How Long Should You Stay in a Place?

Bed Hotel Stay

Lately I have been asked by a lot of friends how long they should stay in a certain location when they are traveling, and the answer is not always an easy one. I think it’s hard to give a straight answer—and you’re going to get different answers from each person who has visited.

Here are some things I think about when I am considering how long to stay in a place.

Why are you there?

Is it there for vacation? Or to see friends? Are you planning on hitting up every museum? Knowing why you are in a certain location can help you when deciding how long you think you should stay. If you are there to visit family, you might want to stay longer than three days (or not depending how much you like your family). If you are just there to try some of the local foods, you might want to stay a little less.

Where are you staying?

One of the incentives for me to go to Japan was to see my friend, and he graciously let me stay with him. Tokyo can be extremely expensive, and I managed to save a lot of money by staying with him. So knowing where you are going to rest your head at night can help to determine how long you might want to hang out in a particular city. My friend Ruth and I went to Paris a few days last month and we found that four days was plenty to do and see all that we wanted.

Do you have a budget?

Even if you don’t have a set amount of money that you want to spend, if you have a general idea, you can craft your days and how much time you can take away from your job on that. It helps to have a plan of how much you need to save and how much you can use to enjoy where you are. If you know you can only spend a few hundred dollars, you’re obviously less likely to take a ton of time off and treat yourself to fancy dinners and a new bag from Chanel. Before you think about how long you want to spend, you might want to check that bank account first.

Do you have any tips on someone should choose how long to stay in a certain place? How much time would you give a major city like New York or Paris?

Image courtesy of James O’Gorman.


  1. Kelli Mutchler

    I have a well-traveled friend who always said that you should go when you can’t gain anything else from staying…

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