How to do a multi-destination trip on a budget

24 February, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Nancy Lova

Image by @tatianaelizabethh

Sometimes jetting off to one place at a time just doesn’t feel enough. There’s always so much more to explore especially as many countries and cities are right next door to each other yet are completely different to one another.  

At the end of any trip, I’m always longing for more and dreaming about where to go next but I know for many it’s not always so easy to book a multi-destination holiday. It may be certain responsibilities, lack of annual leave but a lot of the time, it’s the financial concerns of trying to cover the cost of another trip, that may trouble us, at least that’s what we think. 

Travel is a luxury and our absolute birthright to see the world but it doesn’t have to break the bank so I’m about to explain how to have a multi-destination trip on a budget!

Explore the same country

One of the best ways to visit a few places in one holiday is by staying in the same country! As mentioned earlier, some cities are in close proximity but totally different. 

Take Italy, you have Rome, the beautiful capital offering the perfect city break but take a 3 hour train ride or drive down south and you’re in one of the country’s most incredible beach getaways, the Amalfi Coast.

You’re able to do this in pretty much every country and a great mode of transport for this are trains, they’re convenient and often cheaper than boarding a flight. Don’t worry if you do have to catch a flight though. Flights to a neighbouring city are another quick and affordable option as due to less travel time, you could save yourself hundreds than if you were trying to visit the same place but all the way from home! So the prices are just too good to miss and wait until some other time. 

Some examples of multi-destinations in the same country include:


Seville to Madrid in under 3 hours by train OR Barcelona to Ibiza in an hour by plane (I’ve seen nonstop flights for as little as £13, like come on!!)


Athens to Mykonos with just a 45 minute flight


Istanbul to Cappadocia in under 3 hours by plane OR Istanbul to Bodrum in about an 1 hour 20 mins


Kyoto to Osaka in 12 minutes by train 

Tokyo to Osaka in just over 2 hours by Bullet Train

Explore neighbouring countries

With the same methods suggested earlier, you could absolutely travel to multiple countries in one holiday. How I approach this, is to visit countries that are right next door to each other or as close as possible like Belgium to Germany or Egypt to Morocco. This would require a little more research however, can save you time when travelling and lots of monies. I suggest initially staying in a city on a larger scale with direct flights and good transport links as even if you don’t have it all planned out and would rather leave your travels to spontaneity, getting around would still be easy.

Alternative options

Perhaps you’re the kind of traveller who doesn’t enjoy the planning side of trips and you want it all done for you or maybe you’re the kind that likes to go with the flow but still want to visit as many places as possible, then the two are for you:

Road trips

If you haven’t hired a car and city-hopped then this is your sign too! I remember on one occasion in Tuscany, I had no choice but to hire a car and what started off with me being ridiculously terrified of driving through rural, remote parts actually turned out to be an incredible experience.  

Road trips are an exciting way to explore a country and its neighbours too. It’s also cost friendly as you’re not having to worry about things like flights, taxis or trains. They’re easy to hire but if you have your own car, then even better and cheaper!

Places that are great for a road trip are:

California for a classic road trip to explore LA, San Diego, San Francisco and more

Tuscany for a rural escape and breathtaking landscapes. Cities and towns include Florence, Pisa, Sienna, Lucca and Livorno

Preplanned multi-destination trips

Travel agents and companies such as Virgin, Tui and Intrepid are ideal options when you want to relieve yourself of the stress of organising several places yourself. You often have one point of contact who you can liaise with directly about all things and expectations including budget. Plus they’re experts and can build an itinerary on your behalf in case you’re not familiar with particular places or are a little worried.

Save luxury hotels until the end

As much as we’d all love to stay in five-star hotels everywhere we go, on a multi-destination holiday, this may not always be possible. In order to stick to a budget, I’d suggest choosing hotels that would allow you to save some money and put whatever’s left over towards a nice treat at the second half or end of your trip. This means you would have achieved the goal which is to visit several places and then have a luxurious treat to look forward to. 


IALH Editorial Team


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