How to Plan Travel Itineraries
If you believe that planning travel itineraries is easy and fun, you are only half right:
it's fun for sure but it's not easy at all.
Underestimate this aspect when thinking about how to plan a trip it's definitely a big mistake.
Each self-organized trip is different from all the others:
If the trip is organized by a travel agency it will be the same for all those who buy it.
If you organize the trip independently it will be the result of your priorities and will become a unique experience that you will have designed to live all (and only) the experiences you want.
The journey can therefore be a sequence of relaxing and rewarding luxury experiences or an adrenaline-pumping and exciting adventure.
The travel itinerary
One of the components that most differentiate travel experiences is the itinerary.
Knowing how to plan travel itineraries following a proven method is a guarantee of success.
The stages (and the stops) are strongly characterizing and determine the success of the travel project.
Planning trips that are too long or miscalculating the time needed can ruin entire days or even the entire vacation.
Before leaving and during the whole planning phase of the trip it is very important to collect as much information about it
- the distances to be covered
- travel times
- the type of means of transport available (timetables, prices, connections, type)
- possible alternatives in case of emergency or disservice
- any intermediate stops to be included in case you are forced to change the itinerary
How to plan travel itineraries: the steps to follow and not to overlook
Once the travel destination has been chosen, the search for
- all means of transport available to reach the travel destination
- the potential intermediate stages to be included in the itinerary
- information on travel times and transport quality
- possible emergency alternatives
If you think the trip starts on the day of departure you are making a serious mistake!
The journey begins immediately after choosing the destination and during the research phase.
This is one of the funniest and most inspiring moments for a true traveler!
The means that the internet makes available to us are extraordinarily powerful and using them at their best as well as being very useful is extremely fun.
The first and most important tool to use at this stage is Google Maps.
One of the tools that Google offers for free to users is also the most powerful and accurate in the world and is unrivaled when it comes to planning an itinerary.
All the most passionate travelers have used it at least once and have proven its reliability and accuracy.
Knowing how to use this tool well allows (in addition to planning the itinerary) to
- find hotels along the route
- find restaurants in the immediate vicinity of our location
- view the map, the satellite view or even the "street view" of our position
- find and view any kind of service, business or office in the vicinity of our location
all this even in virtual mode, that is by exploring the places without moving from our comfortable sofa! all this also in virtual mode, that is, by exploring the places without moving from our comfortable sofa!
Learning to use all the features of this incredible tool is essential.
Google Maps is known by all travelers but few know that there is an evolution of this tool (also free) that is available on Google: My Maps
This tool is even more powerful and customizable and is essential for learning how to best plan travel itineraries.
In addition to all the functions already available on Google Maps on Google My Maps you can:
- save the location of your hotels, places you want to visit or a place of interest
- change the color of the markers on the Google map. For example: you can set blue for hotels, red for restaurants and green for places of interest.
- add your notes to the information provided by Google. This way you can remember why he selected that particular place.
- once the itinerary has been elaborated and all the notes entered, it is possible to save it with a name chosen by you and create sub-levels for your itinerary. Levels are useful for creating itineraries that include a route by car (1 level) which then continues on foot (2 level).
You can also use levels to create specific itineraries for each travel day and create a next level for each travel day.
- create itineraries with multiple destinations. By adding more than one stage in the same itinerary.
- add mixed routes; to do by car, on foot or by bicycle.
- find alternative routes to those suggested by Google My Maps. Longer, shorter, panoramic.
- view all the levels you have created in a single screen or deselect the levels you do not currently need to view only the path you are on.
Once the itinerary and the points of interest we want to visit have been established, we move on to the planning phase. At this stage we need to find information on:
- where to sleep
- where to eat
- what to do along the itinerary
- activities to be carried out in the places visited
- events to attend
Even at this stage we can use Google My Maps which, in addition to planning the itinerary, is useful because it provides information on commercial activities surveyed by Google (practically all).
Once you have found the possible alternatives on Google My Maps, it is important to extend the search outside the platform: the information you find in Google has been entered by the business manager and therefore very subjective. Example: when you find the hotels near the place you want to visit, start searching the review sites (Trip Advisor) or booking sites (Booking) to collect more information to be able to choose based on information found on various independent sources.
I advise you to choose according to your expectations and the type of trip you want to do. The best way to save on travel expenses is to be flexible on the departure date and purchase tickets for the most convenient day waiting for offers from operators.
The success of a trip, however, is not only dependent on achieving maximum savings but is the result of a design aimed at living the best travel experience. Consider this too by making your own choices.
Once you have chosen the means of transport (and therefore the dates of departure, arrival and return) you can start looking for places to stay overnight. I have devoted many articles to this topic. In the article "Look for the ideal accommodation for overnight stays while traveling"You will find ideas and suggestions as well as the complete index of all the dedicated articles.
At this point you have all the necessary steps to know how to plan travel itineraries and get ready for departure.
The latest checks to do are:
- check all tickets and procedures to leave with the chosen means of transport
- check via e-mail or with a phone call that the accommodation chosen for overnight stays is confirmed
- check that you have all the documents necessary to travel (Passport, Identity Document, Health Card)
- save a copy of the itinerary, e-mails for reservations, all the information collected, the telephone numbers of the local operators that we have booked in a dedicated folder on Google Drive. In this way we will not have to worry about losing hard copies or smartphones because everything we need will be safe and always available in the Google "cloud".
Follow the advice I've included in this post and read all the articles I've mentioned. You will have a very precise idea of everything you need to know how to plan travel itineraries and leave for wonderful holidays.
"We believe that the free and spontaneous sharing of information is the key to making" travel "a habit achievable by everyone."
During your travels you will come into possession of valuable information that you will most likely never use again.
These are very useful information for those who want to organize a trip similar to the one you experienced.
We are forming a community of people who believe in the "principle of sharing" and who will participate in the final phase of the development of a new digital platform entirely dedicated to travel and holidays.
It will be a real revolution that will allow everyone to organize and plan trips and holidays avoiding any form of intermediation.