There’s nothing worse than having regrets after a trip – whether you forgot to pick up a memento, missed out on an experience you had been looking forward to or didn’t get a chance to eat at that restaurant everyone’s raving about.
Creating a trip itinerary ensures this doesn’t happen and makes for a more rewarding adventure. It serves as a reminder of all the things you want to see and do, and better prepares you for your trip.
But don’t be mistaken: An itinerary doesn’t take the spontaneity out of travel. We think it actually allows for more, because you’ll spend less time worrying about where to go next and will have more time to explore your destination.
Don’t believe us? Consider these five reasons to create a trip itinerary (or jump straight to how to create one).
5 Reasons to Create a Trip Itinerary
- You won’t forget anything. In the excitement of your arrival, it’s likely you’ll forget about those little details you read about online or saw on Instagram. Don’t let these moments or memories pass you by.
- You can pack less. When you plan ahead, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll need to bring on your trip. If you’re a fan of traveling light, an itinerary will be your best friend!
- You’ll maximize your time. Even long trips seem to fly by, but by mapping out your journey, you can group nearby points of interest and save time commuting from place to place.
- You’ll have a backup plan in case something doesn’t work out. Ever tried to grab a bite to eat at a popular restaurant only to find it requires a reservation? Traveled to a national park, but the main roads are closed due to bad weather? Visited a main attraction and had to stand in the ticket line for hours? These are just a few examples of situations that can be avoided with proper planning.
- You’ll know where to go. This is especially important when traveling to a foreign country without an international phone plan or SIM card. If you don’t have directions or addresses jotted down, you’re more likely to get lost. (Trust us.)
Now that you’re convinced, let’s get started creating an itinerary.
How to Create a Trip Itinerary
Although you have to create your itinerary on a desktop, there is an app that allows you to view the itinerary and documents when on the go, which is super handy. You can also print them in case you’re a fan of paper copies.
When building your itinerary, you can invite other travelers and use the site’s chat feature to collaborate, make polls and share ideas. You can also use the site’s “Discover” tab to find nearby restaurants or activities and can add them directly to your itinerary.
Watch our walk-through below to see more of the site’s features.
In addition to using Travefy’s “Discover” tab, we recommend a few other ways to explore activities, restaurants and points of interest when building your itinerary.
Instagram, of course, offers inspiration and often provides a unique glimpse into a destination’s vibe and culture. We recommend following Twitter accounts that feature the area and any hashtags relevant to the locale.
Another great way to get ideas is to search the destination’s tourism website. Often, they will send out free visitors guides and maps, but you’ll want to allow plenty of time for snail mail to arrive.
Some locations even provide personalized trip builders. For instance, we came across Seattle’s trip builder when researching top things to do in the city. The site asks for your travel dates and preferences, then provides recommendations that are optimized for geography, hours of operation and seasonality.
We used all of these tactics – using a personalized trip builder, ordering visitors guides, skimming Instagram and taking advantage of Travefy – to build our itinerary for Seattle.
Whatever your method of planning, just be sure to prep beforehand and build an itinerary. You’ll feel more organized and less stressed as your trip approaches, and will be able to enjoy every moment of your adventure.
Best of all, you won’t forget any of the little things that often make trips extra special. This small investment of your time will pay off – you won’t regret it!
Stay tuned for blog posts on our Seattle adventures – coming soon!