After planning for so long to visit the destination of your dreams, you finally find a great sale and get tickets. But then you start panicking!!! There are soooo many things you want to see and do, but you have no idea where to start! After all, you’ve never visited your dream destination, so what to do? In this Travel Tip we show you how to create a travel itinerary, so you can actually relax while on vacation instead of running around without a plan.
Creating a personalized “things to do” list
You can create your own personalized “Things To Do” list in 3 simple steps. Basically, you will be pinning sites you would like to visit on Google maps for easy reference. As you read more about the location you are planning to visit, add the sites to your map. Before you know it, you will have created your own list of things to do, tailored to your specific interests.
Don’t forget to include the recommended places to eat or have a special snack!
If you want to share your map with friends, you can also create your own destination-specific map.
Build an itinerary that works for you
Once you have added all the sites to your map, sit back and just take a good look at it. You will soon realize that your pinned sites form groups within the map. Use these groups to plan a possible itinerary for each day.
When discussing a destination, most travel sites give you descriptions of the different neighborhoods and their general vibe. But which ones should you visit, what do you do there? Zoom in and out of the map you created to get the names of the neighborhoods where your pins fall.
This is an example of our Lisbon travel map. Notice how the sites line up along some streets or group on specific neighborhoods. See how the map helps you to visualize the location of these sites, instead of just having to rely on the descriptions? Based on this map, when we planned our Lisbon long weekend, we realized we could allocate 2 days to Lisbon and go for day trips on the remaining days.
How do you know how much time you need at each site, and how many places you can see each day? We will talk about that on a future Travel Tip.
Why have an itinerary?
Try to remember your last vacation. Where you able to see everything that you wanted to see? Did you walk to a museum, only to find out that it was closed that day? Did you have to return to the same area different times because you missed a site? Having an itinerary will guide your visit so you can maximize your vacation time and will even help you save money.
Now, what about being spontaneous? After all, you are on vacation!
An itinerary does not have to be a minute-by-minute plan of your day, just a blueprint of the things you want to see and do. The best itineraries have some flexibility and even incorporate much needed rest stops. The main idea of having an itinerary is to avoid missing out on the special things that inspired you to travel to a specific destination in the first place.
How do you plan your trips? Do you create an itinerary?
Let us know in the comments!