travel suitcase

You’ve just booked the vacation of your dreams— congratulations!

Now, what do you do next? Do you arrive for your trip without a plan of what to see or do? Or, alternatively, do you create a plan in advance, letting you make the most of your time?

Making an itinerary is one of the best ways to prepare for your trip.

Read on to learn exactly how to do it, what to include, and why it will benefit your next trip.

Research First

Travel research

The first step to create an itinerary, working out the places you want to see on your trip. Read guide books, search online, check out the weekly travel section in the paper, or ask friends for recommendations.

Look also for special events, like festivals, that will be on when you’re in town, or any local holidays. Holidays are important to look for as they may mean some closures while you’re there.

Use Google Maps

google maps

Once you’ve worked out some of the places you want to see, try to find their location via Google Maps. You’ll want to plan where you’ll go each day, and it makes the most sense to visit places that are geographically close to each other each day, rather than doubling back, which will waste time.

If you’re mapping out a road trip, online maps are a good way to find new points of interest along your route.

Trip itineraries are one of the best ways to maximize your time when you travel since you’ll have already done the research and planning before you arrive.

When Making an Itinerary, Making Lists Is Essential

trip itinerary

Once you’ve worked out your top sights and their location, you can make your itinerary. This is the easiest part—create a column or section for each day, and list what you want to see each day, along with the location.

You can also add directions from where you’ll be staying.

Look up local restaurants and add a few names as well, as it can make it easier to find where to eat once you already have some ideas.

That being said, don’t book yourself in for too many things! You want to leave some free time for exploring the area and even just relaxing at your hotel pool or a local park.

Include Flight Times and Hotels — Don’t Forget Time Zones

Flight times

It helps include your flight details, once you’ve found your ideal flights, into the itinerary.

If you’re traveling through multiple time zones, note the arrival and departure times in local time for each of the time zones— otherwise, you may find yourself booking airport pick-ups or tickets for the completely wrong time!

Also include your hotel details, especially if your itinerary is complex and you’re staying in multiple hotels. The hotel name, address, closest public transportation stop, and any nearby landmarks can make it easy to find once you’ve arrived.

Plan Your Perfect Trip Itinerary

perfect trip

Making an itinerary is one of the best ways to plan your trip, but it can also be a lot of fun! Researching and learning about all the exciting things happening where you’re going is a great way to learn more about your destination and have lots to look forward to.

Start creating a travel itinerary for your next trip today to make sure you don’t miss any of the attractions!

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