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Healthy Travel

Short Trip vs Long Trip: What’s best?

Are you planning a vacation and can’t choose between a short trip vs long trip? Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of both.  

Vacations are a great way to recharge our batteries. We all need them after grinding away at our jobs for countless hours every week. Vacations help improve our mental health by allowing us to step away from our reality for a period of time and recharge our batteries. The question is: How long do you go for?

Everyone is different when it comes to how much time off we get. Typically, employees get between 3-4 weeks of paid vacation per year. Not everyone wants to go on a trip but those who do often struggle to decide whether to take it all at once or chop it up into shorter vacations.

Let’s dive in, break down the pros and cons of a short trip vs long trip and figure out how to decide which one to plan for your next getaway!


Pros and cons of taking a longer vacation

Pros of a long vacation

More time off

When debating a short trip vs long trip, it may come down to how much time you have. Going on a long vacation – of 2 or more weeks gives you more time away from reality. It usually takes a few days to adjust to being off work but then you have more time to rest and relax. This goes a long way to finding motivation for when you get back to life. Don’t forget to pack everything you need in this awesome travel duffel bag.


See more places

With a longer trip, you have more opportunities to see more places at your chosen destination. No one wants to sit on a resort for 2 or 3 weeks. Get out and experience the local culture, explore new cities, and learn new things. Check out these adventure vacations on a budget for inspiration.


Boost mental health

That extra week off can do wonders for our mental health. We all get lost in the grind sometimes and need to take a break from everyday life. 2 – 3 weeks off straight is a great way to accomplish this


Decreased burnout

a man stressed at work

Getting a proper recharge from work can lead to feeling less burnout at work. Some companies even mandate taking a full week off just to avoid burnout of their staff. Long vacations are a great way to decrease the burnout you are feeling.


Cons of a long vacation

Only going once a year

If you have limited vacation days from work then taking a long trip could use up most of them in one go. This might be the right move however if you have a lot of plans for your vacation. Get the most out of it by booking around the holidays.


Stressing about work while away

Another downside of a long vacation is feeling stressed about work while you are away. If you had some big projects put on hold you probably can’t help but think about it. A break is necessary and so ask for someone to back you up while you are away.


Costs can stack up

Traveling isn’t cheap. Taking a long vacation can be much more costly if you are adding in multiple stops. Hotel rooms, eating out and all can really add up. On the flip side, you won’t have multiple flights like people who take several short trips a year.


Getting homesick

For some of us, being away from home for a long time isn’t normal. If you go on a long vacation, you could really start to miss the comforts of home, especially if you are taking an extended break that lasts for more than a month.


Lots of planning

Travel takes planning. A downside of a longer vacation is having to plan so many things. Sometimes life is already stressful enough without adding the need to plan a long vacation.


Pros and cons of taking a short vacation

Pros of a short vacation

See more places

Taking several shorter (1 week or less) vacations in a year allows you to visit more places. You can spend a week in the Caribbean, a week in Europe, and a week at a local destination to get the most out of your vacation time assuming you get 3 weeks.


Go more often

Taking one long vacation means potentially only taking one vacation a year. But that means you have 11 months straight without a break. Taking smaller vacations gives you more breaks throughout the year. Traveling more often means more airport security, here are some tips you should check out.


Less expensive

a man relaxing at the pool

While more flights could cost you a lot more, traveling for 1 week is much cheaper than traveling abroad for 3 weeks or more. It’s simple math. All those hotel rooms, excursions, food, and gifts will really add up. Not as bad if you only go away for a week.


Less boring, more fun

Spending multiple weeks in one place can be boring. But being there for a week can be a lot of fun. You fit in everything you want to do and don’t have a chance to get bored.


Less Planning

Not as much planning is required for a short time. Of course, you want to do some planning unless you prefer to just wing it. Less planning means less stress before you leave. Are you someone who likes to wing it or a big planner? Check out this article to learn more.


Cons of a short vacation

Not enough time to recharge

family relaxing at the beach

A short vacation can simply not be enough to give you the break you deserve. It can take a few days to settle in and start relaxing and by that point, you’re already thinking about going back. If this is you, take some extra time off to truly disconnect.


Over before you know it

Vacations can fly by. This is especially true for a short vacation. You’re having so much fun in a short period of time it can feel like a blur. Don’t forget to try and fit in some quiet time and perhaps even some mindfulness to soak in the experience.


Limited time for activities

Short trips can mean not having enough time to do all the amazing activities a place has to offer. Make sure you choose wisely to get into what activities you are craving. Sometimes there is just never enough time in a day.


Risks of cancellations

A flight cancellation could easily eliminate 1-2 days of your trip. This is always a risk with shorter vacations and it’s best to be prepared for that. With a longer vacation, missing 1-2 days might not seem as bad.


How to decide between taking a short trip vs long trip

A family at the pool

There is no clear answer to whether taking a short trip vs long trip is right for you. It totally depends from person to person. To decide you really need to reflect on your personal circumstances and goals. If you want to see multiple places in a year, then taking several shorter trips is the right way to go. If you are stressed out at work and need to truly decompress, maybe take an extra week so you get the time off you need.

Short trips & long trips each have their pros and cons. Regardless of what you decide to do, remember to enjoy it and take the break you need.