Do you have a trip coming up? Are you hoping to plan your dream vacation? Traveling is always fun and exciting, but also takes a lot of planning. If you have the desire to go explore somewhere new, your mind is probably spinning with all of the different possibilities.
Of course, there are thousands of guided tours you could take, travel agents you could book through and groups you could travel with. Or, for the more adventurous traveler in you, you could plan your own vacation! The thought may be scary, but it could be totally worth it to not have to follow somebody else’s schedule and to make sure that you do exactly what you want to do. After all, it is YOUR vacation!
Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about a do-it-yourself travel itinerary!
Is it for me?
Making your own travel itinerary isn’t for everyone. The decision of whether to follow your own schedule or go with a pre-planned trip comes down to your own personality.
If you are a good planner, detail oriented and an adventure-seeker, the DIY is definitely for you. This type of trip will allow you to do all of your research and let you have complete control over what sights you see, what restaurants you eat at and what adventures you have.
It also gives you a flexible schedule, so if you find yourself wanting to stay somewhere longer than planned or if an unexpected adventure finds you, you have complete control over what you do. You don’t have to be tied to a tour group or somebody else’s schedule.
DIY is also sometimes the smart choice if you are on a budget. You’ll be able to control where your money goes and won’t have to pay more for travel guides.
The first thing you need to know when making your travel itinerary is where you’re going! Maybe you have a bucket list of travel destinations or one place you’ve always wanted to see. Either way, the first step is choosing your perfect destination.
One thing to consider when deciding where to go is the time of year that you’ll be traveling and when peak travel time is for that specific area. If you want a peaceful vacation, you may want to choose somewhere that won’t be full of tourists and vacationers. Or, if you’d rather the excitement of all that hustle and bustle, go during the peak season.
It is also important to know who you will be traveling with before starting your itinerary. If it’s just yourself, you can be selfish and do everything you want to do! However, if you are traveling with friends, family or anyone else, you’ll need to accommodate everyone’s requests. Make sure they’re okay with you making the itinerary and ask everyone for one or two things they want to do while there. Then, you can create a plan that will make everyone happy!
If you’ve got all the logistics of your trip figured out, now it’s the fun part! Making the itinerary!
You’ll want to start by doing as much research as you possibly can. There are thousands of travel websites and blogs for practically anywhere in the world. Start reading all about your destination. Learn where other people ate, stayed and saw while there. Get their advice on what was worth their time and what wasn’t. Keep a list of places that catch your eye or that you may want to research further. The more information you have, the better.
After you know more about your destination, you can start making your itinerary. You can make a set schedule with every meal and stop planned out for each day, or you can make it flexible by just making a list of sights you definitely want to see and deciding when to do each stop as you go. Just make sure that if you need reservations or bookings for anything on your itinerary, you get them in ahead of time.
If you want a true first-hand view of your destination, consider looking for a host family to live with during your stay. They can show you how people there live, from how they cook and eat to how they entertain themselves and have fun. This is perfect for those who want an authentic experience.
With your destination, dates, travel partner and must-see sights mapped out, you’re good to go! Book your flight and hotel, pack up your bags and start your journey! Making your own travel itinerary gives you flexibility to make your vacation exactly what you want it to be so you can fulfill your adventure-craving spirit and satisfy your wanderlust.