Sometimes you just need to get on plane, book a stay at a resort and relax. Sometimes, there is so much to see at a place that you want to visit multiple destinations. The flexibility planning your own trips creates means you’re never locked in, unless you opt for a resort in the middle of nowhere with few or exorbitant transportation options.
In 1991, I made my first trip to Cancun, completely intending to loll on a beach chair for a week in front of the palatial marble high rise hotel I chose. Never did I guess a random excursion to the ruins at Chichen Itza would launch a significant interest in the Maya that would have me traveling roughly from place to place, sometimes staying in un-airconditioned jungle huts for the next 20 years!
It is a lot easier and a lot cheaper to get around than you may think. Check out the “getting around” sections on Lonely Planet or Rough Guide (online or in guidebooks) for your destination. Or do a search for “getting from ___ to ____” (be specific) on the destination’s Tripadvisor forum.
In Europe high speed rail and discount airlines make traveling between countries easy. In Asia it’s airlines. In Mexico, and Central America there are planes, luxury buses, tourist shuttle vans, and all sorts of local conveyances – you can get anywhere you need to go without a rental car.
Depending on your options, schedule and budget, decide whether flying, ground transportation or boats are your best options. Maximize your time. If you only have a week, you don’t want to spend a whole day traveling, so splurging on a flight may be a better choice. If you don’t have a choice, that will become evident and make the decision easier. When possible make the excursion part of the trip. You can fly from Thailand to Luang Prabang, Laos – but it’s a lot more pleasurable to take a slow rice barge down the Mekong River, stopping along the way at little villages and a gorgeous hotel.
The 2 posts below will assist you in planning itineraries for single and multi- destination trips: