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one and two night stays-ways to enjoy

I am planning a two week trip to Greece for my husband and I for next May/June. We intend to go to Crete and then to Delphi and Meterora on the mainland. In mapping out our trip, I have mostly one or two night stays. This is not how we usually travel. I prefer 3 to 4 day stays.

My question is whether others have "tricks" they use to not be worn out by moving around. We plan to rent a car for at some of the time.

Posted by
1695 posts

Beth, I did this in Greece in July and what helped me for those shorter stays was to not pack the surrounding days too full or spread out too much at night. With less to assemble and pack up, it wasn’t much harder to carry a suitcase out to the car in the morning when heading out than it would have been just to head out in the car to sightsee. And not filling those days too full left me feeling more leisurely about changing towns - didn’t have to rush out in the morning or be worn out at night.

Posted by
1645 posts

That is good advice. I had thought of not spreading everything out but not about not packing the days too full. The only time we did short stays was on Amalfi coast and came home exhausted. But we packed a lot in and we’re relying on public transportation which gave us less flexibility.

Posted by
1267 posts

If you are not yet a packing cube user, you might want to start. They are especially useful when you need to pack/unpack frequently.

Posted by
1645 posts

Liz-how do you use packing cubes to facilitate packing up frequently?

Posted by
5538 posts

Speaking of packing, on a one nighter, if you have a car, stuff a Baggu or other small tote bag with the change of clothing you need for the next day. Maybe that’s just a change of underwear and socks, maybe more. And toiletries, of course. A dedicated packing cube might work for that, as well. Leave the rest in your trunk, and packing/unpacking for that night is easy. It’s also less work if you’ve got a longer walk from your parking place to your lodging, which happened to us in some parts of Crete.

Posted by
59 posts

I use packing cubes to organize my clothes for the days ahead. Instead of having to look for a top, then pants I just pack a few days total outfits into one large cube. Then I might add a “ dressier cube” if I needed something at night. I put the cube for the next day on top of the suitcase along with my underwear cube and I don’t have to take everything out every night. As we get longer into a trip we consolidate my husband’s stuff into my suitcase and use his for the dirty clothes.

Posted by
5538 posts

If possible, maybe intersperse the one-night stops with one or more two-nighters, so that you don’t have too many consecutive one-night stays.

Posted by
1167 posts

We often travel with one or two night stays. I dont find much difference, except that yes, you are using some of the time in a day to travel to a new place. But what I found with a home base, is that I was using that time to return to the place we ere staying. Example, we stayed in a small village called Kerames on Crete for three nights, and took a day trip to Matala, which was about 90 minutes away. Driving back to Kerames at the end of the day I was wishing hard that we'd spent two nights in Kerames and one in Matala!
We dont unpack much (toiletries), but we also dont pack fancy clothes so keeping things folded in our bags is just fine. The one trip where we tried to do the base + day trips model (Greece), we hated it ;p More exhausting to travel to and fro than just move forward

Posted by
5777 posts

Not exactly what you are asking, but for Greece, if you are relying on public transportation, I consider a travel day essentially a lost day. It seems the modes of transport operate in the heart of the day, leaving you not enough time in the morning for anything, and little other than a meal in the evening. So basically plan on just taking it easy those travel days, and not try to pack them with sights, other than a walk and a meal.

That makes one day stays hard if you are trying to see something, ok if it is an in-transit stop, but Delphi and the Meteora don't work as one night stops very well by bus.

Posted by
1645 posts

I have used packing cubes to hold all one type of clothes like all my shirts. The idea of putting outfits in them is a good one.

We plan to drive to Delphi and Meteora because as noted the public transportation isn't very flexible. The public transportation we are considering is to the south west coast of Crete returning to Chania to rent a car for remainder of our time there. The buses actually run early and late there.

We have 2 or 3 one night stays planned. I say 2 or 3 because I am considering consolidating one of them. I wonder what others think--seems like many have been to Crete. I have us staying in Zaros after exploring the Amari Valley but could drive another hour to Archanes where we already are staying 2 nights so make it 3 nights in Archanes. Overall, I calculated it would mean 90 minutes more driving than staying in Zaros as we would have to backtrack to go to Gortys the next morning.

And Jessica--we did visit Greece with 3-4 night stays and loved it. I think it depends where you are going. We went to Santorini, Naxos, Nafplio, and Athens--all of which lended themselves to staying put. Crete is too large with sites spread out for that approach I am finding out.

Posted by
1267 posts

I find it much easier to find things in cubes and not disrupt the entire suitcase. My travel clothes are mix and match, so I don't cube outfits together, but pants in one, shirts in another, and so on. Much easier to repack when you are doing that frequently.

Posted by
1645 posts

Liz-that is the way I use travel cubes now. Glad to know that has worked for you for short stays

Judy-I have both the Lonely Planet and DK Eye Witness books on Crete. I also have Rough Guide on the Greek Islands but haven't looked at it much since getting Crete specific books which have more detail. I also have been using the internet--both this travel site and Trip Advisor as well as cretetravel.com. I really like the later as it has lots of details, even more than the books. I also have been using the internet in general to look up distances, bus schedules, ferries ect. There are lots of resources out there!

Posted by
1167 posts

"And Jessica--we did visit Greece with 3-4 night stays and loved it. I think it depends where you are going. We went to Santorini, Naxos, Nafplio, and Athens--all of which lended themselves to staying put. Crete is too large with sites spread out for that approach I am finding out."

Hi Beth,
We also went to all of these ;) Santorini 3 nights, Naxos 4, Nafplio 3, Athens 2. We dont always travel with short stays. It has to make sense with the flow, and in Crete, it did not make as much sense. Nor did it male sense in the Peloponnese (for us) where we had entirely 1-2 nights stays over 8 days all over

Posted by
1645 posts

Jessica-I think Peloponnese requires even more short stays than Crete. I would like to go there and will see if we can successfully adapt in Crete before doing so.

Posted by
1028 posts

I traveled the ring road in Iceland this summer and was dreading the string of one-night stays. For this trip I packed a 46L pack (not packed full and cinched to 40L) for my carry-on and a kids size school backpack for my personal item. This is more than I usually pack because of the colder temperatures and need for hiking boots. Having a car made up for a lot because things like rain gear, outer jackets, souvenirs, etc could be left in the car over night. The biggest challenge for me was not being able to do much sink laundry. Underwear was OK, but anything larger wouldn't dry in time. I planned ahead for this and packed some silk undershirts so that I could wear my long sleeved shirts more times. We had one hotel in the east where they had overnight laundry service and another guest house that we reached early in the afternoon that had a washer and dryer. I also use packing cubes: one for shirts, one for pants, one for underwear/socks, one for electronics. It takes very little time to pack up in the morning.

I am planning a trip for spring and instead of doing the day-trip thing to avoid moving hotels, we are moving on as long as the day-trip is in the direction we are traveling. Our night stays will be 2-2-1-3-1-6.

Posted by
1645 posts

I am encouraged by all of you and your successes in traveling with short stays. My only experience was in Amalfi coast where we in retrospect moved too much and came home and exhausted. After that we stayed put longer but I am eager now to try again. I think we packed in too much for starts and did not pack as efficiently as many of you. If we can do this successfully, it will open up other places for us to travel.
Thanks so much!

Posted by
258 posts

We were in France in August. Part of that trip was nine nights in nine different towns in Brittany. For packing, we loaded two suitcases opened and stacked In the trunk. Each day when we left a hotel, we would put the clothes we needed for the next town in our carry-ons. When we arrived at the next hotel, they were happy to hold our carry-on bags while we went out to explore the town. We reserved our dinners ahead of time so that we didn't waste time trying to find a restaurant we liked. It helped that the towns were usually not more than an hour or two apart.

Posted by
17 posts

We often move every day or so when traveling. This is particularly true here in the states. We even do it when we tent camp. We can put up the tent, inflate air mattresses and get sleeping bags, etc in place in a half hour. Twenty minutes is all it takes to pack up in the morning. In hotels we never unpack. I don’t even remove my Ziploc toiletries bag. I get something out as I need it. Then it’s right back in the bag. Everything is rolled and stashed in cubes. I wash clothing in the sink if I have 2 days or if there is a fan or blower to facilitate drying. I find removing items increases my anxiety as I am more likely to leave items behind.