Planning a trip to a new destination takes a lot of time and effort — you have to figure out where to go, what to see, where to stay and how much it’s all going to cost.
The process of creating itineraries is also a lot of fun — it’s exciting to dream about your upcoming travels. But it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. So here are 10 useful tips on how to plan your travel itineraries that I hope will help you out!
- Use Google Maps
Google Maps is one of the best online tools for travel planning. It’s convenient for looking up an area, finding specific places and seeing how far things are from each other. You can also use it to calculate distances and times between destinations (perfect for figuring out how long you should spend in each city). The most important feature though is the ability to save your favorite places as “bookmarks” that you can view on map or as a list. That way, when you start researching places nearby (or within walking distance) they’ll show up on your map!
Research is key when planning your trip. You need to find out as much information as possible about where you’re going, what there is to do, what the weather will be like, and so on.
The internet will provide the bulk of this information for you, although guidebooks and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family can also be helpful.
- Travel times
Are you driving or flying? If it’s one city or state that you’re traveling to then driving may not be too bad but if it’s further afield then you may want to consider flying to save time and energy.
Yes it would be great to road trip across the whole of America but firstly it would take a long time and secondly unless you have an unlimited budget (and who does?) then it’s probably not realistic either!
- Decide Where You Want to Go
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s the most important part of the itinerary planning process! Before you do anything, decide where you want to go. Your destination will dictate everything else about your trip — when you go, what activities are available, and so on.
- Set a Budget
Whether you’re traveling with friends or family or going solo, you need to set a budget before booking anything. This not only helps keep your trip affordable but also helps you prioritize where to go and what to do once you get there!
- Do not forget to include the modes of transportation in your itinerary
Do not forget to include the modes of transportation in your itinerary. This will give you more idea on the actual cost of your trip and avoid delays in case there are changes in your schedule. You can also save yourself from getting lost by mapping out the exact direction of your destination or have an idea on which mode of transportation is best for you like taking a bus, train or car rental. You can always check with the local tourist office on the best routes to take.
- Be prepared for emergencies and have contingency plans ready
When you're planning your travel itinerary, it's important to have contingency plans ready. No matter how well you plan, things don't always go according to plan!
Here are some of the most common emergencies that can happen on the road:
Medical treatments (hospitalization, urgent medical attention)
These situations can happen to anyone. It is important to anticipate that these things may happen and be prepared for them in advance. In addition to having a backup plan for your accommodation, it is also important that you have copies of all your documents (passport, ID, etc.) and insurance information. You should also be sure to carry emergency cash with you or have access to online banking so that you can transfer funds if necessary. If you get sick while traveling then make sure that someone at home knows where you are going and who will be there in case something happens to you while on vacation. This way they can take care of any issues while still giving us peace of mind knowing they will not be alone without our help if needed.
- Check if there are any festivals or events happening during your stay at a certain city/country
One of the biggest mistakes travelers make is to plan their itineraries without knowing what’s happening at their destinations. You might be lucky and have your trip coincide with a great festival or event, but you might also arrive and find that there are no rooms available because the city is full of tourists.
Checking the dates of events can help you avoid both these situations. If you’re not planning to attend a certain event, make sure that it doesn’t overlap with your travel dates and check in advance if it will be difficult to book a hotel room during that time.
- Plan ahead and book everything in advance
This is one of the most important tips on how to plan your travel itineraries. It's always better to book flights, hotels and tours ahead of time so that you don't have problems when you arrive at your destination.
Also, make sure that you have all the necessary documents for entering the country ready before your trip. Some countries require visas for entry while others don't require any documents at all except for an airline ticket and passport.
- Get travel insurance
First things first, get travel insurance. There are so many companies out there who provide great deals on insurance and it is one of the most important aspects of planning your trip. You don’t want to risk getting injured or falling ill in a foreign land with no health care or medical treatment, let alone with no money to pay for it!
- Select Travel During Shoulder-Season
For many destinations around the world, shoulder season is the best time to visit – prices are lower and tourist crowds are thinner than during peak season. What is shoulder season? It's that sweet spot between peak and off-peak travel times, meaning you can still enjoy good weather without breaking the bank!
How you handle your travel planning can make or break your trip. You need to ensure that you've accounted for all the details that could go wrong and be prepared ahead of time with contingency plans in the event something comes up. By making travel itineraries and checking them on a regular basis, you'll have ample time to do research on the go and give yourself more time to enjoy your vacation!