So you’ve booked your tickets, purchase a GPS location tracker and have started counting the days to the big trip. But before you get your head in the clouds, you should be getting started on your travel itinerary.
Face it, getting lost is no fun and it may lead to a potentially dangerous situation. Remember, no matter where you go, the world is littering with tourist traps and serious crimes. And losing your way means having to spend a considerable period finding your way back, leaving you with no enough time to actually enjoy; it takes out all the fun out of your entire vacation.
This is why it always pays to plan ahead, learning some tips for road trips and creating travel itinerary is simply the best thing to do.
Tips for Creating Travel Itinerary
Creating travel itinerary sounds like a lot of work, which is probably why people skip this step. But there are so many things that need to be organized when you book a trip. Other than reserving a hotel room and renting a car, you also need to pick out and schedule activities for leisure and sightseeing. If you’re traveling on a budget, then you’ll need to manage your expenses too. Creating travel itinerary allows you estimate the travel cost beforehand.
But how do you create the perfect travel itinerary? Below are tips for creating travel itinerary to ensure that your next travel will be the best you could ever have!
1. Write a wish list
Everyone has a reason for visiting a country. For example, you could be heading to Barcelona because you’ve fallen in love with the Gaudi architecture all over this Catalan city, or you booked a trip to Croatia since you’ve always wanted to visit the set of Game of Thrones. Whatever your reason for booking a trip is, make sure you actually know where you want to go. Write a wish list and the reason for visiting every stop.
Once you’re done, start narrowing down the list by following the next step.
2. Set up a route and schedule
Be realistic, there’s no way you can visit all the destinations especially when you have a limited vacation time. So to make the most of your visit, circle the destinations on your map and connect them in geographical order. This helps you estimate how long it will take to get to each place as well as the length of each activity you plan to sign on. To help you with this, you can refer to online resources or guidebooks. You may also talk to other travelers to gain a better perspective of your trip.
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3. Decide on how you want to travel from one place to another
Traveling to multiple cities? Or maybe you’re about to venture on a long journey to a large metropolis? To ease your worries about traveling time and fare expenses, all you have to do is research. Refrain from putting cost over convenience and focus on what works best for your itinerary.
4. Organize your travel essentials
Your travel essentials include airline tickets, hotel/Airbnb booking, rental car confirmation, and other transaction receipts for the reservations you’ve made. Sometimes, they can be quite overwhelming to keep track of. Fortunately, to make things easier for you, there are apps like TripIt that automatically create a master itinerary on your behalf based on the confirmation emails from the transactions you did. All you have to do is send every email you get from those reservations and purchases, and they’ll create a plan for you. You can then access these plans using your smartphone, even without the need of Internet connection.
5. Come up with a flexible itinerary
You may have crafted the best itinerary, but certain things can still go wrong. Landmarks will be closed, roads are suddenly under maintenance, you get sick because of the food you ate, or flights get canceled. To make up for this, schedule a free day in your itinerary to leave room for more activities just in case things won’t go as planned. If you aren’t quite sure where to go, you can always check your GPS device. Tracking devices like Trackimo offer real-time location information as well as access to hundreds of city maps around the world.
Having a flexible itinerary gives you a chance to immerse yourself in hidden gems every place you visit has to offer. For example, cultural events could be happening during your visit. These unexpected pit stops often make the best memories.
When creating travel itinerary and finalizing it, it is best that you go over every single detail of your trip. Are the crucial sights open on the day you’ll be in town? Are the weather conditions good? Do the sights you come to visit follow a first come first serve basis? It is highly recommended that you study guidebooks, use travel technology like a travel app, and other online tools to help you stay up to date.