Your money probably doesn’t grow on trees (mine sure doesn’t), so you want to get more bang for your buck?
(Translation: you are paying air fare to travel half way across the world, so you want to hit up multiple tourist destinations in that area to experience more at a fraction of the cost.)
Although it’s not always feasible due to budget and time requirements (wouldn’t you love a boss who gave you 6 weeks off each year for “self-development” in which you could indulge in travel?), it is definitely a great way to structure your trip to get the most out of your dollar (or yen, rupee, pound, etc.).
Right now, I’m planning a trip to Europe. Since I’ll be going back-packing with my brother, I’d like to see more than one country, and since we’re polar opposites, we’re having a hard time narrowing it down and choosing the ones we want.
Here are my tips on the best way to go about choosing multiple countries to be a part of your trip itinerary:
- Pick a region – I’m all for multi-country trips, but I guarantee you will not be the most cost effective trying to pair up Brazil and Japan in your itinerary – they’re tens of thousands of miles apart! So pick a doable region that you want to explore. Here is a list of possible world regions you can choose from:
- North America – USA (east coast, central, west coast)
- North America – Canada (can be paired with USA)
- Mexico & Central America & the Caribbean
- South America (large area, you might have to categorize further)
- Europe (western, central/southern, eastern)
- Middle East
- Africa (large area, you might have to categorize further)
- South Asia
- East Asia
- Make a list of countries in that region – you need to know what your options are. For those of you who are travelling to Europe, I’ve gone ahead and made a list for you to download here.
- Choose your favourites – and by favourites, I mean one or two that you can’t imagine your trip without. If you’ve got 8 “favourites” you “need to go to” then your schedule and budget better allow it! Save yourself from later disappointment and be reasonable from the start.
- Map out your options – a regional map will be your best bet in visualizing the distances between your multiple destinations. Pull up Google Maps or good ol’ paper atlas, and map out the countries on your list. Also star your favourites, if any.
- Set a limit – so you’ve got 1 week of vacation, and you want to see 7 countries. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s difficult, and definitely contains some stressful travel (if you’re both coming to and leaving from one country a day, for seven straight days). It’s impractical.
- Track distances – check online to gauge how long it will take to travel from one country to another. If it’s within a few hours of the other place, it’s usually a good bet.
- Time your journey – since you get to minimize commute time getting to the place and maximize time actually exploring the place, time your total journey (approximately) to ensure it’ll fit your schedule requirements. Keep in mind the non-negotiables (your airfare ticket to and from home, and any other things that can’t be moved around.
These are just a few tips to help you get started on planning your multi-country destination trip.
Comment below with questions you would like answered in upcoming posts, and I will do my best to research and answer them as soon as possible!
4N (alternative scripture for the word “foreign”) is an exclusive travel blog series by Anushree Joshi. She is a travel fanatic and aspiring world traveller. Check out her adventures, tips, and travel series articles on her blog at anushreejoshi.wordpress.com. Read the introductory post here, and click here to see all 4N series articles.