The Art of the Mini Vacation Part 1

You’ve taken big vacations before. You’ve saved up sick days and vacation time all year long, planned a huge two-week trip, bought airline tickets, rented vehicles, bargained a sitter for the dog—the whole nine. The vacation is great but you get back to the job to find your work piled up and you can’t get away again for another year. That’s no fun. But what if you could vacation any time you wanted? This is where the mini-vacation tosses on a cape and saves the day…or the entire weekend.

The mini-vacation is a quick getaway from the daily routine. It isn’t a full-fledged beg-the-boss-for-leave vacation, but an escape for a few days you’ll be talking about at the water cooler on Monday. The mini-vacay can be as simple as a same day scoot to the beach or a weekend adventure for the whole family. Taking the occasional mini-vacay can relax and recharge you and make a stale routine fresh again.

There is no such thing as a failed mini-vacay but there are keys to getting the most out of one. You could just as well enjoy a spontaneous two-night foray and have an absolute ball. But if you want to save money while your toes are in the sand, see, eat and do as much as you can in a just a wee-bit of time, a game plan is paramount.

First things first, you should decide what type of mini-vacation you’re planning. Are you going solo, bringing a friend or taking the whole family. Once you’ve decided on who to bring and who to leave, pick the right destination. Choosing your destination can make or break your trip. It’s always best to pick a destination to which you can drive, preferably on one tank of gas. You’ve got choices. Try finding a destination that provides the most to do. In the southeast, Panama City Beach enjoys near-perfect proximity for the mini-vacay, with easy interstate access from many large cities. So with premeditated bias we’ll use it as our example.

In a weekend on Panama City Beach you could spend the whole time tanning on the beach, which is always better than a cubicle, or dive into loads of other fun. There’s fishing expeditions, shopping, extraordinary restaurants, and an awesome nightlife. You could bring the golf clubs and take a shot at the links or take a trip to the state park and disappear in nature. Picking a destination that gives you the most bang for your buck is what makes the mini-vacation exceptional. So how do you get so much done and not have to eat bologna sandwiches until the next payday? Our next installment of The Art of The Mini-Vacation is all about budget.

Distances to Panama City Beach, Florida


  • Dothan – 93.1 miles – 2hrs
  • Troy – 152 miles – 3hrs 5 mins
  • Montgomery – 181 miles – 3hrs 44 mins
  • Tuscaloosa – 311 miles – 5 hrs 40 mins
  • Mobile – 173.3 miles – 2 hrs 57 mins
  • Ft. Rucker – 117 miles – 2 hrs 40 mins


  • Blountstown – 58 miles – 1 hr 19 mins
  • Tallahassee – 132 miles – 2 hrs 28mins
  • Marianna – 67.8 miles – 1 hr 28 mins


  • Albany – 177 miles – 4 hrs 17 mins
  • Atlanta – 299 miles – 5 hrs 50 mins
  • Bainbridge – 120 miles – 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Thomasville – 161 miles – 2 hrs 59mins
  • Valdosta – 215 miles – 3 hrs 5 mins

One thought on “The Art of the Mini Vacation Part 1

  1. I’m curious to see how you will write the budget piece. Take it easy on the folks renting out condos. Right now, travelers are wanting to rent luxury beachfront condos for under $100 per night and you can’t even stay away from the beach at that price. In my blog, I showed some pricing of various hotels one might come across while driving to the beach. Here is an excerpt;

    Hotels on the way to the beach
    1. Days Inn in Dothan Alabama is currently $103 per night.
    2. Holiday Inn Express in Powder Springs Georgia for $96.77 per night.
    3. Holiday Inn Express in Franklin Tennessee for $99.99 per night.
    These are not luxury condos and they aren’t even close to the beach.

    Are there any other condo owners that are getting called by travelers wanting you to pay them to stay at your condo?


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