Why you should take a month-long trip


Long trips are increasingly becoming the norm.  I recently returned from a 3.5-week journey, and I absolutely loved it.  I also know a family of 6 who took a 6-week, Summer trip through Italy and Switzerland; and I know a mother and daughter who took a 3-week, Summer trip through Japan, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  Here are 5 reasons you should take a long trip too.

1. Really feel like you are on vacation

Let’s face it … when shifting straight from work to a vacation, it may take a couple of days (or even a few days) to fully relax.  The longer you are on vacation, the more time you have to get into relaxation mode and forget about whatever stresses you during your daily life.

2. Immerse yourself in the culture and feel like a resident

Sure you can get a flavor of the culture from a short or average-length (3-14-day) trip.  But if you really want to go deeper and more comprehensively understand the ins and outs of the culture, you need more time.  There are just some things you won’t learn about a culture with only a brief visit.  When you stay in one place for a lengthy period of time, you get to live, breathe, shop, and eat like a resident.  You can really get into the nooks and crannies of a place and experience all of the things a local experiences.  You can visit more local restaurants, walk around residential neighborhoods, meet more locals, go to sporting events, and more.

3. Maximize your flight cost and flight time

If you are flying a great distance or spending a lot of money/miles on your flights, why not make the most of that by staying a long time!  You may not know when you’re going to fly that distance again or when you’re going to be willing to spend that amount of money/miles on the flights again.

4. See more.  Put plainly and simply, more time = more you can see/do/experience

There are some destinations which just can’t be fully explored with a one-week or even a two-week vacation.  Take India and Vietnam for example … each country has so many ‘main’ cities with amazing sightseeing, that it could take you three weeks to fully explore Vietnam or four-five weeks (maybe longer) to fully explore India.  Even if you don’t get much vacation time, it could be worth it to take some additional time off to reap the benefits of a lengthy vacation.

5. Make it a multi-purpose trip

If you struggle with the concept of being away from home for one month, breaking the trip into pieces and making it a multi-purpose trip could make it feel less like you are really away for one month yet allow you to reap the benefits of maximizing your flight cost/time and seeing more.  Specifically, you could work, play AND visit family/friends.

In the middle of your trip, build in some time to see friends/relatives who live in the region you are visiting.  This could give you just enough of a reminder of home to emotionally refuel enough to continue the rest of your trip.

Indeed, for many people a true vacation does not involve work.  However, if you are away for as long as one month, you may need to fold in some work time.  Have lunch/dinner with some colleagues who live in the region you are visiting, visit some local sites relevant to the work you do, or even set aside a couple of days to attend a conference.  I did just that during my recent 3.5-week trip to Asia.  I tacked a 4-day conference in Singapore onto the end of my trip.  It worked wonders as it not only gave us a chance to revisit Singapore, it also enabled me to get mentally prepared for being back at work without throwing me straight into a normal workday.

Think about that country or region you’ve been eager to dig into and start making a plan for how you can spend 3-4 weeks there.

Tisha Neufville is a Luxury Travel Advisor and Founder of Neufville Travel. Neufville Travel is an independent affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso member.

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Comments (7)

  1. Carolyn says:

    There are probably two stages in life when long trips are possible. Firstly, there’s the classic Gap Year trip: no responsibilities but not much money either. Secondly, there’s the “Golden Years trip” in early retirement when you may have the time and money to go travelling but your body won’t let you climb Kilimanjaro.

    Sadly, for most of us it’s very difficult to put life on hold. There’ are the four Ps to consider: parents, pets, plants and plumbing. I don’t trust our plumbing, I wouldn’t want to leave it unsupervised for a weekend, let alone a month.

    At the moment I just need to look forward to a dream trip one day.

  2. Brad says:

    Got to agree with the idea of a long trip. It takes people time to sort of decompress from their normal lives. Listen to most people when they are travelling, for the first few days they’re still talking about home, family and work. It’s only natural that it takes them time to switch off. Sometimes it can be a few days, even a week, for them them to get their mind in gear for the trip.

  3. Alison Williams says:

    The point about making the most of your flights is going to be increasingly true. I definitely feel that the tide has turned, so many of my friends are really worried about global warming. They love travel and they love their planet too. One friend has made a New Year’s resolution that she’s going to fly less often. For her the long weekends in Europe are going and she says she’s going to do just one big, big trip this year.

  4. Jenna S says:

    It’s great to hear you loved your 3.5 week vacation. I love the sound of a longer trip for the most part, especially as there seems to be a lot of hassle with getting prepared, travelling and general stressing so I’ve not always found it all that worthwhile when you’re staying a week or less. By the time I’m settled and can enjoy the holiday, it’s time to come back. The only issues for me with lengthier stays are possible health issues that I have causing a problem and the expense of the trip. Of course there are ways to try to minimise that, but it does help if you’ve got more cash to spare to be able to do it comfortably.

    I’d agree with your points being the advantages I would consider with longer trips. Years ago I did six weeks in the States and it was the best thing I’ve ever done, you get so much more out of it and by the end I didn’t want to leave. You definitely get a much better feel for the place and can really lose yourself in the experience.

  5. Fred says:

    The longer your trip the more you come to understand your destination. Though there’s nothing wrong with taking a holiday from your holiday. Once I was staying with friends in Florida for a few weeks and we all took a weekend break to New Orleans which was a completely different experience. It’s great to be able to use one destination as a launch-pad to see another place which will probably be very different. The only problem with long-trips is laundry management. At some point you’re going to run out of clean clothes and have to start doing some washing and getting it all dried too.

  6. Erik Chavez says:

    All valid reasons actually. And when you think about it, short vacations generally mean you have to cram every tour and sightseeing in just a few days. That can get pretty tiring, which is very ironic since you’re getting away to relax, right? There’s always this joke we pass around with friends or family when taking trips, let’s go go go, we’ll rest when we get home.

  7. That’s a good point that taking a long break can help you feel like you are taking a vacation. I have gone on a few trips that have just felt like an extended weekend and not a real vacation. I should try taking a long trip somewhere nice to really get the most out of it.

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