Sometimes you need a break but don’t have the time or budget for a big trip. Short little getaways can be the perfect solution.

For me, the combination of sun and sand can really set me right in a short amount of time. It makes me feel like I’ve stepped into a tropical paradise even though I may only be a couple of hours from home.

All my stress seems to vanish when I’m sitting on the beach, eating fresh seafood and watching the world go by.

I always look for special offers and let that help determine where I will go. I also travel during off or shoulder season as much as possible, which helps to avoid the crowds and is less expensive.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that certain areas in Florida have low season during the summer. Unless you are going to a major tourist attraction or large city, a lot of the smaller towns have great deals when the ‘snowbirds’ have gone back home.

Visiting Fort Myers, Florida, a Small Town on the Gulf of Mexico

I love going somewhere new. It always refreshes my love for travel and everything feels like an adventure. For this trip, I decided to visit Fort Myers, Florida, a small town on the Gulf of Mexico. I had heard good things about the area but had never been, so I decided it was time for a visit.

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Check Airfare and Hotels at the Same Time

I check airfare and hotels at the same time to make sure that both will be in line with my schedule and budget. Sometimes, I can find a great package that will provide both at a discounted price.

There are so many different resources on the Internet that you can get lost in the maze. I stick with one or two major travel sites like Expedia or Travelocity. After making my selection, I check online reviews for the area and hotel to make sure it will be to my liking.

The hotel I chose was very affordable. It was situated just 10 minutes from the beach, and they had kitchen units, so I could cook my own food while I was there. I like to go out occasionally when I travel, but I don’t want it to be a requirement, so this was perfect.

Use Public Transportation When Possible

I flew in late Thursday and was instantly charmed by the small, very friendly town. Getting to the hotel was very easy with 24-hour taxi service right outside the door. I rarely rent a car when I’m out of town and prefer to take public transportation whenever possible.

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Talk to Taxi Drivers

Also, talking to the driver will get you a lot of great local information. They’ll tell you about things to see and do that you might not have found on your own. The same goes for the hotel – they are a wealth of information about the area and are a fantastic resource.

Between the taxi ride and checking in at the hotel, I found that not only was there a great place to buy fresh food right down the block, but there were several places to eat and a shuttle that would take me directly to the beach.

Take an Early Morning Walk Around the Hotel

I had only been gone a few hours, but I felt like I was a world away. Anxious to get started, I woke early the next day and went downstairs for breakfast before heading out on my grand adventure.

I always like to take a little walk around where I am staying and familiarize myself with the area. Also, I have made some fantastic discoveries, like a great little bakery right around the block. So, I’m always eager to see what I might find.

Give Yourself Time to Notice the Little Things

Now it was time to find the bus stop for the beach shuttle – which was just as advertised, very close to the hotel and had a full day schedule to and from so I could stay if I wanted.

The bus driver was happy to give me some great pointers on the best stops along the way. Something that I found after so many years of traveling is not to plan too much. You want to give yourself the time and luxury of letting things evolve.

I got off at the stop recommended by the driver and was thrilled. It was a beautiful little park at the edge of the water with almost no one there.

The gorgeous white sand beach was like powder, with lots of beautiful seashells everywhere. I walked down the beach to the pier and stopped by a waterfront café for lunch before heading back to the hotel.

Treasure Every Precious Moment

I soon realized that I was having a wonderful time and that it was just the first day. This was exactly what I needed, something so relaxing and away from my daily routine and it was so easy to do. Sometimes I forget just how great a short little getaway can really be.

Do you like short or longer trips? Are you a planner or more spontaneous with your travel? What type of environment is the most fun or relaxing for you? Join the conversation and share your stories.

Lynn ClareLynn Clare is a freelance writer living in Denver, Colorado. She is an avid traveler and loves writing about her adventures for women who travel solo at Womens-Independent-Travel.com.

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