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Travellers often schedule multiple cities during their holidays. When doing this, it is wise to choose destinations that are within close proximity to each other. Doing this allows travellers to avoid increased transportation time and total travel cost while at the same time limiting lost sightseeing time.
To demonstrate, we can consider three separate 10-day holidays, visiting three separate cities covering various distances (*Note that this article was written for an international audience as the lesson remains true inside and outside the United States, hence the examples that include European destinations).
Trip A: NYC 3 days, Miami 4 days and LA 3 days
Trip B: London 3 days, Paris 4 days, Amsterdam 3 days
Trip C: Rome 4 days, Florence 3 days, Venice 3 days
When visiting destinations that are far apart, travellers inherently incur more transportation time during their holidays instead of sightseeing. See the trip A,B and C examples below.
Trip A: Travellers wanting to see this combination of cities over 10 days will need to include two long-haul flights to their travel plans. Journeys, like these tend to require the better part of a full day to complete (hotel check-out to hotel check-in). That is like taking a 2-day bite out of your 10-day holiday. Ouch!!!
Trip B: Assuming the traveller uses rail service, they will need to factor an additional 4-4.5 hours to travel from one place to the next (ie. London to Paris by rail).
Trip C: Cities that are close to each other naturally require much less travel time. This is usually no greater than 1-3 hours travel times (ie. Rome to Florence by rail).
Covering great distances in order to visit specific places also means higher travel costs, which can begin to add up quickly if you need to add more flights to your travel plans. Again, we can use the Trip examples above.
Trip A: Travellers require two additional long-haul flights, which will probably cost several hundred dollars per flight, per person. Again, Ouch!!!
Trip B: This city combination requires two regional trains, which can be affordable if booked in advance and during non-peak travel times, allowing travellers to take advantage of cheaper fares (ie. Eurostar ticket from London to Paris start at £39).
Trip C: This travel plan simply requires two short bus or train rides that not likely cost a great deal (ie. Super Economy tickets from Rome to Florence start at €19).
There is no way around it, additional transportation time almost always comes at the added cost of lost time sightseeing and enjoying other travel related activities.
Trip A: Here we find travellers losing the better part of 2 total days as a result of long distance flights. This translates into an approximate 20% reduction in available sightseeing time (2 of 10 days). What is a serious buzz kill when it comes to travel!
Trip B: Travellers might or might not incur significant loss in sightseeing time. It travelling during normal sightseeing hours, it is possible to lose up to 10% of their total sightseeing time (4 hours per journey X 2 = 1 full day of lost sightseeing time).
However, because of frequent and regular transportation service often found within shorter regional journeys, travellers usually have options to travel during non-peak travel periods, being very early or late in the day. If they elect to travel at these times, there is much less disruption their intended sightseeing activities.
Trip C: This travel plan allows travellers to naturally minimise added transportation time due shorter distances between destinations,even if traveling during normal daytime periods. Plus, cities close to each other usually have more frequent transportation links, meaning travellers have more off-peak options, which can also help reduce impact on sightseeing schedules.
When trip planning, remember that proximity is a virtue and you will benefit from targeting destinations that are closer to one another. Your total travel costs will be lower and you won't have to replace precious sightseeing time with additional transportation time.