This weekend I take a weekend trip to Oregon. The plan is to travel along the 101 and see the coastline, lighthouses, and redwoods.... that's the plan... plans could change.... sink holes, time constraints, whatever could change it.... but the good thing about being on a mini-vacation... you do not have to worry about where you go and what you do... go with the flow of the moment and you won't be disappointed. So, with that said, I hope to come back with some amazing photography of nighttime beach shots, lighthouses, mountains, redwoods, and stops along the PCH.
First night is going to be in Cannon Beach with a day trip down the coast line to see the Redwoods of North Cali and Southern Oregon. Finishing up with a stay somewhere near Florence. Day two will be figured out once I get there... maybe a short trip to the home of favorite movie, Astoria, Washington. I am seriously considering hiking the Columbia River Gorge, even if it's raining and cold. I also hope to get some waterfalls in with all of the other nature and beauty that is Oregon. But one thing is for sure, it will be a trip to remember.
Don't think you can take a mini-vacation? You can, the cost of round trip airfare from Austin to Portland was $321. A four day rental of an SUV is $130. When you consider that you can sleep it in and bath in a waterfall.... well the cost keeps shrinking. When you pre-plan for meals you make it even easier. The easiest way to plan a short trip is to do some searching through apps like JetRadar. I use it to find the cheapest flights through the airlines I have my miles through and then go to their site to book the flight times I want (it is not always offered on JetRadar), the cost difference is usually minimal and makes the extra search easier. Sometimes the cheaper flight is not on an airline I have miles through and I usually will choose to utilize the ones I know due to baggage issues. One way to save cost on baggage fees is to pack only what you need for a two day weekend into a backpack and carry on your luggage. I packed three days of clothes, my camera, tripod, jacket, laptop, and essentials into my Burton bag for my last trip to Denver, CO. Check in was easy and it made my entry and exit of the airport that much faster.
The point is this, stop wishing you could get away. You can. Put aside 30 a week and you have enough for a medium size trip each year. There are many ways to go, so.... just go.