John Gavin | Traveling on a Time Constraint: Making the Most of Short Getaways | Laguna Beach, California

John Gavin
3 min readNov 14, 2023


In a world where time is often a precious commodity, taking a week or more for a vacation may seem like a luxury. However, short getaways can be equally fulfilling , offering an opportunity to escape the routine and recharge in a limited time.

Prioritize Your Destination

Choosing the right destination is crucial when time is limited. Opt for places that are easily accessible, whether by a short flight, train ride, or even a quick road trip. Consider destinations that align with your interests and offer a variety of activities within a compact area. Prioritizing your must-see locations ensures that you make the most of your time away.

Plan with Precision

Efficient planning is the key to a successful short getaway. Create a detailed itinerary that maximizes your time while allowing for flexibility. Identify the top attractions or activities you want to experience and plan their sequence to minimize travel time between locations. Utilize tools and apps to streamline your planning process and ensure a smooth, well-organized trip.

Embrace the ‘Less is More’ Philosophy

In a short getaway, quality often trumps quantity. Rather than cramming too many activities into your itinerary, focus on a few well-chosen experiences that resonate with you. Whether exploring a charming neighborhood, savoring local cuisine, or immersing yourself in cultural attractions, embracing the ‘less is more’ philosophy allows you to savor each moment.

Optimize Transportation

Efficient transportation is critical for short getaways. Choose direct flights or modes of transportation that minimize travel time. Consider renting a car for flexibility and time savings if your destination is drivable. Prioritize proximity when selecting accommodations, ensuring that you enjoy your destination more and less time commuting.

Plan for Relaxation

While the goal of a short getaway may be to explore and experience, it’s essential to factor in moments of relaxation. Allocate time for strolls, coffee breaks at local cafes, or simply soaking in the ambiance of your surroundings. Balancing exploration with moments of tranquility enhances the overall enjoyment of your trip.

Embrace Early Mornings and Late Evenings

Maximize your time by embracing early mornings and late evenings. These quieter hours often offer a more intimate experience of your destination. Whether capturing sunrise views, exploring landmarks without crowds, or enjoying a late-night stroll, these moments can be some of the most memorable aspects of your short getaway.

Pack Smart

Packing efficiently is crucial when time is of the essence. Create an essentials checklist and pack versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched. Minimize the number of shoes and accessories to save space and weight. Consider travel-sized toiletries and invest in compact luggage that adheres to airline restrictions, allowing for seamless travel.

Stay Connected Yet Present

While staying connected is essential, especially when time is limited, strive to be present. Share your experiences with loved ones through quick updates or photos, but avoid spending excessive time on devices. Being fully present enhances the richness of your travel experience and allows you to make the most of every moment.


Short getaways may seem brief, but careful planning and focusing on meaningful experiences can be immensely rewarding. By prioritizing your destination, planning with precision, embracing simplicity, optimizing transportation, planning for relaxation, and making the most of early mornings and late evenings, you can create lasting memories and rejuvenate even in a limited time frame. Traveling under a time constraint becomes an art of efficiency and mindfulness, transforming brief escapes into unforgettable adventures.

Originally published at on November 14, 2023.