I had the time of my life. I got to experience rugby culture in a different state, visit the Gum Wall, and go on a 5 mile hike with my friends. The second trip was to Wurstfest in New Braunfels, TX. I was immersed in German culture and polka. And I now own several Wurstfest cups and pitchers. It was a blast to spend that trip with my family.
This year is I want to travel solo with my mom. When we were together for the holidays we put together a list of potential destinations:
  • Portland, OR
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • New York City, NY
  • Austin, TX
  • Timeshare vacation (location TBD)
  • San Antonio, TX
  • A Beach
  • Arizona
  • A thrifting expedition through Texas
  • An official retreat location TBD
Activities we agreed would be fun:
  • thrifting
  • going to broadway show
  • going to Vegas headliner (J. Lo)
  • going to Vegas show (magician/circ du soleil)
  • spa (facials, massages, manicures, pedicures)
  • museums
  • finding tasty restaurants
The most important activity to me is the trip to a spa. I want my vacation to be rejuvenating not only for my body but for my spirit and mental well-being.

Why 25?

I am going to be 25, and I’m excited. In my family we always kept birthdays low-key and family oriented. But I want to do something bigger. I want to go on an adventure with my mom. I don’t know exactly what I want to do at this point, but I do want to relax.
I want the trip to be unforgettable, adventurous, and somewhere I haven’t had the chance to really explore. I would love for the trip to be September 6-11, 2018. A 5-day weekend. Ideas that we’ve shared so far: Las Vegas, NV, a spa-cation in San Antonio, TX, an Austin experience all inclusive resort (or maybe a stay in Austin), New York for the weekend, a beach getaway, Portland, OR, or a timeshare my grandmother offered to let us use for a week.
Things I have in mind:
  • budget: I don’t want to spend more than $2000 for the entire trip including travel, so really that means that no more than $500 for the flight otherwise I’ll be out almost half of my budget just on travel
  • I want to do activities my mom and I both enjoy. I don’t want to just do Kayla things.
  • I want to have a potential life-changing experience (whether that means my mom and I come to a new understanding or that I discover something new about myself I’m okay with both.)
Join me on our journey to find a great 25th birthday to start off my 2nd quarter century. I am using this platform to bond with my mom and share our escapades. We’re going to discuss the trials and tribulations of finding flights, hotels, balancing schedules from across the country, how we’re going to decide what activities we want to prioritize, and how this fits in our everyday life.
Kayla IMG_1408

First Kayla Post

I am using this blog to document my adventure in finding a place to travel with my mom for my 25th birthday. I want to find a place where we can: relax, have fun, and bond. I am also looking to make it more frugal. ($2000 or less including the flight). I have 8 more months to plan and I’m happy to bring you all along for the journey.

I am also using this to bond with my mom. I want to lessen the miles between us and show others how great family relationships can be.