No matter how thoroughly you plan a trip, surprises will often pop up. Having all your travel information organized ahead of time will make it a lot easier to deal with these issues.
Putting together a travel itinerary for your trip not only organizes everything for easy reference, but it will also help you see any gaps or conflicts in your plans.
Let’s take a look at how to make an excellent travel itinerary.
Why Bother with an Itinerary?
It can be tempting to skip the itinerary and just take things as they come. There’s a certain romance to going with the flow, but it’s often not as much fun once you arrive.
Having an itinerary ensures you have all your important travel information in once place for easy access. It will also help you save time since you won’t have to hunt around when you need an address or a confirmation number.
How to Create an Itinerary
The first step is to gather all the details for your trip, including:
- Hotel information such as the address, phone number, reservation number, and the travel agent or website you booked it through.
- Flight information including dates and times, flight numbers, confirmation numbers, frequent flyer numbers, and travel agent or booking site details.
- Tour details such as the tour company information, dates and times, the meeting point, and your confirmation number.
It’s also a good idea to get the details for your home country’s points of contact in the countries you’re visiting. This includes the embassy, state department, and consulate address and contact information.
Include Some Backup Activities
Even if your calendars are full for your trip, make a list of the things you would like to see and do. It’s a good idea to have a list of activities for free time or to replace other plans if something doesn’t work out as planned.
You can even plot these activities out on a map so you’ll know exactly where they are and can optimize your timing.
Make sure you include health information in your itinerary such as the address and phone number for the local hospital. If you’re traveling with one or more companions, include their medical information as well. If there’s ever an emergency, you might need to provide it.
How to Store Your Travel Itinerary
You can store your travel itinerary digitally or you can carry a hard copy with you. Ideally, you should do both. That way if you’re ever stuck without internet access or your battery runs out of juice, you can always fall back to the hard copy.
You can store the digital copy in one or more of these ways:
- Email it to yourself
- Save it to the cloud on services like iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive
- Store it in a notes app on your computer or smartphone like Evernote, Apple Notes, or OneNote
It’s a good idea to leave a copy with someone back home as well in case of any kind of emergency.
Planning Is Half the Fun
Your trip is going to be a lot of fun, but making plans is pretty exciting too. Putting it all together in a travel itinerary ahead of time will help get your trip started on the right track.
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