Benefits of Fast-Paced Travel

Most of the time when I chat with people about their vacations, it’s “I’m spending a week (or two) in X,” with “X” being a single city or country. While I’ll argue that any travel is fabulous, I’m much more of a “fast-paced” travel kinda girl. If you’re been a reader of Small Towns & City Lights for awhile, you know this because my last two “big trips” looked like this:

2014: 6 days, 2 cities, 2 countries

2015: 9 days, 6 cities, 5 countries,


Looking at these itineraries, I might seem like a crazy person to most people. But there is a method to my madness! To me, there are 3 main benefits of fast-paced travel. Here they are.


Maximize Time Off

To be honest, this is probably the biggest reason for me. As someone with a full-time job (in addition to blogging), I have a limited number of vacation days each year, and am adamant about making the most of those days. Whether domestic or international, I try to plan getaways for those days!

“Save” Money

While trips aren’t “cheap” by any means, I look at fast-paced trips as a way to ensure that I’m really getting my money’s worth. While this applies to domestic travel, this is geared more toward international travel. Flights are at best a few hundred dollars, but usually closer to the $1000+ mark if you’re not in a big airport hub city (e.g. NYC, Chicago, LA). If you’re already dropping that much money or using up all of your earned airline miles, you really want to make sure you’re maximizing your trip!

See the World

Saving the best for last here. To say the world’s a big place is an understatement. It’s huge! But there’s only so much learning about a place without physically being there. Travel educates you, opens your eyes, and really changes you. It’s an indescribable feeling you’ll only be able to experience getting out there and seeing the world for yourself. So it’s my goal to see as many places as I can in my life.


And while we’re on the topic of fast-paced trips, I’m excited to announce that later this year, my mom and I will be going on our third annual European adventure! We’ll be traveling to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and The Netherlands (with a possible stop in Estonia)! It’s going to be another crazy one, but I can’t wait!

Tell me, do you prefer fast or slow-paced trips?

  • Those full time jobs always get in the way. I would love to just travel around the world and blog, but unfortunately I have to float the bill somehow!

    • So true! Hopefully for your honeymoon you’ll be able to plan some fun travel!

  • We do fast paced trips like you for the same reasons… It also gives us a better sense of where we want to go back to and explore!

    • Exactly! What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

  • Renee L Stambaugh

    I am more for the slow paced ones…but would be willing to try a face paced one if someone else was paying…LOL…now if only…

  • This is my favorite way to travel! Even before I married a pilot! The only difference is that, while my vacations would be “3 Days in Vienna,” now they’re often “19 hours in St. Louis!” We went to Hawaii and Dubai for 3 days last year and it was great…although Dubai was a little far for that kind of trip! Our honeymoon was 2 nights in Paris, 2 in Athens, 3 on Santorini, 3 on Crete, and 2 in Paris! This year’s anniversary trip is starting to look similar!

    • That sounds so thrilling! I interned for an airline in college and was able to take trips like that. It was so much fun! What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?

      • Ahh that is SUCH a hard question to answer! I really loved Sarajevo, but London has a special place in my heart!

  • I like both! If I’m going somewhere beachy I’d like to just sit around and chill for awhile, but if I’m trying to sightsee then yes I want to see as much as possible. On my honeymoon we went to Europe and did 3-4 days in each city – it was fabulous!

    • That does sound fab! I wouldn’t mind a relaxing spa trip, otherwise it’s go-go-go for me!

  • I love this! I can see how fast-paced travel can be great when you only have a short amount of time to spend…you still get to see lots of places!

    • That’s exactly it! You never know if/when you’ll get back to an area, so I always try to see as much of it as I can!

  • I prefer slower paced trips and longer stays in each spot so that I can get to know a place better. Unfortunately, time doesn’t always allow for that, so sometimes a whirlwind trip is necessary in order to see all the sights in a shorter time frame. It’s so exciting that you’ll be exploring so many places in Northern Europe. I’ve not yet been to Sweden, Norway, and Finland, so I look forward to your posts and recaps!

