A couple of years ago I did this huge mistake of taking a euro trip with a group of friends where I planned to visit 6 cities in 6 countries, wanting to see it all in 15 days! In some cities we stayed for 3 nights, some for 2 nights and we stayed for 1 night in one of the cities. Thinking that we will see it all in such a short time is just a big joke!
Now let me tell you exactly why you must NEVER repeat my mistake if you are planning to visit more than one major city in Europe in one trip:
- Staying in one city for less than 3 nights is a waste of your money and time! The day you arrive to the city is the day you recover from your flight/train ride, you are still getting oriented with your neighbourhood and getting familiar with the city streets and transport system. Having said that, if you are staying for only two nights, this leaves you with one day to pack all the things you wanna see and do in this city. One single day to check out the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and many more of Rome’s delights! Can you imagine?
- Staying for less than 3 nights in one city when you have other cities on your schedule will start to get on your nerves. You will get stressed about rushing to see it all, you will be anxious about catching your next train/flight, and you will not even get the time to pack and unpack! Soon the tension will engulf you and enjoying the city you flew thousands of miles to will become exhausting. At one point all you will want to do is get some sleep or just get to the next destination!
- I can’t help but point out that the impact of staying for a couple of days in each city will magnify if you are traveling with a group of friends. The tension between you will increase, tolerance will be minimum and the chance of conflicts will be very high. Imagine trying to make sure that everyone is in sync, nagging this slow friend of yours to get ready faster, reminding them that you might be missing your next flight if one of you doesn’t wake up on time. I’m not sure you signed up for this when you planned your trip!
- Staying for 3 nights or more in one city allows you to take it easy and savor every moment that you spend in your dream city. You get the chance to see and experience more while you are relaxed and truly in the moment.
- Staying for 3 nights or more will open doors to spontaneity and flexibility in your plans. You actually have the time to make a change in plans if you wish to!
At the end of the day, why do we travel? To see and try new things – but most of all, we do it to unwind, take a break from all the stress, discover ourselves and the world, indulge in the pleasures of the moment and have a good time in our own company or with the people with chose to travel with. Give yourself time. Travel slow.