Creating a travel itinerary

A well-prepared travel itinerary is the foundation of any joyous trip. One key factor that makes a travel itinerary great is that it should go beyond listing basic travel details like flight and hotel information; means it should be able to get updated in real-time, and having the flexibility built into it to make room for the unexpected.

Creating a trip itinerary enables you to maximize your time and enjoy your trip more. When it comes to traveling, there are endless options. While making an itinerary, you will come across many things to do and sights to see that can easily overwhelm you. That’s why you need to keep the following points in mind;

  1. Make a wish list of the tour destinations to visit

What is your dream vacation place and what places do you want to visit when you arrive at your destination? List all of this down.

Write down everything you know about the destination, things you want to do, the activities you want to try and attractions you want to see. This list does not need to include just the main attractions but anything that seems interesting to you.

  1. Come up with a timeline and route

Keep in mind the geographical order of your preferred destinations and don’t forget to mark them with a circle or any sign you like. Determine a logical time that you are likely to take when moving from one destination to another. To make your travel itinerary efficient, come up with a timeline and route that includes the geographical order and the places you want to visit marked with specific date and time. If necessary, conduct an extensive research of the places to make the timeline and route more accurate.

  1. Decide on a Budget 

Trip plans always need a budget to start with. Whether you are planning to stay at a resort or a five star hotel, you need a properly articulated budget. Deciding how much you can spend will help you select places you can afford to visit and how you will get there.  

Make sure your budget is realistic. Some destinations are more expensive than others, and you do not want to be unpleasantly surprised. It is always better to budget a little more because unforeseen situations do arise when you travel.  

4. Determine the transportation methods to use

This decision should depend on cost and the best way to move from one place to another. Consider flying, driving, and rails. Essentially, don’t depend on cost alone when selecting the transportation method to use.

  1. Deciding on what season should you travel? 

There’s a peak season, low season and shoulder season in most destinations you’re planning to travel to. Peak season tends to be more expensive because the weather is usually better, and it will probably be more crowded. During the low season you will see less crowds, but the weather may be more unpredictable. During shoulder season the weather is changing but the rates are typically good.  

Factors like rain, daylight hours and temperature when making your travel itinerary should be taken into consideration.

  1. Sketch out your Itinerary

Come up with a rough itinerary. Write down how many hours or days you wish to stay in or explore a specific place. Your travel time is important so sketch it out properly. You can use online resources to estimate the time that your journey to different destinations is likely to take by car, rail, or plane. Consider overnight boats and night trains to save money and time.

  1. Adjust according to budget and timeline

Your sketched-out itinerary should not exceed the available budget or time, but if it does try to adjust it by cutting and streamlining the redundancy. For instance, if you have two, equally important destinations and you do not have adequate time to visit both, cut a place that takes a lot of hassle or time to reach. Again, streamlining is important for every place you want to visit. For example, you can take six days to tour Rome. However, you can minimize this to three days and visit all high points in the city.

  1. Optimize your itinerary

Use online travel apps and social media to optimize your trip itinerary. Browse map itineraries and travel guides or get tips from fellow travelers and friends. Make sure that main attractions or the sights you wish to visit will be open when you travel to your destination. To help you optimize the rough outline of your trip, you might want to visit the following three websites:

  • Pinterest:  just search for the country you are planning to visit. Typically lots of pins leading to suggested itineraries and places to visit will pop up. Create a board and pick out the top places you like the look of. There is no point in reinventing the wheel.
  • Instagram:  Type #country into the search bar to find loads of inspiring images and places you’ll definitely want to visit
  • Trip Advisor : This website has created guides of The Top Things to Do for almost every destination. Whilst these are generally based on overall consensus and often do not match up with our own travel style, it is nonetheless worth taking a look at these guides to make sure you haven’t missed anything
  • Travstack: TravStack provides a smart itinerary planner which gives a good intuitive layout like idea board, calendar view and map routing with places recommendation to keep all the checklists at one place.
 
 
  1. Tips and Recommendations from Travel experts.

Just like you need a financial planner to help manage your money, you should turn to a travel professional when you’re in need of assistance with your travels. They will help you the best with your travel plans because travel is their expertise. They will help you save your time and money by providing you with important details including travel advisories, recent news, weather conditions, and required documents for your destination.

 10. Save It and Share It 

Once you have all of the details organized, make sure to save it and share it to your friends or family members to know where you plan to travel to. This will enable them to find you with ease if the unexpected happens.

 

Dos and Don’ts of Itinerary Preparation

Do’s

  •         Map out the duration, frequency and departure details.
  •         List the major locations and tour highlights.
  •         List activities, attractions, entrance fees and inclusions
  •         Prepare a table that shows start, stop and duration times for each location, attraction or activity.
  •         Test drive your itinerary- invite people who have some knowledge of the place you’re going to visit and are prepared to give you constructive comments.
  •         Do a bit of quick research on a destination first, such as local laws and safety issues
  •         Do Look for inspiration everywhere—the movies, travel apps etc.
  •         Check “best of” lists and apps on travel sites. 
  •         Book both hotels and resorts with good locations (identifiers such as “near food and drink”).
  •         Consider Travel Documents- Passport, VISA, Air ticket, Travel insurance and Foreign Currency.
  •         Consider any vaccination you might require. (covid-19)
  •         Prepare Travel Checklist - Trip Preparation, Personal Items, First Aid, food
  •         Carefully map out the destinations to make the most effective use of travel time.

 

Don’ts

  •         Do not avoid or overlook a particular destination.
  •         Do not overlook regional laws and customs, local briefs and folklore etc.
  •         Don’t leave booking the hotel to the last minute
  •         Don’t simply just trust your guidebook, Printed guidebooks and published guides.
  •         Do not ignore the Culture. The last thing you want to do in a foreign country is be ignorant to cultural norms and end up offending someone you don’t understand.
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