Hello, hello, my sweet friends. (Wow – I’ve missed writing. Life has been quite hectic lately. Oh, who am I kidding? 2020 has been hectic. Anyway, I have been working on a project that has kept me away from writing. I cannot wait to share once the final details come together.) 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 from activities, locations, addresses, phone numbers, website links, etc. The reason this is called the “master” document is because it will contain everything about the trip. Your best bet is to create it digitally because it makes life easier. If you are planning to travel with a group, you can easily email everything to them. Not to mention, it’s great to keep screenshots on your phone camera roll instead of trying to keep up with physical paper. (And to be honest, I like to answer any questions ahead of time. After all, I want to enjoy the trip as much as they are 😉 )
What do I use to create a master document?
Excel. It keeps everything organized. It’s also simple and straight to the point.
Step 2 – Create Categories
The second step is to create categories that will essentially help you create the final travel itinerary. Below is a screenshot of the categories for my latest itinerary.
Personalize each category based on your trip. You can be as general, or detailed, as you’d like. I like to include the following categories for specific reasons:
- Flight and Lodging – It is helpful to have everyone’s information in one spot, especially if you’re flying from different cities. This information will help you plan according to arrival times as well. Not to mention, if someone is late, or not responding, you can easily google their flight number to figure out what’s going on.
- Transportation – This simply includes rental car information and travel times from point A to point B.
- Activities – This is the fun stuff. This is where everyone’s input and ideas will be listed. The point of the trip is to have fun, right?!? Well, fun can be described in many different ways according to the person. A fun way of engaging the group is to ask them to send you a list of things they would like to do, this will give you an idea of what to research, book, etc. For this category, I created columns for the following information:
- Activity Name
- Notes from Website
- Website Link
- Phone Number
- Reservation Date
- Reservation Time
- Other Notes
- Eat and Drink – This is a list of places to check out for food and drinks. Again, I included basic information such as: Restaurant Name, Address, Phone Number, Website Link, Reservation Date, Reservation Time, and Notes.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Instagram.