How to Make a Travel Itinerary

February 17, 2016 , In: Drift , With: 2 Comments

cold scenery

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 and make a travel itinerary! 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!

Following a set travel itinerary is boring and does nothing to soothe a wanderlust sufferer’s curiosity. It feels overwhelming adhering to a confined definition of what others imagine your dream vacation to be. Think outside of the tourist trap box. Though you dreamed of visiting the Louvre since high school, you may find inspiration in a small gallery hidden among murals in a wayward alley.

You may have even traveled to your chosen destination before, but this time you’re bringing family, your child or travel buddy and want to make sure they get the best experience possible by making your own travel itinerary. The world is big, and you have time to perfect all the little details. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about a diy travel itinerary!

Is it for me?

walking in field

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.

What are some must-sees and must-dos for you? Do you want to take in the art of various museums, art lover? Do you need to find all the best food trucks and street markets, foodie? Consider what you don’t get to do outside the home, but also think about your usual routines and habits at home. Explore to broaden your horizons and nourish your passions while maintaining your routines to ease the onset of homesickness.

If you are a good planner, detail oriented and an adventure-seeker, the DIY travel itinerary 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. Face it – having free reign over your trip is best to take in everything and experience your getaway to the fullest, without worries of missing a tour guide or bus.

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. Get ready to go out and explore, because this trip is your oyster, and the pearl is of your making.

Where do I start? map

The first thing you need to know when making your diy 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. Is it Florence or Dubai? 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, which can be endless and last minute.

Make sure they’re okay with you making the diy travel 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!

The planning planning magazine

If you’ve got all the logistics of your trip figured out, now it’s the fun part! Making the travel 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. Visit the location’s chamber of commerce website, or its equivalent. Read review sites for tips on great restaurants and other activities. Absorb information in the posts from the perspective of various travel bloggers.

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. Use a journal to write down your observations, or use an app to store what you find. Note specifics, such as times to avoid a rush. The more information you have, the better.

After you know more about your destination, you can start making your travel 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. Otherwise, you’ll waste your time waiting and feeling disappointed.

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. You may discover a new passion for a cultural cuisine or dance while broadening your horizons. If you want to learn a new language or rehabilitate your language skills, take the opportunity to practice with the host family residing in a different country. This is perfect for those who want an authentic experience.

Go travel!

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 diy 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.



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Kacey Bradley

Lifestyle - Wedding - Travel

Welcome to The Drifter Collective - a lifestyle blog sharing my love for travel, style, wedding inspiration, homemaking and so much more! Some people call me a traveler, while others refer to me as 'the well cultured friend" who drifts into everything. Pun intended. :)

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