Flash trips are confusing. You do them when you don’t have the time for a full-on holiday, but you’re not prepared to just sit at home, either. They take similar amounts of money, planning and effort, but they’re gone in a split second.
You try and pack everything into a moment, and it sounds doable - it really does.
You might think to yourself - of course I can do Krakow in a day, and Warsaw in a day. So what if I have to ride a bus 4 hours to first get to Warsaw, and then another 10 hours from Warsaw to Prague. That’s great, it gives me time to do homework on the bus.”
Well that probably won’t happen. Not the trip, I mean. That part usually does. It’s the homework part that doesn’t usually happen.
After a point, you have to make the decision of whether it’s actually worth it - worth it to go somewhere without really going. Worth it to see a place, but only a small part of it.
I’ve been to Poland, yes. I went for two days, and it was a lot of fun, but what I saw barely represents a sliver of the country, and for that reason, I don’t believe I’m qualified to write about it in a see this, see that way.
There are people who could do that - locals, expats. I’m not one of them.
Budapest, however, is a different story.
Studying in Prague, many people go on flash trips barely spanning a day or two to the city I spent half my life in, and all my teenage years. It’s hearing those experiences that in part make me regret going on three or four day trips to Vietnam or Cambodia, which are fairly easily-accessible from Shanghai, where I spent the bulk of my four-year university career.
Three days isn’t enough to get a feel of a country. I had an insane amount of fun in Vietnam, in Cambodia, in Poland - they were amazing experiences that drifted away in the span of a heartbeat. The one thing these places have in common is that I want to go back.
You get a glimpse into the culture, into the lives of people and then you leave, on your budget carrier plane or on your FlixBus. You leave and it’s like you were never there.
It makes me wish that people wouldn’t visit my hometown just because of the “cheap booze”. It makes me think of the fact that however cheap that booze may seem, back when I worked a minimum-wage student job in Hungary the summer before university, on glass of “cheap booze” would have been two hours of work.
So I’d say do it. Go on your flash weekend trip. But take is at a taster, and not as a trip. Take it as an idea of what is to come if you were to visit again. And visit again, be it months, years or decades from now. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from flash trips, it’s that the more places I go, the more places I have to revisit, in order to do them justice.