One of the best things you can do to make your vacation run like a well-oiled machine is to create an all-encompassing travel itinerary that will guide you step by step through your vacation. How many times have you done research on a destination and then arrived only to be bombarded and overwhelmed by everything on the table. Signs and attractions are pulling you every which way and you can’t remember which activity you had planned to choose. With a little research and pre-planning, you can create a travel itinerary that will help you avoid some of that stress.
While there are plenty of smart phone apps that can do a pretty good job for you, some of us still prefer the old fashion way.
tablet To start, choose the type of itinerary you will need for your trip. If you are going to a resort, you might only need a travel itinerary for flights, rental car/taxi, and hotel information. Once you get to the resort, you’ll have a set number of places you can eat and you’ll probably just want to hang out and try a few of the activities offered in house. The concierge will be able to help you once you arrive if you don’t want to review options before you leave.
On the other hand, you may be preparing for a cross-country or round-the-world trip where you’ll need a slightly more extensive itinerary. While smart phone apps are helpful, we still prefer a good old paper itinerary on these longer trips. And, if you really want an electronic version, you can always email yourself a copy of the final itinerary and view it on your smart phone.
We strongly suggest mapping out every detail of every day if possible for trips like these. This could mean anywhere from outlining one morning activity and one afternoon activity to laying out your plans by the hour. However, lax or chock-full your itinerary ends up, there are a few things you should always include.
Things to include in your itinerary:
1. List of places to eat nearby.
2. Addresses and phone numbers of the places you are planning on visiting.
3. Confirmation numbers for flights, hotels, and rental cars.
4. Times for any flights, hotel check-ins/check-outs, rental car drop-off (to avoid additional charges), and pre-booked tours.
5. Hours of Operation for any attractions you are considering. That way, if you have to switch up the schedule you will know how to adjust accordingly.
6. Emergency numbers for local help, embassy help, etc.
With all this information kept in one central place (your travel itinerary) you’ll have a much easier time on your trip. Also, if you are traveling with a large group itineraries can be lifesavers for someone who accidentally or purposefully splits from the group for a time. They let everyone know where the group will be at a certain time, creating easy meet-up points.