Preparing an itinerary is a great idea, whether you’re planning a long weekend or an adventure further afield. With so many destinations to choose from and so many sights to see, travelling is so much more than booking a plane ticket and a hotel.
By preparing an itinerary for your trip abroad you can make the most of every day, see and do all the things you’ve always dreamed of, manage your expenditure throughout your trip, pack right for your holiday, and even travel with ease from one attraction to another. For those taking in a multitude of destinations as part of their trip, an itinerary can help you work out the logistics that make exploring a breeze. In this blog post, we take the hard work out of travel planning with top tips for preparing the perfect itinerary.
Begin with the basics
Deciding where you want to go and the length of your trip is a great starting point, and will influence the next steps of itinerary planning. Finding destination inspiration is simple if you know where to look, and the world is full of great places to visit whatever your budget, interests, or experience.
As soon as you know the destination and desired trip length, you can research associated costs and set a savings goal to pay for your flight, accommodation, activities and spending money. Your travel timeframe will not only help you plan your finances in the weeks and months ahead, it will help you identify events and occasions that are taking place during your time away.
Make a wish list
If the destination you’re travelling to is somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, you may know enough about it to compile a travel wish list before you begin your research.
Ignore your timeframe and let your mind wander; pinpoint the places you want to visit and the things you want to do on this dream trip. Now isn’t the time for a reality check, think however big or small you want to think, and jot each point down. Your wish list could include the cities or towns you want to visit during your trip, the sights you want to see, the events you wish to attend, and activities you want to try. Those looking to volunteer should add associated opportunities to their wish list, whilst visiting far-flung family or friends who live in the area could also feature.
Prioritise the must-sees
If the duration of your trip and the length of your wish list don’t match, prioritise the must-sees. You may not be able to fit all the items featured on your wish list into one trip, which is a great excuse to set your sights on a return trip!
Map it out
Now you have to get organised. The best way to ensure your itinerary is planned in the most logical way possible is to map it out, either the old fashioned way with a paper map or digitally via Google Maps. Armed with your map you can start to develop a timely plan for each day of your trip. Be realistic with the time you allocate to each attraction. Your itinerary shouldn’t be a rush; you should make time to relish every moment.
Whilst planning makes perfect, having some flexibility in your itinerary is advisable as travel blogger Sherry Hopkins describes:
‘Spontaneity is nice, that’s why I always leave 1 or 2 days open. Some people might prefer to plan a lot less and take it day by day, but I feel when you’re spending a lot of money, you should get to see and do as much as you can.’
We take the hard work out of travel itinerary planning with a wide range of trips available. Thanks to our Trans-Siberian experiences you can take on one of the most amazing journeys on the planet, exploring 10 time zones across two continents via countless destinations. Discover more about life on-board a Trans-Siberian train.