There's a lot to be said for multi-centre tours. The variety, the excitement, the fact that you can get at least 50% more train journeys by travelling between destinations (if you're in a place rife with trains… and also like trains). We can also understand, however, that they can be considered a bit of a nuisance. What, lugging your luggage everywhere to change places every few days? Don't be preposterous! Well, let us change your mind on that score with these reasons why multi-centre tours may just be the perfect way of life for you.
It should come as no surprise, but here at Great Rail Journeys, we are huge fans of holidays not just starting at your destinations, but from the moment you leave your front door (we're not including packing because packing can be frustrating). Personally, the journey is my favourite bit. There's something very exciting about travelling to a brand new destination, not knowing what you're going to see there or along the way, and although the pay-off is fantastic, it's the build-up that really makes the excitement unbeatable. Whether you get there by plane, train, or by automobile, journeys are a fantastic way to see a country. Fortunately, by train, most every route is the scenic route, and if anything, multi-centre tours just give you more excuses to experience them.
The tricks of the trade
Speaking of luggage, we're not trying to exaggerate at all, but travelling on a multi-centre tour would probably help you in the future of all your future holidays. We're not saying they're miracles that will automatically make you a travel guru, but they will certainly help. Take packing, for example. When on a single centre tour, it's easy to pack that fancy gown you've been saving for dinner with the queen (after all, she might be in the country and at least you'd be prepared). On a multi-centre tour, however, you're packing and unpacking every few days, so harsher decisions have to be made, and by the end of it you'd be a streamlined packing master. Same with being at your destination. By the end of your tour, you'll be reading those different train maps like a pro, and perhaps even bartering with the stall owners like you were born into it.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with staying in the same place and exploring the surroundings for a week or two. However, it can be possible to get a bit restless. For those among us who are wracked with wanderlust even when they are actually wandering, multi-centre tours are ideal. Not only that, but multi-centre tours are perfect for people who are travelling with a specific hobby in mind. Whether it's wanting to sample all of the different cuisines of the area, enjoying the different cultures of a plethora countries, or wanting to walk up as many big mountains as possible, staying in one place isn't really going to give you the variety that this specialist hobby requires.
Learning the culture
Unsurprisingly, multi-centre tours are a wonderful way of learning the different things that make a country tick, and really getting yourself more involved in your chosen destinations. If you're staying in one place, you may get to know the local restaurants and customs, but local restaurants and customs very much belong to a single place, rather than the country as a whole - sort of like trying to make conversation with a stranger on the London Underground like you would on a Yorkshire bus. Utter uproar. Multi-centre tours are also a great way of finding out what connects different countries. On things like pilgrimages, historical city tours, or following the route of a single railway line across a myriad of different countries, it is fascinating to see just how different roads and rivers and lines have affected the lives and cultures of those along its route.
When there's just no choice
Sometimes a multi-centre tour is inescapable, but don't be discouraged. We all know that the world today would be a completely different place without routes like the Oregon Trail, the Silk Route, or (if we're going to go a bit more modern) the Orient Express, so why not experience that journey for yourself? When you want to see the Danube - a journey of over 1700 miles - it would make absolutely no sense to just stay in Vienna, especially not when there's Hungary and Slovakia just down the way. Perhaps doing the Trans-Siberian Express is your dream, but you certainly can't return back to Moscow every night because you wouldn't get very far. Sometimes multi-centre tours just have to be done - and who knows? It might inspire you to do it again and again!