Here at Conquering the Century Club, we are constantly brainstorming ways to get more countries. Here are a couple of easy, one week trips that will give the traveler plenty of countries in no time.
The British Isles
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Northern Ireland all count as separate countries. The distances are fairly short. If you have a couple extra days, you can go nuts and hit up several of the random British islands such as Jersey and the Isle of Wight.
The Great Western Europe Road Trip
Playing around on Google Maps the other day, I pieced together this itinerary, which takes you through 9 countries in approximately 17 hours of driving. Beginning in Amsterdam, the road winds south through Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, and winds up in Venice, Italy. Be ready for lots of mountain driving in the Alps!
There are 30 countries in the Caribbean. If you enjoy cruising (and it’s not for everybody), a week-long cruise can easily get you 4 or 5 new countries. Avoid ships that spend many days simply at sea. The best port for maximizing countries is easily St. Maarten/St. Martin. It is a frequently-visited port of call, and the small island counts as two countries. For the especially ambitious, take a day sail to Anguilla for country number 3.
Circling the South Pole
As I have mentioned in the blog before, the dumbest “country” classification of all is that 7 countries “claims” to Antarctica all count as individual countries according to the official Century Club list. If you are so inclined to get all the way to the south pole, all the borders radiate from there, so one could bag 7 countries by merely twirling about.