Let’s face it, vacations can get expensive fast. If you’re on a budget and still want to visit Panama City Beach, there is some good news: You can visit Panama City Beach and you don’t need to break the bank to do it! Here is a sample itinerary of a cheap journey to Panama City Beach that can help you plan and save money. At the end is a short list of other things you can do to cut costs on a cheap Panama City beach vacation.
Day 1: Visit the White Sand Beaches
Great news! Dipping your toes in the water and walking the beautiful beaches—one of the biggest reasons you want to visit Panama City Beach—is free. There are around 100 places along the beach where you can gain access to the water and sand, pitch your umbrella, and enjoy the sun and surf.
Money-saving tip: Bring a cooler with ice to pack your meals and drinks ahead of time so you don’t have to spend constantly on restaurants. Save that for one or two nice nights out at one of the local eateries where you can have the added value of live music and other fun.
Day 2: Visit the State Parks For Panama City Beach Cheap Fun
St. Andrews State Park has 2.5 miles of beach and 1,200 acres of park land for you to explore. It also has hiking trails and bike paths where you can experience the local wildlife. You can also camp there if your family enjoys it and you can get in some more swimming. There are five different landscapes at this park, each with its own ecology. This park also has its own little trivia question—who was the first full time resident of the land that the park is on? Answer: Teddy the Hermit, who shipwrecked in 1929 and called it home until his death in 1954.
Camp Helen State Park was named a historical site in 2012. There is a lot of wildlife to view along the Oak Canopy Trail: squirrels, opossums, bald eagles, osprey, and white-tailed deer. If you fish, this is a great spot for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Conservation Park is a must-see for wetlands viewing. You can hike it or bike it because of the boardwalks, which help preserve the wetlands and wildlife.
Money-saving tip: Budget for any entrance fees ahead of time and allow a little extra for souvenirs of these beautiful Panama City Beach parks. Also take water on your hikes and bring your own sunscreen.
Day 3: Frank Brown Park and Bear Creek Feline Center
This 200-acre outdoor recreation complex is worth spending a little money on. It holds various events throughout the year, such as the Ironman Florida Triathlon, championship events of the National Softball Association, World Softball League and more. There are a staggering nine softball fields, four football fields, three soccer fields, two tennis courts and two tee ball fields, an aquatic center and hiking trails. Many families enjoy the conservation park and fish pond. There is even a dog park if you brought your best friend.
The aquatic center, with a 50,000-square-foot pool, has spacious locker rooms, large showers, a classroom, and a gift shop. There is also a concession stand if you need food or drink and can’t wait to break open your packed lunch.
Bear Creek Feline Center is a conservation center for wildcats. They have bobcats, panthers, servals, and lynx. This is a great stop-over and is family friendly. They request donations for entry so call ahead on suggested donation amounts to make sure you can give what you would feel comfortable with.
Money-saving tip: In addition to bringing your food, call ahead for updated activity admission prices to both places and any class fees if you’re interested in taking some. Admission to the Frank Brown Park is free, however.
Day 4: Under the Oaks Park
One of the reasons why people come to Panama City Beach is for the nature and outdoor experiences. Under the Oaks Park is a great choice to add to your explorations for some cheap Panama City beach fun! This outdoor area has a walking/hiking path, a huge playground with wooden play structures, disc golf course, and picnic tables. You can also kayak on the lake or view sea birds and fish.
Money-saving tip: This is a short drive south of Panama City, so budget for miles if you have a rental car, and make sure you have enough for gas and possibly food.
Enjoy a Vacation Full of Fun
Other general money saving tips are to book and plan in advance, make sure you are buying any air travel tickets you may need at the right time, and pack for weather changes so you don’t have to purchase jackets or other clothing. Call the travel planning specialists at Vacations Perfected to see how you can save even more on your Panama City Beach cheap trip and have money to spend on other things, like souvenirs or other activities—or even an extra day on your cheap journey to Panama City Beach!