    • If time and money weren’t issues, I’d love to spend more time in each place! It’s definitely going to be interesting for us visiting in December with only a few hours of daylight. I can’t wait though!

  • I love this, as much as I love a week at the beach…knocking a bunch of MUST DO activities off a list in a short amount of time is so awesome!

  • I’ve never been able to find a term for how my husband and I travel but it is totally fast paced! Even when we do stay in one area for a week (say NYC) we’re bouncing around all over to see as much as we can….I always say that we can rest when we are home! Ha!

    • That’s my mindset too! There’s plenty of time for rest on the plane or once you get home – there’s too much to see/do that you don’t want to miss out on!

  • I think it really depends on what I’m trying to get out of the trip. If Dustin and I are going away to reconnect and relax, I want a slow paced trip where we can take our time wandering around one place. But, if we’re in an adventurous mood, I want to see as much as I can and experience as many things as I can!

    • Good point! I can’t remember the last time I took a relaxing trip. I need to build in more of those too!

  • Having only traveled to one place, I think my next trip will be a fast paced for this reason! I wan to see more!! Love how you have everything lined out

    • It helps to see so much more! Where are you thinking your next trip will be?

      • We are hoping to do 3 months in Japan. So it won’t be quite a speed through. And it won’t be for 5 years. But it’s our next big thing.

  • I’m right there with you about fast paced travel! When we go to Europe this year we’re going to 4 countries and 5 cities in 12 days. I prefer to maximize my time because like you I work full time and blog!

    • YES! My kind of travel :) Your trip will be here before you know it!

  • Sounds like such a whirlwind, but amazing! I like traveling, but I don’t love for things to be too fast… I definitely prefer a couple of days per city.

  • I like the idea of seeing more places in a short amount of time, but I also like to stay in a city for 2-3 nights and immerse myself in the city. We did two nights in Paris and we were up from dawn to dust, trying to make the most of our time in the city. I think it depends on where you travel to also. Some cities don’t have as much to see as other cities do.

    • I know the feeling! We had about 5 days in London but I still felt like it wasn’t enough! There are definitely some places you need to spend more time exploring!

  • Those are definitely some packed itineraries, but all the same, I think I’d love the trips. We also have limited time for travel and vacations–we’re leaving pretty soon for 1 week in Japan, and that’s the longest vacation we’ve taken in a good long time! But we’re not really doing the fast-paced thing–we’re staying in Tokyo area the whole time rather than trying to fit in Kyoto or Hiroshima as well. For me, I just didn’t want to spend a ton of time sitting on trains getting from one place to another (also, Japan trains are expensive!), and Tokyo happens to have a ton of stuff to see, so we figured, on a first trip, let’s not be too ambitious. I think I could go either way–fast-paced or slower-paced, depending on the destination.

    • That sounds like so much fun! I hear you on slowing it down for this trip. I think big cities definitely need more time! I can’t wait to hear about it!

  • Candy Kage

    I understand the one and two day itineraries. I still prefer to spend at least a week in each area seeing as much as I can. If you don’t have the option this is good.

    • It would be fab to spend a week somewhere! I definitely like having more time in the big cities!

  • This is something I always decide between, personally I like a cross between a “slow pace” and a “face pace”. I like doing long trips to a single country, but going EVERYWHERE in that country. Like when I went to Peru we went all over the place, but I felt like I really SAW Peru. Some smaller countries in Europe probably wouldn’t require as much time but I like to get into the deep cuts of a country, which makes going so many places more difficult! But agreed, I also want to maximize my time off and my money!

    Laura | Laura Aime Vous

    • That sounds wonderful! For now, I like hitting the bigger cities because that’s all there’s time for. But when I pass through the countryside places on a train I always make a mental note that I want to get back to explore that one day too. There’s so much to see!

  • Pack Your Baguios

    I’m a fast pace traveler. I always go to a place with the mindset of “I might not ever get to come here again”. I can always rest back in my own bed.

