Taking a vacation is always exciting. New adventures and opportunities await. However, the planning can be daunting. Where should you start? For any trip, designing and keeping an itinerary can help make your adventure more enjoyable. Below are some ideas to help make your packing and itinerary process a lot easier.
From the moment you decide you’re taking the trip, you should start working on an itinerary. You’ll probably go through multiple drafts, but developing a plan early will allow you to capitalize the most of your trip. Think of all the things you want to do and list them all, regardless of price or time. From there you can trim up your list by removing activities you can’t afford, attractions that won’t be open, or restaurants where you can’t get a reservation. By the time you get the final itinerary, you will be happy no matter how it turns out because it will have only the things you wanted from the start.
Plan for Everyone
If you’re traveling alone, this is easy. You wouldn’t design a trip that you wouldn’t like! But if you’re planning a vacation with family or a spouse, it is important to keep everyone in mind. You will have to concede to doing things for everyone, even if it isn’t something you would normally do. When you write your initial trip itinerary, make sure you get everyone’s list of everything they want to do. When you edit, balance it out. If you pull one activity from one child’s list, you have to pull the next activity from the other child’s list. Make sure everyone understands the trade off and be flexible, otherwise, your relaxing trip can turn into a nightmare.
Plan Time to Relax
This is the biggest thing most people tend to forget in the planning process. Vacations are supposed to be an escape, a time to take a break from the stress of life. If you don’t take the time to relax and unwind while enjoying the new scenery, your trip can be more stressful than everyday life. Schedule time to hang out in the hotel to watch TV or take a nap. If you spend the whole trip running full speed ahead, you’ll burn yourself out and won’t be able to enjoy the activities you have planned.
When writing an itinerary, people think that quick and concise is the approach you should take, almost like a checklist. You want to keep those details, though! When making a reservation, don’t just write the time down. Write down the person’s name, the credit card you used to hold your place, and make note of their cancellation policy. Keep important numbers of your hotel or airline on your itinerary in case of an urgent matter. You shouldn’t need to scramble when things don’t go according to plan. Having these details ready will help you recover quickly and get your trip back on track. Use a travel agency software if possible or find an agency that uses one. This way you can have all these details in one place.
Even if you plan every second of your trip and keep all the details, it is very likely something will go wrong. You lose a reservation because you got stuck in traffic, your flight is delayed because of weather, or someone gets sick. Unavoidable factors happen all the time. Even when you can’t stick to the itinerary, relax. It isn’t the end of the world. Instead of worrying, use the change as an opportunity. Find a cute little café to dine at instead. Stay in and watch a movie. Make the most of the unavoidable and don’t let it ruin your trip.
Trips are all about enjoying new experiences. Whether it is a business trip or family vacation, the point is to enjoy the opportunity. Make the most of it!
About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.