Today, on mrsprofresh.com, I am sharing how to create a travel itinerary. I hope this blog post serves as a guide for those who are lost in the process of planning a trip.
If you follow the below listed steps, you’ll be doing exactly what I do to get the ball rolling on creating a travel itinerary.
Step 1 – Create a Master Document
The first step is to create a master document to compile everything about the trip. From activities, locations, addresses, phone numbers, website links, etc., the goal is to collect all the information on one document, hence its name, the Master Document.
Decide which format you are comfortable with – Word, Excel, etc., For those comfortable with Excel, I highly recommend it. I love that you can create several pages (or tabs) on one single document. More about this on step two.
Step 2 – Create Categories
The second step is to create categories that are relevant to your trip. For example: Flights, Lodging, Transportation, Activities, Restaurant Reservations, etc.
Below I explain why I like to include the below categories, especially when I am planning a trip with a large group.
- Flight and Lodging – Capture everyone’s flight information. It is helpful to have everyone’s information in one spot, especially if you’re flying from different cities. This will help you plan according to arrival times as well. Also, if a flight is delayed, you can look up the flight number(s) to check flight statuses.
- Transportation – Document rental car information such as the rental company name and confirmation number.
- Activities – This is the fun stuff. List all the popular attractions and activities, including everyone’s input and ideas. This way, everyone has the opportunity to see their options, and even sign-up (or opt out) of activities. For this category, I like to track:
- Activity Name
- Notes from Website
- Website Link
- Phone Number
- Reservation Date
- Reservation Time
- Other Notes
- Eat and Drink – For this category, track all the must-eats and must-drinks. Personally, I like to track: Restaurant Name, Address, Phone Number, Website Link, Reservation Date, Reservation Time, and Notes. Even if you don’t have a reservation, go ahead and list the local finds because if any last minute changes occur, you have easy access to all the local eateries and bars.
Below is a screenshot of the categories for an itinerary I created in the past.
The last two categories were specific for the type of trip. It’s a Christmas trip with family so we agreed to plan our meals and games ahead of time. Since we want to have a traditional Mexican Christmas Eve, which includes eating fresh homemade tamales and hot chocolate, we had to coordinate how we were going to make this happen. And for the games, we had to figure out who was bringing what. Anyway, this really helped us organize this part of the trip and served as helpful reminders for everyone 😉
Step 3 – Create Travel Itinerary
Once you’ve gathered information about the activities, places you’d like to visit, restaurants you’d like to try, etc., you can start creating the travel itinerary. I create the final itinerary on Excel as well, as part of the master document.
On the itinerary, I created columns for the following information:
- What’s happening?
- Reservation? Y/N
- What’s the travel time to the next place?
- Anything else?
A few things to consider beforehand:
- Call in advance to book a reservation, especially if it’s a popular place.
- Confirm cancellation fees and policies.
- Email drafts of the itinerary to the group and ask for feedback.
And voila! Just like that, your trip is planned out. The entire point of having a travel itinerary is to enjoy the trip once you get there. If you think it’s overwhelming planning the trip, imagining planning it while you are on the trip. It’s a complete waste of time, if you ask me. (Unless, of course, you are traveling to relax and go with the flow. I do love those types of trips too.) Anyway, I hope you found these tips to be helpful and useful. As always, if you have any questions, please never hesitate in reaching out! You can contact me at email@example.com or DM me on Instagram.