    • That’s exactly how I think about it! Although I do like to think I will get back again one day :)

  • Thanks for these great tips! I’m looking into planning a European adventure. I’ll definitely have to check out all of these links.

    • How fun! Where are you thinking you’ll travel to?

      • We’re thinking England, Scotland, and Ireland!

  • Samantha

    I’ve never done fast-paced travel, but I can totally see the benefits of it! You might as well take in as many places as you can while you’re there. It looks like so much fun! I hope you have a great time!

    • Thank you! You should give it a try! It’s a great way to knock out a lot of places!

  • John Lyons

    You sold me on the benefits, now do you have any tips on how to effectively do face paced travel?

    • I actually have a post coming on that in the near future :) The biggest piece of advice I can give is plan ahead!!

  • We love going on cruises that hit multiple cities in a week or 2!

    • That’s the way to do it! I’m eyeing up river cruises as a big adventure in the future!

  • I think I could really get into this way of traveling – you get to see so much more.

    • Exactly! That’s why I love it. You really maximize your time that way!

  • Adventures with Bri

    I have a love/hate relationship with fast-paced travel. We did this while living in Europe! We made it to 22 different countries in 14 months! It was a bit overwhelming but amazing at the same time!

    • Wow, that sounds amazing! Which country was your favorite?

      • Adventures with Bri

        I don’t know if I could name one country!! I have several different cities that I absolutely loved and some regions that I would love to spend more time in! I cannot wait to go back to Berlin, Germany. We went back multiple times to Paris, France and I can always go back. Then there are some regions in Germany and Austria that I would love to spend more time! What has been your favorite country in Europe?

  • When my boyfriend and I backpacked Europe a few years ago, we did like 10 countries and 15 or 16 cities in a month and a half. It was a WHIRLWIND and I would definitely do less travelling and more spending my time in fewer cities next time!

    • Wow, that sounds intense! But also awesome. Definitely don’t blame you for wanting to slow the next one down! Which cities were your favorite?

  • I’ve never really thought about this, but you bring up great points to travel this way!! Love it, thanks for sharing!!

  • I think that the biggest advantage is that you get to see a lot of places in a shorter time. But you must plan carefully so you get to enjoy the places you go to, not just pass by. Also organisation is important in order not to get burned out. If you are physically exhausted it’s quite possible you won’t enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
    PS: If you ever visit Prague again email me :) . Would love to go out for a beer/coffee/tea what you like best.

    • Exactly! Organization is key in fast-paced trips. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to? I do hope to get back to Prague – it was wonderful! I’ll definitely get in touch if I do :)

  • Those trips you’ve been on sound amazing. I can’t imagine going to Europe so often, but I would love to be able to do that someday. I think a fast-paced trip has its pros and cons, because you are able to see a LOT, but it could be more difficult to see the culture and all the placed you’d like to see in that area. What I love about Europe is how easy it is to go from one country to another, and I think a fast-paced trip is the way to do it!

    • Yes! I really enjoy doing the walking tours of the cities, I think it’s a great way to get to know a place better in a short time period.

  • i think we are somewhere in the middle, like medium paced. haha. my first trip to the US, i saw so many cities and states in 3 weeks that I hardly remember any of them. when we went to europe, we did a few of days in each city. i can’t imagine spending any more than that, of course i’d love to spend months or weeks in a place, but we don’t have that kind of time or money, so squeezing as much as possible into a trip is a must!

    • Exactly! Some places definitely need more time for exploration. I wish time and money weren’t an issue!

  • I totally prefer fast paced trips as well for all the same reasons as you. I’d love to say i’m going to a beach for a week but i’d feel so lazy just lying on a beach for a week when I could be seeing a bunch of different countries. I have my retirement to lounge on a beach somewhere. Can’t wait to hear more details about your next trip!!

  • I’m with Kristen, I like medium paced trips. I love being able to get as much in as possible but I also need a day or two (depending on how long I’m traveling for) to just chill.

    • I hear you! I always feel like I need a vacation from the vacation when I get home. It’s always tough to get back to reality!