Multi-country travel is a wonderful way to squeeze every opportunity out of a vacation. If you’re already going halfway across the world to visit one place, why not visit another one too? It’s a logical thought and an exciting prospect, but there are a few things you should consider before planning a multi-country trip. You’ll need to think about your finances, how you like to travel, your schedule, and top priorities. A multi-country trip is definitely doable – read on for our tips on how to do it right!
Set a Realistic Budget
What could be more romantic than a champagne cruise down the Seine River in Paris one day and touring Italy’s wine country the next day? The honeymoon of your dreams may cross country borders, but be ready to address financial boundaries as well. While many countries in Europe are easily accessible from one another, extra inter-country flights add up. Europe is also on par with the U.S. in terms of cost, so it’s important to remember that a European vacation will cost as much as a holiday in the U.S.–and in some cases, more. Lastly, remember that every country in the European Union uses the Euro as currency, the value of which is slightly greater than the U.S. Dollar. If you’re on a tight budget, make sure you do the math and know exactly how much you’re spending in USD.
Tip: consider visiting lesser expensive European countries like Portugal, where you get more bang for your buck. Additionally, eastern European countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Czechia are goldmines if you want to stretch your dollars to the max.
Choose a comfortable pace
Before you forge ahead with a multi-country trip, think about how you like to travel. Some people view a vacation as a time to experience their destination to the fullest by packing their days full of activities and excursions. Others look at their holiday as a chance to slow down, recharge, and let go of schedules and obligations. Some people look to strike a balance between the two.
Most honeymooners and travelers are able to book a week-long vacation, and it can be a challenge to balance relaxation with sightseeing and activities in two destinations. Don’t forget to account for the travel time between the two countries, which typically eats up the better part of a day–regardless of how close the countries are to one another.
Tip: Whatever your vacation style is, honor it. Straying from how you like to travel just to visit multiple countries may inadvertently create a more stressful holiday. Consider spending closer to 10-14 days if you want to see multiple countries. This will give you enough time to see the sights in each place and also account for some much-needed downtime.
Decide between quality or quantity
It’s natural that you’d have some “must-haves” when going on vacation or planning a dream honeymoon. While touring the Colosseum and swimming with manta rays on the same holiday sounds amazing, is it really realistic? If you’re trying to hit both the Maldives and Italy in one trip, it could end up being a bigger hassle than you bargained for, and you risk giving up quality time in one place in order to split your time in two.
Multi-country travel works best if you choose two countries in close proximity. Europe is an excellent continent to try a multi-country trip because the countries are relatively small and you can drive across borders without worrying about entry requirements and visas. Flying may seem like the quickest way from point A to point B but this isn’t always the case. Remember, you’ll have to arrive at the airport several hours before your flight, plus travel time to the airport itself. Driving can often be quicker and less complicated than flying a short distance.
Tip: If you can’t spend more than a week on vacation but you still want to visit more than one country, opt for nations that share a border. Portugal and Spain share 750 miles of border which makes hopping between the two relatively easy. You could be relaxing on one of Algarve’s breathtaking beaches one day and posting up in a cozy tapas bar the next.
Pick your top experiences
What’s the purpose of your trip? Is it to relax and enjoy the company of your companion? To deep dive into the culture of your destination or embark on a great adventure? Maybe you just want to lay on the beach and drink mojitos! Prioritizing what you want out of your time away will help you make the most of your well-deserved vacation–and ensure you don’t return more frazzled than when you left!
TIP: It can be hard to set limits on a holiday if you’re someone who tends to like to do and see it all. Make a list and prioritize your wants and needs into just a few top experiences. Combine one excursion or sightseeing tour per day with more laid-back activities like coffee at a neighborhood cage, visiting a city park, people-watching, and eating local cuisine and you’ll still get the full experience!