When it comes to itinerary, the things may take longer to be shaped, but if you follow the 4 simple steps below you will have an amazing trip! And there are several things I consider:
Step 1: Identify all the available options which may interest you
- Ask a friend who has been/is from there, there is no better and faster way to get the information you need than somebody who has lived it. Ask your friends what they did, what they recommend out of it what they don’t and why. Ask your friends what they missed/what they would have liked to do extra,
- Ask the lonely planet. Even Lonely Planet is not what it use to be and we all regret the old good times, it still has very good recommendations for: top things to do (the website), suggestions of itineraries (the book),
- Ask Google: eg: must see New Zeeland, or what to do near name of the Milano, or trekking routes in Cordillera Blanca,
- Check the tours offered by the big travel agencies, they have plenty of options when it comes to itineraries. You may not book with them, but you may do some parts of their itineraries. You can use any big travel company. I recommend Viator and Cox and Kings.
Step 2: Filter your options and make a list with absolutely everything you would like to do during your trip
There are multiple ways of doing this and personally I do the visual test – I check images with the place in Google Images and if I like it I put the place in the itinerary. I know people who read the reviews from Trip Advisor or blog of the other travelers. This step depends on what it works for you to make a prioritisation of the things you want to see.
Step 3: Pin it on the map and make the itinerary
I put on the map all the places which past the Step 2 to can see how far are they from each other and from there I start drawing a route. Short distances are usually covered by road, and the longer ones I try to take a plane if it is worth the money vs time. Or you may want to add a stop in between and check what you can do.
And voila you have the itinerary for your trip! Congratulations! Now you can book your infrastructure. Here is how I plan my infrastructure.
Step 4: Refine your itinerary on the trip
There are places in the world where it is easier to plan everything from your home country, others which is not. Sometimes it happens that ones you are in your trip, by talking to locals or other travelers you identify more places for your itinerary or you want to drop some. Personally I recommend this refine step because most of the times it helps you make the best out of your trip.
Now depending on how much you like to plan from home, or on the type of trip you are, this refine part can mean just include one more museum, neighborhood, near by village to see (if you planned everything before your trip) or complete (re)design of your itinerary (if you planned nothing).
- No matter how special you want to be there are classic routes everybody does and most probably you will end up doing the same itinerary as your friends. But of course, everybody’s experience is different, and that’s your own special thing,
- If you put in your itinerary out of the beaten track destinations will boost your experience tenfold,
- Sometimes the most gorgeous places are remote and difficult to be accessed, so it can be that you have to give up some of them when planning the infrastructure. Don’t get discouraged, maybe you find some other nice places near by and you spend more time on the area so it is worth the effort of getting there, or simple you find other amazing places to visit.
If you have any questions/suggestions leave a comment and I’ll ensure it gets answered.