For any lover of adventure, a multi-destination trip is both exciting and satisfying. However, due to its obviously complicated nature, planning one can be both terrifying and disastrous. Although this is one of those situations where the benefits greatly outweighs the terror. I mean a multi-destination vacation is generally more cost effective with the right tools, plus you are guaranteed to have a blast and amazing travel stories in just one trip!
So, basically this post is my personal guide on how to plan a multiple destinations trip on a budget. I will share very useful tips and tools to help you.
STEP 1. MAJOR POINTS
- THE VISA MAGIC– I call this killing several birds with just one stone. Did you know that having certain visas gives you access to a wide range of countries?To properly enjoy a multi-city trip, it is essential to fully know the power of any visa you hold. For e.g a USA visa gives you entry into more than 20 other countries, same as a Schengen and Canadian visa. So if seeing the beauty of the Caribbean, South or Central America is on your bucket list, then just one trip to the USA can cover that, rather than go separately.
- DO NOT JUST FLY– As much as this is the fastest means of transportation, sometimes it is not the cheapest. The wisest thing to do is explore all available means of transportation while organising a multi-city trip. Options like cruising, buses, train, car sharing can help save cost and add more fun.
*Bonus fact- Cruises could be the best option during a multi-destination trip as it includes lodging, feeding and A WHOLE LOT of fun.
So, for instance you arrive Venice Italy for a multi-city trip. Instead of flying to visit close countries, there are cheap cruises from Venice through Croatia, Greece and Montenegro etc. The image below show you cheap Mediterranean cruises for as low as 129$. It is vital to explore all options of transportation while booking your multi-city tickets as they are most times cheaper than flying.
- TRAVEL THROUGH THE NIGHT– Whether you are taking the bus, train or flying, while connecting to your next destination travelling through the night can save you the cost of accommodation for that night. Let’s imagine this itinerary: Berlin-Copenhagen-Stockholm-Oslo. Do you know that by just travelling with the train or bus at night from Copenhagen-Stockholm OR Stockholm-Oslo saves you hotel bills for 2 nights. That extra cash saved can do something vital 😊
Step 2. ORGANISING THE TRIP
- PICK A DESTINATION AND HACK THE ROUTE – After choosing at least one primary destination, then find cities or countries that are connected to the first leg of your journey or cheapest destinations from the main destination. The most functional tool I have found for this is OMIO as it basically shows you the map as you search for tickets. OMIO also shows you ALL available transportation options for that route.
So, for instance my search is Copenhagen Denmark, but I can equally see all the cities and countries around to make planning a multi-destination easier. All I need do is compare prices and choose the cheapest options
- CHOOSE YOUR BOOKING STRATEGY- Basically you have 2 options when you decide to book;
-Single Multi-city tickets: Did you know that sometimes a multi-city ticket cost around the same amount as a round trip to one destination? Below is a ticket itinerary from Paris-Miami-Mexico city-London for 667euros. Basically visiting 3 different countries for almost the same price as going directly to only one place.
-Multiple one-way tickets: I experimented and found that sometimes it was cheaper to purchase multiple one-way tickets instead of a single multi-city itinerary. But in some cases the prices were almost identical. My advice is to compare the cost of purchasing each leg of your itinerary separately with the price for a single ticket with multiple stops. Because you want to make sure you’re getting the best price! I always use Sky scanner (click the map icon) for this option, and image shows you the map including prices to each destination.
Generally, for the planning you will need to pay attention to dates, locations, flights, and connecting airports as one delay or mistake can ruin everything.
Step 3. TIPS & TRICKS
–It’s advisable to book multiple destination flights with same airline
–Fly from a closer airport it could be cheaper
–ALWAYS Sync your itinerary with apps like Tripit
–Make a trip planner and write down travel plans
–Engage google maps to help you make choices
MULTI-CITY DESTINATIONS TO TRY IN EUROPE
*Paris- Geneva- Milan-Munich