One major drawback that most of us will admit to finding in our holidays is that the whole thing seems to be over too soon. If you book a week in Rome, you’ll just be perfecting your order at that trattoria you discovered and you’ve got to say goodbye. A long weekend in the Bahamas is lovely, but just as you’re finding your favorite spot on the best beach, it’s time to pack and go home. If there is one thing we can all agree on about the way we take holidays, it’s that they leave us wanting more, which is a blessing and a curse.
Of course, if you have more time off – you’re on a career break, or you’ve saved up your holiday time and a bit more spending money than usual – there is the option of a longer trip to a chosen destination. That would certainly solve the issue of a holiday not being long enough – but on the other hand, does it bring some problems of its own? Below, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of longer-stay holidays, and decide whether they’re for you.
PRO: If you time it right, you can escape the worst of the year back home
There are always elements of life at home that we have issues with: it could be the weather, and particularly how cold it gets at the core of winter, or indeed how scorchingly hot midsummer can get. It could be a time when our home town fills up with larger crowds and normal life becomes impossible, or even a time when a past personal misfortune hits that little harder because of place and time. If you have enough free time, you can ensure that your holiday neatly spans the dates when you really just don’t want to be at home. That’s why they call it “getting away from it all”.
CON: The longer the stay, the more complicated it can get
We all do the mental math when we are packing for a stay away. We’ll need to pack this many pairs of pants, this many pajamas, we’ll need a good “going out” outfit, and so forth. We’ll need to take medication, and enough toiletries. But that math gets more complicated when it’s a longer stay – how many clothes can you take? Can you track down a laundromat so you can get laundry done? You also may need to consider work and payments if you’re going to be out of the country on pay day – fortunately, you can arrange a USD bank account that can be accessed where you are, but you need to remember these details ahead of time. The longer you stay somewhere, the more a trip can be like moving home.
PRO: It can work out pretty cheap in the long run
The US isn’t the most expensive country in the world to live in, not by a long chalk, but equally it isn’t the cheapest. In fact, it’s about twice as expensive as its immediate southern neighbor Mexico. That means that with accommodation, food, getting around and medical care taken into account, you’ll spend less money through a fortnight in Mexico than you would in one week Stateside. If you have months to spend somewhere, and any of the countries with a lower cost of living appeal to you, then it could be financially advantageous to have a longer holiday. Bear in mind, those countries include Portugal, Costa Rica and Egypt among others, which isn’t a bad list of destinations.
CON: You do still have to come back home
Cast your mind back to when you went away to college, or the first time you moved out of the family home. Even though it was exciting and necessary, it was hard. The longer you spend somewhere you really love, the harder it is going to be to pack up and go back home. And you will need to go back home, unless you’re emigrating (which, if it is an available choice, isn’t the worst idea). So, as much as you might relish the longer stay, you will have to factor in the unavoidable truth that you’re going to find it hard to say goodbye on the other end of the trip.
Longer stays in a dream destination have a lot going for them, but you need to balance that against the drawbacks that there are. For someone who loves travel, though, there is something undeniably attractive about the idea of taking all the time you can to really absorb a new country.