Multi centre holidays offer an incredible array of cultures and experiences to the inquisitive traveller. Combining two or more countries in one trip lets you make the most of your long haul flight whilst adding an extra dimension to your holiday. And with plenty of fascinating Asian countries in close proximity to each other, why limit yourself to just one?
However, the problem lies in actually organising your trip. From issues such as transport, to organising your time, to working out costs, there is plenty to keep in mind. Here are our 10 dos and don’ts for anyone thinking of a multi centre holiday.
1. Don’t box tick
There many incredible sights in Southeast Asia, so it can be tempting to cram them all into one trip. Realistically though, you’re not going to fit them all in and it’s very much a case of quality rather than quantity. You wouldn’t expect someone to see Big Ben, Edinburgh Castle, Dublin, Paris, Rome and Krakow comfortably in two weeks, so our advice would be not to do the same in Southeast Asia.
2. Do think about the costs
With every country added, you create new dimensions to the cost of your trip. If you have a strict budget, keep your holiday simple and visit two countries, incorporating a few key sights. Don’t spend your money on lots of short flights between places, but invest it in the experiences that will ultimately make your holiday.
3. Don’t live in an airport
Don’t waste your time cramming in too many countries as you’ll only end up visiting various local airports – which are certainly less inspiring than the people, food and culture of Asia.
4. Don’t miss the point of going
Each country you travel to deserves a certain amount of time in and of itself. No one would recommend combining countries for the sake of it because it’s there.
5. Do be open minded about your beach stay
It can be very tricky to have your beach stay tagged on at the end of your holiday, simply because of the geographical location of Southeast Asia’s best beaches and transportation links. It’s often better to organise it as an interlude in the middle of your holiday between countries. You could also consider staying at a beach alternative. 4 Rivers Floating Eco Lodge and La Folie Lodge on the Mekong River are two examples of a relaxing option that sometimes suits itineraries better.
6. Don’t force what a country doesn’t have
Some countries are better than others for different things. Want a beach in Laos? It’s landlocked so it’s just not going to happen; but there are some fantastic alternatives. Take each country as it is in terms of activities.
7. Don’t keep up with the Joneses
This is your holiday so don’t worry about anyone else’s opinions too much. Listen to people’s advice but go with your own gut. Only you really know what makes you happy.
8. Don’t worry about visas
Southeast Asian countries are making visas easier and easier to obtain. Don’t worry about the application process too much, your specialist consultant will be there to help. Whilst visas vary in price, in the grand scheme of things it’s nothing to be too concerned by.
9. Do forget about ‘doing’ a country
Understanding an entire country in the space of 2 or 3 weeks is impossible. What you can do is experience some highlights and get a very good insight into its varied way of life.
10. Don’t fly everywhere
Whilst the quickest way to get between countries is by flying, there are some far more interesting and comfortable ways to explore. Overnight trains offer stunning views over a country’s landscape – both urban and rural. An overnight journey by boat also offers a fantastic insight into a country and is a very stylish way to travel.
With the right planning, multi centre holidays can be incredibly enriching and inspiring. If you want a little more inspiration, have a look at these itinerary ideas:
Cambodia to Vietnam via The Mekong
Jayavarman Odyssey Cambodia to Vietnam
All our holidays are tailor-made by our country experts, so if you wanted to get a personalised itinerary or just some more ideas, do call us on 020 7924 7133. Our specialists are very happy to help – no matter where you’re at with your holiday planning. There are no obligations to book and you don’t have to pay a penny until you are completely sure that you’ve found your perfect holiday.