28 Oct, 2008

Making a travel itinerary

Posted by: admin In: How-to

When it comes to planning a vacation, many people think they need to go to a travel agent to make their itinerary. This can be one option, but making a travel itinerary isn’t so difficult that you can’t do it yourself. Using online research and booking tools, you can usually find the best deals yourself, without hiring a middleman.


The first thing you need to do is decide on your destination and the mode of transportation you’re planning to use. If you’re driving or taking a bus or train, your trip will take much longer, and you’ll need to allow for that.

If you’re flying, you should take into account that flying during the holidays or on weekends, your plane tickets will cost you more. Flying during the off-season and during non-peak hours will save you some money, but may not be convenient.

For a destination that requires a layover and a flight change, be sure to allow enough time for checking in at each airport. The last thing you want is to be running from terminal to terminal, hoping your flight hasn’t already left.

The airline will give you a flight itinerary with your ticket that explains your departure and arrival times. You can use this itinerary when making your  personal itinerary.

Do you want the freedom of your own vehicle when you reach your destination? You’ll need to do some research on car rentals. If driving yourself is not that important, and you are visiting a major metropolitan area, then public transit buses and trains may be the way to go. Be sure to print out bus or train schedules, as well as the fees involved. Often buying a package or multi-trip ticket is cheaper than purchasing individual tickets for each trip.


When you are planning your vacation, do some online research as to what activities and attractions are available around your destination. Make a list of all the things you want to do, making note as you go of admission prices, hours of operation, and the amount of time you will need for each activity.

If this is a family or group vacation, get everyone in on the planning. Find out what each traveling companion is expecting from the vacation. Does your daughter want some unhurried time for shopping? Maybe your son wants to play mini-golf. Perhaps your wife wants some time that’s completely unscheduled for reading and relaxing while the kids swim at the beach or hotel pool.


Once you know what activities you are interested in, it will be much easier to choose your accommodations. Find a hotel that is close to the sites you want to visit, and shopping centers and restaurants. If you have kids, a hotel with a swimming pool can be a great idea for those afternoons when you would like some downtime or are too exhausted to visit one more tourist location. Print out a list of the restaurants close to your hotel of choice; this will make it much easier to find places to eat.

Make your itinerary

When you have done all your research and booked your plane or train tickets, you are ready to write out your itinerary. You can do this by hand, or using a word processing or spreadsheet program on your computer.

Start with travel to your destination, filling in the time you need to arrive at the airport or train station for check in. Then add your departure time and arrival time. Don’t forget any connecting flights, and proofread to be sure you’re getting all times and flight numbers correct.

Depending on the time you arrive at your destination, you may not want to plan any other activities for that day. If you are traveling internationally, you will need to allow time to go through customs. If you’re renting a car, picking it up and filling out paperwork will take some time, as will checking into your accommodations. And if there’s a big time difference between your home and your destination, you may want to take it easy the first day or two.

Now decide what days you want to take it easy or shop, and what days you would like to visit some of the tourist attractions. When my family visited the Oregon Coast, we planned a busy day followed by a day with a more relaxing pace. This seemed to work out well, as no one became exhausted and short-tempered.

Write on your itinerary the activity you are planning, the hours of operation, and any admission fees that are necessary. Be sure to allow enough time to truly enjoy the museum or zoo or gallery; if you are rushing to be on time for the next thing, no one will have fun.

Keep in mind that an over-scheduled vacation is not relaxing or enjoyable for anyone. It’s better to limit your activities to one or two things a day, with enough time for relaxing over meals and just enjoying each other’s company.

Once you have filled your days with activities and time for relaxation and shopping, you are ready to fill in the details of your trip home. Make sure to allow time for hotel checkout, turning in the rental vehicle, and check-in procedure at the airport.

As you can see, making a travel itinerary doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. A little time and research will help you plan the perfect trip for you and your travel companions.

1 Response to "Making a travel itinerary"

1 | max

November 14th, 2014 at 7:43 pm

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thanks for information….

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