A quick getaway or vacation doesn’t typically involve much more itinerary planning than picking a destination and flight. When contemplating long term travel, there are some people who insist on doing not much more than that. If you are a wing it type person, we are done here. For the majority of the world out there, a little more planning is in order. We find winging it stressful and gave up on trying to make every decision on a whim a long time ago. That doesn’t mean travel is completely inflexible for us. Instead, the plan is something to judge our options against. Minimally, setting an itinerary at least gives you a starting point when you get to the bus or train station on what ticket to ask for from the person in the booth.


Photo Credit: Terry Wha

One of the best places to start your itinerary planning is packaged tour companies. They have done the leg work on best places to see and how long it takes to get there. As an example, if you’re planning a multi-centre trip then take a look at www.eShores.co.uk, their site features lots of ideas and itineraries. If the online itinerary ticks off all of the boxes for your trip and the price makes sense for your budget, you can stop you planning right there. Sometimes these tours don’t completely line up completely but they make a good starting point for customizing what you really want to do. They can also give you a budget idea too. If you book everything yourself and don’t mind taking care of all the logistic details, then you can save some money from the posted tour prices. If finding your way is a constant challenge, then maybe having a guide is worth a little more from the vacation budget.


Photo Credit: Lost Albatross

For people who like the feel of a paper book and flipping back and forth between pages, the handy standby guide book is a great place to start. We’ve often started our plans by picking up the Lonely Planet guide for a destination country. We use it to find inspiration and sightseeing ideas before we head out. They contain recommended itineraries that make sense if you have limited time and want to check out the highlights of a country. The travel guides also make it easy to identify other travellers when you are wondering about, you all have a book in your hands and a puzzled look as you try to decipher local signs and oddly scaled maps.


Photo Credit: Jaymis