How To Create The Perfect Travel Itinerary

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This post is all about how to make a travel itinerary.

how to make a travel itinerary

Traveling to a foreign place can seem daunting, especially if you are going solo. When I went on my first solo trip, it was a bit scary and nerve-wracking. Every task ultimately fell on my shoulders.

On the other hand, it was liberating as I had the freedom to choose what I wanted to do according to my heart’s desires. I had the ability to create the perfect itinerary for me — no compromises and no missed opportunities.

With this mindset, planning can turn into an exciting process despite all of the work involved.

How Do I Create A Travel Itinerary?

The first thing you need to do is have a well-laid out plan on how you envision your trip. Where you plan to stay, do, see, shop and etc. You also want to make a travel itinerary that leaves room for unexpected opportunities. Below are some tips on how to make a travel itinerary for a seamless trip:

Don’t leave without travel insurance: Before heading to any trip, the first thing you should do is get travel insurance.


You hear so many cases of people getting sick, ended up going to a local doctor and saved themselves thousands of dollars because they had travel insurance.

The one I personally use when I travel anywhere is World Nomads. It’s super easy to sign up (only just a few minutes). So make sure you check it out before your travels to save yourself a lot of money.

1. Create an Inspiration Board on Pinterest

Once you have your destination locked, you can begin to visualize how the vacation might look like. Read up on interesting places to visit and things to do. Search Pinterest for photos of eye-catching sites and create your own inspiration board. Pin images, articles, and videos to your board to keep things organized. Do the same for every other destination that you have in mind. You can also use other applications or websites if you prefer. The point is to maintain your awesome gallery in a convenient location for ease of reference whenever you need it.

2. Make a List of Activities You Want to Do

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Interact with your destination by taking part in activities recommended by locals and tourists alike. These could be walking tours around popular neighborhoods, amazing shows, incredible adventures, historical appreciation, and so on. Check out the things that you absolutely must try according to those who have gone there before. Don’t forget to look for gems that might be off the beaten path as well. After all, you wouldn’t want your holiday photos to be just like every other traveler’s gallery. Find things that personally excite you and list them down.

3. Break Up Each Day into Three: Morning, Afternoon, Evening

Now it’s time to fit your activities into a suitable time slot. It would be difficult to be too precise about the time because there might be delays and other difficulties along the way. You might also find yourself wanting to spend more time in one place than you anticipated. Keep a loose plan that divides each day into the morning, afternoon, and evening. Pencil in just one or two activities per frame so that you’re not in too much of a hurry. Know your priorities and your optional trips. Be flexible once you are out on the road.

4. Keep Nearby Activities & Eateries Together On The Same Days

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Study the sights you want to see carefully. Pay attention to their location. You can find out a lot if you use the Internet so research should not be too hard. It would be best to schedule nearby activities on the same day. In many cases, you would only need to walk from one place to another or get a short taxi ride. This leaves you more time to experience a city rather than getting stuck in traffic. Dedicate each day to a different section of the town. Have your meals in neighborhood restaurants as well for convenience.

5. Visit Well-known and More Populated Areas on Weekdays

Popular sights tend to get extremely crowded during weekends. This means long lines, noisy places, packed vehicles, added heat, and heavy traffic. You might spend more time lining up rather than actually experiencing the places on your list. If you would like to optimize your precious hours, then go to these well-known places on weekdays instead. Most of the locals will be at school and at work so there will be fewer people. Tourist spots are mostly quiet in the morning so be strategic in your scheduling. Leave the lesser-known sights for the weekends.

6. Leave Time to Explore

exploring populated areas

Try not to put too much on your activities list every day. You won’t be able to truly be in the moment if you are constantly worrying if you can get somewhere else in an hour or so. Give yourself enough time allowance per place to explore, have meals, and do things that you might not have expected. Surprises can turn out to be the best parts of your trip. Free time will let you enjoy them.

7. Leave the Last Day Open

The last day should always be free. Try not to overwhelm your schedule with activities on the last day so you can relax before leaving. By leaving it open, you can do things you weren’t able to do earlier or might not have anticipated when you were at home planning for the trip. Perhaps you found a market where you want to shop for souvenirs. Maybe you met friends that you want to spend more time with. You could also go back to your favorite places, dine at a nice restaurant, or just take care of certain arrangements for smooth travel.

8. Use Google Maps to Plan Your Trip

Transportation costs can add up, especially if you are in a foreign place where you are not familiar with the public system. One of the best ways to decrease this cost is to plan your itinerary with places that are adjacent to each other. Instead of bouncing from north to south, then east to west, you can just move around in a sensible path tracing the best sights along the way. You can accomplish this by using Google Maps or any of your preferred mapping apps. You could also use printed maps if you prefer.

Travel Itinerary Template

The best way to stay organized and plan your vacation is to use a travel itinerary. I created this travel itinerary template below and it’s included in my Travel Planner Printables Kit. With this template alone, you can organize your travel schedule, keep track of activities and budget as well as note down hotels and car rental information. Now that you know how to make a travel itinerary, you can use my travel planner to plan your next vacation with ease.

travel itinerary template

Continue Planning Your Trip

This post is a part of How To Plan a Trip For Beginners Guide

In the following posts, we will look at more important steps in the planning stages of a trip that are necessary for you to plan with ease and enjoy your travels.

I invite you to continue following along by checking out the next step in planning a trip by understanding why you shouldn’t leave without travel insurance.

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Now you know how to make a travel itinerary for your next vacation. Where are you traveling to next? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

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