Long trips are increasingly becoming the norm. I recently returned from a 3.5-week journey, and I absolutely loved it. I also know a family of 6 who took a 6-week, Summer trip through Italy and Switzerland; and I know a mother and daughter who took a 3-week, Summer trip through Japan, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Here are 5 reasons you should take a long trip too.
1. Really feel like you are on vacation
Let’s face it … when shifting straight from work to a vacation, it may take a couple of days (or even a few days) to fully relax. The longer you are on vacation, the more time you have to get into relaxation mode and forget about whatever stresses you during your daily life.
2. Immerse yourself in the culture and feel like a resident
Sure you can get a flavor of the culture from a short or average-length (3-14-day) trip. But if you really want to go deeper and more comprehensively understand the ins and outs of the culture, you need more time. There are just some things you won’t learn about a culture with only a brief visit. When you stay in one place for a lengthy period of time, you get to live, breathe, shop, and eat like a resident. You can really get into the nooks and crannies of a place and experience all of the things a local experiences. You can visit more local restaurants, walk around residential neighborhoods, meet more locals, go to sporting events, and more.
3. Maximize your flight cost and flight time
If you are flying a great distance or spending a lot of money/miles on your flights, why not make the most of that by staying a long time! You may not know when you’re going to fly that distance again or when you’re going to be willing to spend that amount of money/miles on the flights again.
4. See more. Put plainly and simply, more time = more you can see/do/experience
There are some destinations which just can’t be fully explored with a one-week or even a two-week vacation. Take India and Vietnam for example … each country has so many ‘main’ cities with amazing sightseeing, that it could take you three weeks to fully explore Vietnam or four-five weeks (maybe longer) to fully explore India. Even if you don’t get much vacation time, it could be worth it to take some additional time off to reap the benefits of a lengthy vacation.
5. Make it a multi-purpose trip
If you struggle with the concept of being away from home for one month, breaking the trip into pieces and making it a multi-purpose trip could make it feel less like you are really away for one month yet allow you to reap the benefits of maximizing your flight cost/time and seeing more. Specifically, you could work, play AND visit family/friends.
In the middle of your trip, build in some time to see friends/relatives who live in the region you are visiting. This could give you just enough of a reminder of home to emotionally refuel enough to continue the rest of your trip.
Indeed, for many people a true vacation does not involve work. However, if you are away for as long as one month, you may need to fold in some work time. Have lunch/dinner with some colleagues who live in the region you are visiting, visit some local sites relevant to the work you do, or even set aside a couple of days to attend a conference. I did just that during my recent 3.5-week trip to Asia. I tacked a 4-day conference in Singapore onto the end of my trip. It worked wonders as it not only gave us a chance to revisit Singapore, it also enabled me to get mentally prepared for being back at work without throwing me straight into a normal workday.
Think about that country or region you’ve been eager to dig into and start making a plan for how you can spend 3-4 weeks there.
Tisha Neufville is a Luxury Travel Advisor and Founder of Neufville Travel. Neufville Travel is an independent affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso member.