Why stop at one? With good planning, within the same amount of time you can stretch your holidays across multiple countries and cities in one trip. You’ll not only experience different cultures and atmospheres in one go, but you’ll get a better sense of just how diverse the world is, even when you’re journeying to destinations just next door. And booking multi-city flights are easier than ever with sites like, ahem, Expedia.
You may not have time to do a round the world trip, but it’s easy enough to do a round the region holiday! Here are some ideas on planning multi-destination itineraries around Asia.
The Equatorial Islands Multi-City Itinerary: Gili islands – Singapore – Penang
Stop 1: Gili Islands
The Gili Islands boast stunning natural beauty – think sun, sea and sand – and is known for exceptional diving conditions, suitable for beginners and experts alike. Having had your fill of pristine beaches, this route will then bring you to Singapore, where it’s skyscrapers galore.
Stop 2: Singapore
Life is much more fast-paced and it’ll be a jolt to the senses as you immerse yourself in the multicultural atmosphere and sample Singapore’s local offerings (shopping and eating feature prominently here).
Stop 3: Penang
Finally, Penang will prove to be a trendy retreat, where you’ll end off on a hip note exploring the city’s laneways and cafes. And treat yourself to lots of food in Penang, food capital of Malaysia.
Southeast Asian Multi-City Itinerary: Cambodia – Vietnam – Thailand
They may be located within close geographical proximity, but these three countries have distinct personalities. Highlights include
Stop 1: Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A stunning UNESCO World Heritage site;
Stop 2: Vietnam’s beaches, hip cafes, French influences reminiscent of its colonial history and, of course, the delicate tastes of the national cuisine.
Stop 3: Buzzing city life in Bangkok, Thailand, where old and new streets meld seamlessly;
The Mediterranean Itinerary: Spain – Italy – Greece
A rail pass makes travel in Europe a breeze. While there are numerous multi-city routes you can take to travel the continent, this one will lead you through the Mediterranean countries of Spain, Italy and Greece. Note the architecture as you travel along this route
Stop 1: In Spain, amidst Barcelona’s world-famous beach and fashion scenes, you’ll come across majestic old-world castles preserved as World Heritage sites.
Stop 2: In Rome, the list of iconic buildings includes, but is not limited to, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica.
Stop 3: In Greece, ancient myths remain in the form of monuments, such as the Ancient Agora of Athens, the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus.
These Mediterranean countries each have distinct cuisines and landscapes, including jamon (cured ham) in Spain, authentic pizza and gelato in Italy, and the unmistakable blue-and-white Cycladic houses and architecture in Greece.
Multi-City Australia Itinerary:
The Australian continent offers quite a few permutations of multi-destination journeys. Deciding where to go really depends on how long your holiday is, the size of your budget and what you want to see.
Western Australia & Perth
Western Australia and Perth offer some of the most breathtaking natural encounters in the country and is great for camping or road trips.
One route option is to start at the Kimberley region in the state’s northwest, before making your way down to Perth and then on to the coastal regions (try the Coral Coast, Sunset Coast and Cottesloe Beach) to enjoy beautiful scenery.
Wine regions and gourmet trails can also be found in Western Australia at Margaret River, Pemberton and Swan Valley.
Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Drive: When heading south to Melbourne, the landscape becomes an urban city that’s known for its Victorian architecture and casual cafe culture. The Great Ocean Road is a scenic drive outside of Melbourne, which hugs the coastline and features unique cliff structures along the way.
Sydney to Cairns
Coast to Coast: Sydney offers a different city experience with more attractions to see (try Bondi Beach and the Sydney Opera House), while Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns offer more encounters with the Australian coast, wildlife and nature.
Multi-City Europe Itinerary: Paris – Belgium – Amsterdam
These places offer a different multi-destination experience of Europe and all share a cooler climate. You will see how the landscape changes as you travel from the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum in Paris, to the medieval structures of Belgium and finally to Amsterdam’s unique canals and waterways.
The culture and attractions in each place are equally distinct. Enjoy the romance of the cobblestone streets, French bakeries and high-end fashion boutiques in Paris, indulge in chocolates and Delftware in Belgium, and wander by the water in Amsterdam’s vibrant districts.
Multi-City Japan Itinerary: Osaka – Kyoto – Tokyo
Stop 1: Osaka
Osaka offers a delectable array of local food and is particularly famous for its takoyaki (grilled octopus balls with green onion and pickled ginger, encased in a flour and egg batter, then cooked and served with sauces), okonomiyaki (flour, vegetable and seafood or meat pancakes) and kushikatsu (skewered, battered and deep-fried food). The region is also home to Universal Studios Japan, which includes a Harry Potter theme park.
Stop 2: Kyoto
From Osaka, travel to Kyoto for a change of cuisines and attractions. Here, shrines and nature are aplenty. Look out for the unique gassho-zukuri farmhouses in the Shirakawa area, recognisable by their trademark roofs that resemble hands folded in prayer.
Stop 3: Tokyo
Finally, in Tokyo you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do, see and eat. Here you’ll experience a different pace as you immerse yourself in the city’s culture, which is uniquely distinct from the other two regions.
The Nordic Itinerary: Denmark – Norway – Sweden – Finland
As part of a Nordic route, these four countries encompass the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. The climate here is generally colder and you’ll see a lot more snow.
There may be some overlap with the cuisines and scenery, but the cultures and geography remain distinct between the countries, making it a novel journey. Experience Denmark’s low-lying lands, which transition into the fjords of Norway. Likewise, indulge in trademark Swedish cuisine and design before you make your way to Finland, where you may be lucky enough to experience the stunning Northern Lights display.