Since my February 2019 trip, which started with £5 each way flights to Hamburg and ended with me getting a coach to Copenhagen then a train to Stockholm, multi country trips are my jam. I’m aiming for 40 before 40 (visiting 40 different countries before I turn 40 years old) and so hitting two or more destinations each time I go away works well. It’s not an easy one though, so I thought I’d talk a bit about planning a multi country trip and how I make it work.
My first step is to look where I can fly to from my three local airports on the first day of my annual leave. Because I want to see the world, I’m not massively choosy about WHERE I go, as long as it’s a country I’ve not been to before. For my next trip. Bucharest came up, and as I’d been watching a programme on the city, I was happy to start there.
Once I’ve chosen a city, I make sure it’s not too pricey and that there’s things I want to do and see there. I then look the city up on a map to see which countries are nearby, and whether I can get a bus or train to that country. From Bucharest, I was struggling to find a bus to a city I wanted that didn’t take hours, so I looked at flights out just over 48 hours after I arrived, and found one to Belgrade. Belgrade is a city I’ve wanted to do for a while and there’s no direct flights from my local airport so it makes perfect sense to go there from Bucharest.
For my June trip, starting in Prague, I realised I could get a £10 bus to Vienna in a couple of hours. Because I have just over a week off I then looked at where I can go from Vienna-Bratislava was the answer, on another £10 bus. Then Budapest on a third bus or maybe a train, before flying home from there. Four cities, one block of annual leave, only £150 on the transport portion of the trip, and lots of content for the blog.
If the city you want to go to doesn’t have direct flights, always look at where you can fly via. Instead of a 4 hour layover, consider giving yourself 48 hours in the layover city instead, to explore somewhere new. Or, as I’m doing with the flights back from Belgrade, see if you can turn your 4 hour layover into something a little longer. I have 9 hours in Amsterdam on my way back and whilst I’ve visited the city before, there’s a whole district I have yet to explore. With the travelling between the city and the airport and going through customs, I think I can manage about 4 hours in Amsterdam itself, enough time to explore the neighbourhood I’m after.
Do you have any tips on planning a multi country trip?