The quality of a vacation is often directly correlated to the amount of preparation that went into it. A solidly built itinerary is a key ingredient in a relaxed holiday. Not everyone is a planner, but leaving too much to chance can create some stressful scenarios. You don’t have to be a detail-oriented planner to build the perfect itinerary if you keep in mind these few factors.
Choose your ‘Must Do’s’ first.
Wherever you decide to go, come up with a list of a few sites, activities, or restaurants you absolutely have to check out. Is there a museum you’re dying to explore or is your priority one whole, uninterrupted day at the beach? Keeping these priorities in mind, you can then find a conveniently located hotel, so that you don’t spend too much time traveling to and fro. Only after you have planned out when and where you want to do the big stuff, come up with other ideas to fill the rest of the time. This way, you won’t feel like you missed out on anything important.
Make your itinerary flexible.
It should not be so jam-packed that one change will through off the whole day. Build in downtime, and leave room for last-minute changes and discoveries. What if you end up spending longer than planned in a market, or a local recommends a café that is not to be missed? That is what traveling is all about! This article suggests planning one or 2 activities per day, and to keep a back up option, just in case.
Research and Confirm.
A good vacation itinerary is the result of a lot of fastidious research. Don’t rely on any one guidebook or recommendation. Read reviews, make reservations, pre-book tickets, and map out driving and walking routes. Before taking off, call and re-confirm all of your reservations. This could save you a lot of headaches once you arrive.
Use Travel Apps.
Here is a list of some of the best apps for travel. Tripomatic, for example, includes attractions, tours, daytrips, hotels, and transportation. The app creates a detailed itinerary, including time needed for activities and travel information to get from one place to the next.
Plan Something Extra Special.
Studies have shown that people will judge experiences based on peak moments, both good and bad, that stand out to them. This is called the “peak-end rule,” because even a relatively short good experience during a not so good trip will leave a good impression in travelers’ memories. With this in mind, plan at least one extra special activity during the trip. This could turn into the highlight that you talk about for years.