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Travel Tip: How to Structure Travel when Booking a Multi-City Trip

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If you are planning on traveling to multiple cities within a country or continent, we recommend having a consistent structure to guide how you organize your travel and time.

In this post, we shared our itinerary for our first three months of travel in Schengen Area Europe. We came up with a structure to guide our travels that informed when to move to the next location, when to took day trips and how long to stay in a particular place. 

A structured travel approach is effective because:

  1. Enables you to keep an even pace through your travels (especially when traveling long term and across multiple locations). You know when you are moving, when you have downtime, when you are sightseeing. Read our post about creating a routine when traveling.
  2. Reduced frenetic energy around “what should we do?”
  3. Better understanding of how much time you have to add in ad-hoc activities 
  4. Space for a day-trips
  5. General idea of departure and arrival windows make it easier to communicate with hotels, hostels, B&Bs and transport services
  6. Easier coordination with travel companions; less questioning around ownership over the trip plans

Our pace

The only times we felt the pace was rushed were on travel days that turned out to be longer than anticipated. 

We organized departure from one city by train, only to find out that we need to make a chance to a local, slower regional train halfway through the ride. Our expected three hour train journey turned into a seven hour haul. While you can never fully control the transport schedule, we were not panicked because we had plenty of time to see the next destination, even with this twist in the schedule.

We recommend traveling in the morning – you never quite know what can happen on travel days.

How to structure your time as you move from city-to-city

We organized our time as follows:

Two-days, one-night:

  • Day 1: Travel to city + arrive mid morning, explore city
  • Day 2: Depart to new place mid-afternoon
  • *No day trips

Three-days, two-nights:

  • Day 1: Travel to city + arrive late afternoon/early evening; walk around for an hour, grab dinner, settle in
  • Day 2: Explore city
  • Day 3: ⅓ day trip + depart to new place

Multiple nights in a city

  • Day 1: Travel to city + arrive late afternoon/early evening; walk around for an hour, grab dinner, settle in
  • Day 2: Explore city
  • +Day: Explore city
  • +Day : Longer day trip + return home base city
  • Last day: Depart to new place mid-morning


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