Vacation time is a precious commodity, and it’s also one that’s very easy to waste if you’re not careful. Before booking anything, it’s important to spend a bit of extra time planning so that you can spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time traveling.
There are really just two things you need to minimize your travel time as much as possible.
Be prepared to spend a little extra money for more convenience
Traveling can get expensive. Really expensive. So it’s more than reasonable if you want to save money where you can. Price often tends to be the most important thing when booking a trip, but sometimes it’s worth it to not choose the cheapest option. No, your bank account won’t be as happy but you definitely will when your trip becomes smoother and shorter.
For example, it’s better to pay a little more for a direct flight that could possibly give you a whole extra day of vacation then to go for the cheapest one that might come with a long layover or two. Or to get central accommodation - it may be more expensive but you won’t have to waste any time commuting to any sights you may want to see if they’re all walking distance (you also wouldn’t have to pay for transit into the city). If you’re really on a budget you can save in other ways while you’re on vacation, like cooking meals or eating street food rather than eating at restaurants for every meal.
Choose your travel dates wisely
You probably only have a set amount of vacation days you can use, so don’t just choose them at random. The easiest way to extend your vacation time is to combine your days with long weekends/public holidays - you’ll automatically get an extra day or two. This way you can spread out your vacations and get more mini trips - use a day or two here and there with a long weekend and you can get a few 4 day trips and will still be able to take a long 10 or 11 day trip as well.
Also choose your travel times wisely. Look for overnight flights or consider leaving right after work and arriving in the evening so you’ll get a full next day. This also applies to multi-city trips: try to travel in between cities in the early morning or in the evening so you don’t have to waste your day commuting. And carry on the principle when you’re booking your way back home - try to arrange it so you can arrive home as late as conveniently possible so you’ll still get a mostly full last day in.
With these things in mind, write down a timeline of how you’d like your trip to go and then book accordingly. You’ll definitely end up feeling more relaxed during the trip!