When I first decided to start sharing my travel stories through this blog, I realized that in order to stand out from the other travel bloggers, I needed to niche down to a specific travel style. Determined, I kicked up a massive dust storm rifling through my travel videos, pictures and past travel itineraries searching for my travel style and what would make my travel blog different. As the dust settled, a pattern started to emerge.
Short Trips & Mini-Breaks
Stopovers, Layovers & Long Weekend Getaways
Ok, that’s interesting, so I dug a little deeper and found that I did an insane amount of research beforehand to develop my short trip itineraries. Websites with travel blog posts, transportation info, events and festival dates, restaurants, tours boards, and tours were all bookmarked. Apps with maps, helped me plot out locations to visit and addresses (like GPSmyCity and OffMaps 2). I also used apps to build itineraries (Sygic Travel and Google Trips)
I researched everything from popular sites to off-the-beaten-path locations, movie and documentary references and I even saved pins on Pinterest you get the gist.
Eventually, I realized that I developed a system, skill, or ability (whatever you wanna call it) to logistically maximize the little time I had while still experiencing a lot. The key here is that I never felt rushed.
But why short trips?
Here are some reasons why I started going on short trips. Maybe you can relate?
Seniority: At the time, I just didn’t have any seniority. At the time I worked in childcare so in order to maintain the adult-to-child ratios only a certain amount of staff can be off at any given time. Those with seniority take all the good dates. So taking a large amount of time off during any popular season whether home or abroad would have been out of the question.
Vacation Time: At the time, I also only had 15 vacation days. So to make it work, I added a vacation day to a holiday creating an extended long weekend and I would try to string together the remaining days to create a week or two-week trip.
Budget: Funny thing. Being forced to take a vacation out of season or by adding a day to weekends caused me to spend less.
- Weekend getaways were great for local travel within my province in Canada, neighboring provinces or even my neighbor to the south, USA.
- Traveling out of season tends to be cheaper for both flights and accommodations. For example: Travelling during July & August are peak seasons for both Europe and here in Toronto. However, planning a trip in September may be cheaper and the weather tends to be mild (with no blazing sun) and fewer tourist crowds.
- Planning stopovers to multiple destinations for 10 days (or more) in one itinerary. Why spend 10 days in Rome when I could see Rome, Naples, and Pompeii in 10 days?
For inspiration check out…What To Do In Rome In 2 Days, 96 Hour Naples Itinerary which includes a One Day Pompeii Guided Tour.
In summary, short trips include:
- Weekend getaways
- Layovers (depending)
Layover VS Stopover
What is a stopover?
Stopover: A stopover refers to staying longer than 24 hours in any given city when travelling internationally.
So what’s the difference between a layover and a stopover?
Layover: A layover refers to a connection point between cities. This could be as short as 30 minutes or as long as 23 hours.
We’ve all been stuck in one. You know, when you’re travelling from Toronto to Dublin but you have an hour layover in New York. Arghhh
So why does this matter?
Well sometimes when you insert a stopover of two to three days in the middle of your direct flight from one destination to another, that stopover can result in incredible savings. Two destinations for the price of one allows you to see more for your money and sometimes there is an overall drop in the total airfare price.
So, if you’re anything like me then your next question should be: “How do I find savings through stopovers without all the hard work? I’m glad you asked.
The Answer Is Airwander
Air Wander is a combination flight metasearch engine that specializes in adding multi-day stopovers. It does all the hard work by finding all the stopover flights for you by suggesting destinations to visit on your way to and/or from your initial departure city and destination.
But in order to truly show you how magical this program is, let me demo it for you…