An exciting city break is one of life’s true pleasures: a chance to experience new sights and sounds and explore different cultures from around the world. However, despite the fact that the world’s metropoles have the highest concentration of attractions, historical sights and landmarks, many people will limit themselves to spending a long weekend – just a few days – in any urban destination. Whilst this can be a great way of dipping the toes in the water and getting a feel for a new city, for most major cities it is hardly enough time to scratch the surface when it comes to what’s on offer. Of course, work and everyday life will somewhat dictate how long anyone can spend abroad, but choosing to make an extended stay for your next vacation can open up a world of options and offer a completely different experience than a long weekend.
The sheer size of some of the world’s major cities, such as London, Paris, New York or Tokyo, make them more or less impossible to explore to any great extent in a couple of days. Spending longer means visitors have the opportunity to travel between different neighbourhoods, plan excursions and get to know the different areas of any city. This, in turn, offers a much richer experience and makes it far easier to break away from the standard city break itinerary. However, making an extended stay in New York, Paris or London does more than allows you to cover more ground, it effectively changes the whole dynamic of a trip abroad. Below are a few more examples of the benefits of an extended stay for your next vacation.
More time to explore the sights
There’s no denying it – sightseeing can be exhausting. As touched upon above, spending more time in a city means not having to rush to squeeze everything in. Whilst many smaller cities can easily be seen in a day or two, a great many more require a little longer to tick off even just the most popular sights. Having a few extra days allows for a much more relaxing environment to give important cultural landmarks their proper attention, as well as opening more options when it comes to scheduling other activities, such as dining out or enjoying a night out.
Not only does an extended trip give you more time to spend at attractions, thus making them more cost-effective, but it also makes it far easier to schedule a visit at quieter times, when the crowds are smaller. This can be a major advantage for famous landmarks such as the Tower of London, The Empire State Building in New York, or the Eiffel Towe in Paris – which can suffer from overcrowding during the holiday season. Being able to pick and choose a time means making the avoidance of such crowds much easier to achieve.
Having a little extra time also means stopping to enjoy the atmosphere, engaging meaningfully with museums and exhibits, as well as taking the time to reflect upon new experiences.
The Chance to Live Like a Local
These days, the buzzword in travel is authenticity. People often go abroad in search of the elusive authentic experience – the chance to experience a new location through a locals eyes rather than just another tourist. Making an extended stay in any city gives the visitor a chance to truly explore the area and choose their own favourite bars, parks and restaurants, as opposed to having to rely on a travel guide or review site.
For example, staying in a serviced apartment in Paris or London means being able to enjoy a private space, often to be found in the less touristy areas of any city. This means getting to know the local social scene and an extended stay gives the opportunity to settle into the local way of life, as opposed to rushing around from one famous landmark to another. Everyone knows the more famous areas of the big cities, but few ever take the time to really explore the incredible diversity within the individual neighbourhoods.
Excursions, Excursions, Excursions!
Whilst many major cities have untold amounts to see and do, visitors who restrict themselves to the standard tourist hotspots often miss out on some truly incredible travel opportunities. For example, anyone staying in London for a weekend will no doubt enjoy the city’s famous landmarks, but those with a little more time to explore also have the option to head to nearby attractions, such as Hampton Court or Kew Gardens, while also having additional options for trips to other cities, including Portsmouth, Brighton and even Bath – many of which would require a whole day or overnight stay, making them unlikely options for a long weekend. Put simply: the longer the stay, the more opportunities to explore.
One major benefit of an extended trip is that it opens up further opportunities when it comes to accommodation. Whilst plenty of hotels offer long stays, serviced apartments and short-term lets really come into their own over an extended stay – the inclusion of home entertainment and full kitchen facilities in a completely private space make apartments make for a much more comfortable environment. Of course, private accommodation is particularly beneficial for those travelling for business. For example, choosing to stay in corporate housing in London, as opposed to a traditional hotel, means having space to work as well as being in a prime location to reach important economic areas. Similarly, in 24-hour cities like New York, having dedicated semi-residential accommodation offers the chance to enjoy comparative peace and quiet.
One of the best things about visiting a new city is exploring the local flavours. Of course, dining out is definitely one of life’s pleasures, but restaurant menus only tell part of the story when it comes to new cuisines. Most big cities will have numerous neighbourhoods known for their produce – think of Chinatown, Little Italy or the Jewish quarter in Paris or New York. These areas are filled with stores serving incredible produce and having private kitchen facilities gives visitors a chance to try their hand at cooking their favourite dishes – and perhaps a few new ones – using locally sourced produce. Choosing to stay in a serviced apartment in New York, for example, means being able to try all the local flavours as well as significantly reduce costs by not having to eat out. Combined with many benefits of a traditional hotel, including room cleaning and reception, this format of accommodation really does open up a whole new experience.
Not being beholden to time constraints makes travelling infinitely less stressful. Being able to enjoy the sights at a more leisurely place inevitably gives a more pleasant experience and having a private environment to retire to at the end of a busy day sightseeing also goes a long way to keeping stress levels at a minimum. Particularly for those who choose to stay in serviced apartments over a hotel, a longer stay means being able to self-cater, which again makes scheduling sightseeing around meals much easier. These properties also offer a much more relaxing environment, as they are far less busy than traditional hotels. Finally, many people find air travel stressful, it can seriously hinder the holiday spirit for those who know they have to do it all again in just a day or two. Spending a little longer away means putting travel to the back of your mind and having plenty of time to explore the sights.
And… why not?
In discussing the benefits of an extended stay for your next vacation, it’s difficult not to ask the question… why not? With an abundance of fantastic accommodation options, longer trips are easier than ever before. Combined with more and more people working from home, extended, multi-stage trips are becoming ever more popular. Of course, few people have endless time to spend on holiday, but choosing a longer stay means getting so much more out of a single trip. With so many obvious advantages, it’s hard to make a case against extending your stay.
It should be plain to see that choosing to make an extended stay over just a long weekend holds many benefits. Effectively, any trip becomes more and more cost-effective over the long term, whilst affording extra time to really explore a new location, or find alternative attractions in a familiar city. Of course, anyone making a longer stay will also want to be far more judicious when it comes to choosing accommodation. This is why thesqua.re ensures it only offers the finest properties available for short-term let, giving customers peace of mind that, wherever they may be travelling to and for however long, their stay will be one of unparalleled comfort and convenience.