Make The Best Itinerary! How To Plan The Vacation Of Your Dreams

Have you ever found yourself on a holiday with, suddenly, nothing to do? Or even worse, have you arrived at your destination wanting to do so many things, but not knowing where to start? Don’t waste the precious time running from one attraction to the next. Make sure your trip goes smoothly, even before you leave home with a well-made itinerary.

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Why make an itinerary?

  • When planning a trip, especially if you’re visiting the destination for the first time, research is key to making the most of your vacation. Together with research comes an itinerary – a schedule – that will guide you in the best activities every day of your trip and help you maximize your time efficiently.
  • Having a trip itinerary will help with time and cost management. You will be able to accomplish many activities into each day. Time is maximized when you know exactly what to do, where to go, and how to get there on the most efficient form of transportation, even in an unfamiliar location. You won’t waste time running around or going back and forth.
  • An itinerary can also help you create a more well-rounded trip, balancing your time between historical landmarks, museums, and other activities. On the other hand, if you want to focus on one aspect of the place in particular – the best food of an area, for example – an itinerary will ensure that you get each place you hope to visit.
  • With an itinerary, you will be able to prepare for your trip. You will know exactly what to pack and have a good idea of how much money to bring. All these will put you at ease and help you enjoy a worry-free trip!

The vacation of your dreams

  • Dream. Before writing anything down, envision your dream vacation. Clip out photos from magazines, print out photos of your destination, or even make a mood board on Pinterest. Dream big.
  • Edit. Once this is done, review your board with a little bit more realism. Separate your top priorities, the absolute must-dos and must-sees – activities that you are passionate about. Set aside the activities that you like but can live without or can set aside for another trip if there will not be enough time.
  • Read. Next, do some more research. Look up reviews on travel sites like Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, or your favorite travel blog. Read about other travelers’ experiences of the places where you want to go – they might have some useful tips and recommendations to share.

Location, location, location

Buy a map or search for each of your priority locations on Google Maps. Note which of the places you want to see are near each other, and group these together. Planning your itinerary this way will help maximize time spent at each location and help you plan the most efficient modes of transportation as well, saving you time and money.

  • When planning each day, go back on your research. Is there a restaurant that you want to go to for lunch? Is there a location where the sunset is raved about? Place these destinations at the appropriate times on your hour-by-hour schedule.
  • If there is time for some extra activities, or if you are already in the area, add in some of your optional to do the list.
  • Be sure to note transportation options, contact numbers, operating times and other important information for each activity.
  • Organize your itinerary on paper or your smart phone, anywhere that is easily accessible wherever you are as you travel.

Need help?

If you are not the most organized person in the world, there are many apps and templates that can help you build the best itinerary possible

Travefy is an itinerary building app that is mobile friendly. You can add links, geotags, and more. You can even share your plans with friends and travelmates

This template is great for those who excel at Excel. It will keep you organized from destination details, transportation, packing, and more

This downloadable template from Travel Paint Repeat is helpful with its easy to follow day-to-day format

Now, throw your itinerary out the window!

Just kidding, hold on to that itinerary that you worked so hard on. It is your security blanket throughout the trip.

However, do not let yourself be controlled by your schedule. If you want to spend more time appreciating works of art at a museum, if you want to doze off at the beach, if you meet friends a long the way and decide to join them for the rest of your trip, go right ahead!

If it starts to rain, the trains don’t come on time, or for one reason or another your plans don’t work out, do not fret. Just the fact that you have an itinerary may make it easier to move your schedule around and think up your Plan B.

Your itinerary serves as your guide and plan, but ultimately you will know what’s best for you when you are already at your destination. Be flexible, but know that you have come prepared for the best vacation of your life

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