If you have the travelling bug, you are probably already thinking about the next place – or places! – you want to visit. In fact, you probably have a whole list of countries, cities and other incredible destinations in mind that you can only hope you will manage to see within your lifetime. Your curiosity just can’t be contained and that is a fantastic personality trait to have, but isn’t it frustrating when you can’t decide where to go next or what to prioritise?
Well, traveller, there are lots of ways for you to maximise your holiday time and cram in as many sights and experiences as possible. All you need to do is get yourself organized, think it all through and then figure out how you want to get there. We tend to think of holidays as a trip to a single destination, but for a seasoned and natural explorer, it makes more sense to go to multiple destinations in one holiday and really make the most of your time. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds!
Put Pins on a Map
You might have a list of destinations in your head, but literally putting pins in a map will help you to visualise your ambitions more clearly. For example, let’s say you want to visit Milan, Naples, Rome, Florence and Venice. You might automatically think that these all have to be separate trips, but if you wanted to, you could just shuffle your destinations about and create a 2 week plan incorporating a few days in each: Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples.
Putting pins in a map always helps you to figure out the best way to pack the most into any trip and while this example is focused on Italian cities, it can also work for moving between different countries and figuring out the best method for getting to each place. Plus, by travelling locally between cities, you won’t be spending as much on your flights making your travels more affordable.
Once your pins are set, you should also look into flights and trains between them to see whether there is a cheaper route you could take, or if it might actually be more efficient to try another route. Sometimes you can be surprised by the routes that travel companies make all the time pulling the prices down and though something might appear to be right next door, the geography of the place might mean that it is actually more difficult to reach. With a thorough plan now, you can start to figure your ideal route out.
Figure Out Your Timings
The next challenge for planning a multiple-destination trip is figuring out your timings. There are a lot of different factors that come into planning the perfect trip including train and flight times, check-in times at hotels or hostels and you should factor in how much time you will need to see everything you hope to see.
This last issue is the most personal. Let’s say you are planning to go to somewhere like Bern. For a city girl, this destination might only take you 2 or 3 days to feel like you have seen everything you want as the city itself is quite compact. However, if you are an outdoorsy type, you might be inclined to stay longer in order to make more of the mountains and walks that are around the city.
There is no right or wrong way to figure out how long you will want to stay somewhere and there will always be at least one destination that you will leave thinking, “I must go back there.” This is the joy of travelling and discovering new places. However if there is one tip that will help you to plan it is this: if you have a destination with lots of activities and you are going to be very busy for a few days straight, follow it with a quieter destination where you can take a day to relax by a pool or enjoy a spa day. Essentially: give yourself some time where you can reflect on what you have experienced before you go barrelling into the next thing.
Make a Base
One of the first things you need to think about is whether you want to travel linearly, moving through different countries, or whether you would prefer to set up in an apartment and fly to and from your destinations, always returning to the same place. While travelling linearly does have its perks (and we’ll get to those) making a base is also a great way to be able to see the world.
If you live in a city like London, seeing European countries is relatively easy, you can just hop on a plane and most cities are within a few easy hours. This means that you could definitely see most of Europe as mini breaks, returning to London for a rest in between each holiday.
Since this way of life is quite easy, it’s a perfectly feasible idea to do something similar a long haul flight away. For example, you could find an apartment in, say, Surabaya in Indonesia and from there hop backwards and forwards between the other islands, taking day trips or longer stays. Apartments in Indonesia are often used like this by tourists looking for a little bit of adventure and a site like https://www.rumah.com/tanah/disewa is a good place to start looking for your holiday let as they offer apartments for long and short tenancies.
Making a base like this also comes with a second advantage: you will get to live like a local in a destination that will soon come to feel like a home. We all get used to where we live so having a base to keep returning to will give you a chance to really understand the culture of that place, get to know new friends and locals and provide you with down time between trips.
Round the World Ticket
A round the world ticket is an inspired way to be able to see as many stops as possible in a short time. The ticket is essentially a flight pass that will allow you to visit countries around the world within a certain time frame. This means that whether you are squeezing everything into a month or taking a year out to go on an adventure, your round the world ticket will get you there.
The best advantage of a round the world ticket is that you will save a lot of time that would otherwise be lost to trains or buses. Since flying is so efficient as a method for travel, it makes sense that the less time you have, the more flights you will take. However, the ticket does take into account that you might like to travel by other means so you won’t be tied to travelling from the same airport you landed in when you are on your way to your next destination.
So, if your ultimate travel list includes countries in several different continents, the round the world ticket might just be the best way for you to pack it all into a single trip.
Though Brexit is casting a bit of doubt on the future of interrailing, this is still an incredibly popular way to see a lot of Europe and many students embark on their journey right after uni. Interrailing is essentially the European train equivalent of the round the world ticket. Because the train lines are so well connected throughout the European mainland, it makes perfect sense that this is the best way to travel around and see as much as possible.
There is no set route and, like the round the world ticket, there is no reason that you can’t fly or bus to other locations during your holiday. In fact, interrailing is one of the most liberating experiences because you don’t even need to plan where you are going in advance or how long you will stay there. This means that if you suddenly have a fancy for staying 3 nights in Vienna to catch an opera or hear about a fantastic party being held in Budapest with people you have met along the way, you can change up your trip and get there.
While everyone has a lifetime to spend travelling and seeing the world, giving yourself the opportunity to see as much as humanly possible is the best gift you can ever receive. However you choose to experience the world, and wherever you go, having a plan in mind will ensure that you check off the places that are most important to you. This will give you a kind of fulfilment you won’t get anywhere else and lead you to things you might never have discovered about yourself and your surroundings.
Travelling should be a chance to take in the atmosphere, see new and incredible things and experience everything there is on offer. Though the occasional pool holiday will always be good for relaxation, the discovery that comes with dedicated travel is good for the soul. Set yourself free.