Whole Europe in one Trip

Enchanting Europe!!!! 21 days Grand tour of Europe. Visit 15 countries in 21 days.

This is the typical newspaper advertisement that you would have seen from the umpteen European Tour Companies. I have seen many people take these trips and come back to India exhausted and eager to take a holiday and sit at home for a few days just to rejuvenate themselves from the punishing schedule they have put themselves through in the name of a European Holiday.

I still do not understand the logic behind people falling for this merry go around Europe tugging around huge bags and sometimes wailing children who happen to be put through hell for no fault of theirs. We Indians tend to get rather too excited when we hear that we can travel to 15 countries, with one visa, and that too at one go.

Unfortunately, this overenthusiasm is not restricted just to people who go on package tours to Europe. Even people who travel independently to Europe for vacations are guilty of cramming too many places into the limited time that they spend in Europe. It is quite understandable though. For many people, vacation days are scarce and trips abroad are infrequent. There is a natural tendency to try to cramp as many cities and countries as possible into our trips, as we don’t always know when we’ll be back to Europe again.

Europe is a huge country and do not let any travel agent fool you that it is not. Your attempt to visit the whole of Europe in 20 days is similar to a foreigner attempting to see all of India in 20 days. If you think that it would be nearly impossible to discover India in so few days, then why would you attempt to do the same when you go to Europe?

If you try to pack in a 15-country itinerary in 20 days, you will have to travel a minimum of 6 to 8 hours every day. You will be staying in different hotels in different countries every day. By the end of the trip, you will be longing for just one day of peace and tranquillity… and coming to think of it that you had spent a bomb to go to Europe for a peaceful and pleasant holiday.

Cramming in too many places to see into a limited number of days can be costly. Over-packing trips with too many destinations in too few days leads to more time on the road, and more bus or train tickets. In extreme cases, it can sabotage a trip, turning it into a blur of hotel check-ins and check-outs with constant packing and unpacking, while you watch a never-visited landscape race past the bus windows.

Slow down. Finding your personal connect with your holiday destination makes your vacation more interesting. Choose only a few places to visit during your trip that can be logically and logistically fitted into a well-planned itinerary. Let go of the urge to add one more city or sight to your itinerary just because you think it is doable. Instead seek out a nearby village, visit the main square and its markets, savour a traditional meal, and take a walk through the labyrinths of small lanes and roads admiring the local way of life. Europe has many more things to offer for those who take the time out and care to look for it. Take one day at a time and always assume that you will be back.