Long Vacations vs Weekend Getaways to Europe

Long Tours vs Weekend Trips

The new year is approaching rapidly, bringing the question of planning the annual vacations. Some people prefer taking a few weeks off at once, so they can set off to explore a new corner of the world and not worry about the mundane for a fortnight straight. The others opt to split the vacation time and take several weekend getaways to Europe instead, so they can have more breaks to look forward to. Both approaches have several clear advantages, making it impossible to say which way is the best. Let’s have a closer look at the strong and weak points of exciting long tours and fun city breaks, so it would be easier for you to make an informed decision.

The Benefits of City Breaks

More Vacations Per Year


Of course, quality is much more important than quantity, but you have to agree that having more frequent getaways is a tempting idea. Several studies show that taking several 3- or 4-day breaks regularly is actually better for your mental health than cashing out all available days off at once. 

According to Jonathan Alpert, a renowned psychotherapist, the best analogy is binge sleeping. If you are sleep-deprived during the working week, the idea of catching up on all lost hours during the weekend is almost irresistible. And while it might work to some extent, and you will feel rested come Monday, the feeling is short-lived. It’s much healthier to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. The same idea works for holidays as well. Taking a few weeks at once might feel more exciting when you are on a trip, but upon your return, you will get 14 days of work to catch up on, and the closest break will be an awfully long time away. 

Enjoying a few mini-vacations throughout the year, on the other hand, allows you to have a healthier number of breaks. Plus, as you will be away for just a few days, the chances that you will be able to shut down the work-related issues and fully get into the holiday mindset are much higher.

You Can Explore More Countries


In most cases, even long weekend getaways are not enough to fully explore everything your holiday destination has to offer. And it’s hard to argue that featuring several cities in a 4-day itinerary is ill-advised. Still, they are perfect if you want to see as much of the world as possible. Just think about it. Suppose your travel bucket list for the upcoming year includes Italy, Turkey, Georgia, and the United Arab Emirates. It has to be one hell of a vacation to fit all of these remarkable countries in just a few weeks. And you still risk ending up with the overloaded program and somewhat mixed feelings about the whole ordeal due to its grandeur. But several good city breaks a few months apart would make it all possible with ease. 

Plus, a short tour is perfect for a preliminary survey! It allows you to get the feeling of the place, to see how well it sits with you. There is always a chance you won’t want to make further acquaintances with this particular destination, preferring to move on to another goal from your travel bucket list. And if you already have the next two weeks planned out, it might not be an easy thing to do.

Weekend Tours Are Better for Offbeat Destinations


Metaphorically speaking, we will be the first to tell you that every country and every city has something special to offer. No matter how small or off-the-beaten-path a destination is, it boasts a unique charm and quite a few exciting things to see if you know where to look. But not all places require weeks to check out their best of the best. For example, a few days is enough to admire the cream de la cream attractions in such amazing cities as Modena in Italy, Istanbul in Turkey, and even one-and-only Dubai.

Weekend Getaways Are More Affordable


There is no hiding from this obvious conclusion. Of course, everything is relative, and a very luxurious and over-the-top 4-day trip to Florence can cost as much as two weeks in Georgia, but in general terms – weekend tours are much more budget-friendly. Plus, as we know, time is money, and from this point of view, short getaways are more suitable as well. Weekend getaways make you more acutely aware of the passage of time and don’t allow the luxury of wasting the whole morning on sleeping in. Travelers tend to use their time more rationally when confronted with the fact that it is limited, living every minute to the fullest.

Short Trips Are Much Easier to Plan

Easier to Plan

Even if you entrust the organization of your vacation to a skilled tour operator, it’s not like there is nothing for you left to do. Packing, finding someone to water plants and walk the dogs, making sure that everything is in order before your absence – all of it and more falls on your shoulders. And the shorter the trip, the less planning it requires. Finding someone to feed your cat for three days is much easier to arrange fortnight care. Packing a bag for a 2-day Dubai tour is much simpler than getting ready for 14 days in Italy with several city changes. And, of course, leaving work projects for a few days is much less overwhelming than abandoning them for weeks. Plus, you can imagine the piles of unanswered emails upon your return in both scenarios.

The Indisputable Merits of Long Tours

More Time to Explore One Place

Weekend trips to Europe

When it comes to such giants as Italy, Spain, and France, places that boast vibrant cultural and historical backgrounds, there is no way to see even the most famous sights of the destinations in one go. Of course, you can always come back later to continue your exploration, but having time to dive into a different culture properly, enjoy the nuances, and soak in the details is an unparalleled experience. Let’s consider an Italy tour, for example. To cover only the most popular places in one of the major cities is a few-day endeavor, so it would take several short getaways to see the main sights of the Italian cultural capitals. Or you can leave all the worries at home and dedicate a fortnight solely to this sun-kissed corner of paradise. There is no denying that the second option does have a nice ring to it.

You Can Add Several Cities to Your Itinerary


Another point of extended tours as they offer an opportunity to explore more than one city at a time. Two weeks is quite a long time, and you can visit four or even five destinations in one go without sacrificing the quality of the experience. Of course, you can plan a short getaway with several cities in mind, but featuring more than two places for a 4-day trip is a step too far. Surely, you will cross them from your travel bucket list. But if you get any pleasure in doing that, that is another question entirely.

Long Vacations Allow More Free Time

Long Tours vs Weekend Trips

The best long weekend getaways are packed with action and filled with memories, which is terrific. But the other side of the coin is that they don’t allow you much free time. No matter how good the itinerary program is, it’s impossible to fit everything in there. During the vacation, you might hear about an incredible small museum nearby or a charming off-the-beaten-path observation point. And long tours leave room for maneuvering, allowing you to fit such small discoveries in your travel plans in your free time. Short getaways are less flexible, and you may have to explore these fantastic findings some other time.

Ideal for Family Travel

Family Vacation

City breaks can be challenging if you are traveling with children. There is no arguing that kids adapt easily, but a fast pace natural for 3-day getaways is likely to be exhausting to a child. Plus, one of the most brilliant things about leaving for a few days is that you can pack lightly and be spontaneous. And it’s common knowledge that children bring immense joy and unconditional love but don’t leave much space for spontaneity. 

Just as we’ve said in the beginning, there is no universally smarter option to go for. It’s up to you to decide which way works better for you specifically. Plus, you can always combine! Spend 1.5 weeks in Italy in spring, and set off on a short trip or two later in the year. And when you make up your mind regarding your travel plans, we will be happy to offer you a perfect itinerary.

by Ksenia Zaiceva