Today we look at how to create a travel itinerary. Planning the trip is the phase I love the most, but it can also be the most difficult.
But what is a travel itinerary? In practice, it's the set of elements that define the trip: the stops, the means of transportation, the hotels and much more.
Whether you are planning a short stay or a long trip, the elaboration of a travel itinerary is very important. It will help you reduce difficulties and unforeseen events, save money and optimize your time.
Creating a custom travel program requires time, passion and a lot of research. Let's take a look at all the tips and the different steps to organize the perfect tourist itinerary, so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
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To create a customized itinerary, you must start with your interests. Therefore, you should start studying your destination, understand what it has to offer and decide what you absolutely do not want to miss.
Start searching for information online and make a list of everything you want to do and all the places you want to visit during your trip.
Write down everything you find about the place you will visit; what you want to do, activities, places to see, experiences. In a second step you will be able to choose what is really worth visiting or what you can skip.
Once you have decided what you want to do and what are the must-see stops it is time to create the sightseeing itinerary. This is the actual phase of in-depth study and analysis of your destination.
This is the hardest part and you will have to use all your creativity, especially if the destination is not so well known.
The 4 key points of the research are:
- means of transportation
First of all, it is essential to understand how much time you should dedicate to each point of interest. This way you can decide how many days to spend in each place and your itinerary will begin to take shape.
For example, one of the must-see attractions in Cambodia is Angkor Wat, the largest temple complex in the world. Visiting it takes a long time and, therefore, it is recommended to stay in Siem Reap for a minimum of 3 days. Understand well, how to know these aspects is essential in the planning phase, otherwise you risk having to give something up.
Once you have outlined the stages of the itinerary, you need to start deciding where to sleep. Especially if you are going in high season and to a particularly touristy destination, it is preferable to book accommodation in advance.
When you work on creating your travel itinerary you need to understand how to move from one place to another, what it means to use, but above all how long it takes.
In fact, you need to keep in mind that the various transfers often take a long time and, in some cases, even a whole day is lost.
Personally, to optimize times I try to differentiate the point of arrival and the point of return. For example for a trip to Thailand: arrival in Bangkok and return from Phuket.
I recommend using applications such as Google Map or Rome2rio, the latter App (there is also the site) is a fantastic tool that shows you what are the different options to reach a specific destination.
Finally, it is very important to evaluate the weather conditions of the chosen country, this will allow you to understand which areas to avoid in a given period and will help you to better organize your tourist itinerary.
As you may have understood, the creation of a travel itinerary is based on researchand information.
But where can this research be done? Fortunately, we are full of tools to create a customized travel itinerary yourself.
First of all, there are the travel forums, for example Tripadvisor is certainly the best known and there are many discussions about each destination, where travelers exchange opinions and tips.
In the forums there are many interesting ideas and it is possible to request detailed information from experts.
The same goes for social networks and in particular facebook groups dedicated to the world of travel.
Then there are travel blogs like mine, where it is easy to find opinions about the different places but also a lot of information about the destinations visited.
Many bloggers specialize in certain countries, for example, as a lover of Asia, I have created a lot of content on this beautiful continent.
Finally, a valid help in the construction of the travel itinerary are paper guides, such as the famous Lonely Planet.
Summarizing the writing of the itinerary can be summarized in 4 phases:
Gather as much information as possible about the destination you have chosen: what to do, how to get around, recommended itineraries, weather conditions, must-see activities, events, etc.
In this sentence don't worry about organization, concentrate on compiling everything you find in a Word file (or on paper).
Read all the discussions and blog posts, be creative and passionate.
Tip: also search for foreign forums and blogs using Chrome and the automatic translator if you don't know the language.
Analyze all the information and research in depth to get a clearer idea. For example, youtube videos are very helpful at this stage - I also love watching documentaries on Netflix!
Organize the information you have documented. Do some cleaning, start discarding what you can give up and divide the document by arguments (trips, things to do, hotels, etc.).
Now you have all the material to draw up your travel itinerary. Take note of all your trips, accommodations and activities day by day.
We have seen how important it is to create a travel itinerary. Equally important, however, is flexibility; it is in fact best to create an itinerary that is customizable according to unexpected situations and events.
In fact, the itinerary should be a point of reference, but during the journey anything can happen, there may be transport delays or you could simply discover attractions you did not know about.
In short, planned but with flexibility.