How to plan and organize a travel itinerary

Are you going to plan a trip and want to organize the itinerary/route in an easy way, with templates, examples and the packing list?

👉 I am going to tell you how to do it in 5 quick and easy steps, with several tips and extra recommendations to organize your adventure

how to plan a trip and itinerary

  • Recommendations for planning a trip
  • Step 1: Pick a Few Countries
  • Step 2: decide the destination
  • Step 3: organize the itinerary
  • Step 4 – Detail the trip
  • Step 5: Pack

Recommendations for planning a trip

You will find all the explanation to organize your trip in two formats: in writing or on video (spanish with english subtitles). Do not worry when choosing, since the content and information are the same; although the video is more fun!

Before we start, I have two recommendations:

  • Plan the trip in a very visual way to avoid getting overwhelmed; In addition, try to include all the final information in, at most, 1 or 2 sheets.
  • Even if you think that you will no longer need it, always save all the information and notes you have taken; because, if at any time you have to change your plans, you can easily recover it and you will not have to start over.

That said, if you already know where you want to travel, go directly to step number 3, otherwise continue reading.

STEP 1: choose a few countries

Choose some countries that you are excited to visit, this way you will have an idea of ​​​​the possibilities. To do this, rely on two things:

  • Ask yourself how many days you want to go and how much you are willing to spend on transportation, this way you will have a first filter.
  • Also consider whether the inconvenience of transportation compensates for the stay; that is, is it worth taking a plane and flying 16 hours to get to Thailand, and then staying there for only 7 days, or is it better to leave this trip for later when you have more time?

Take into account your personal tastes and what you want to do: if you are passionate about architecture, you want to experiment with meditation or yoga, if you like the beach or the mountains, if you have a hobby and want to take the opportunity to buy things when you are traveling ,… there are a lot of different things you can do!

To get inspired you can search blogs, use google images, watch videos on youtube, or look at photos on instagram, and pinterest)

STEP 2: DECIDE THE DESTINATION

When you already have a few countries chosen, start to detail the information a little more, so you will see if the trip is feasible or not. I recommend that you be clear about the following 5 aspects:

Infórmate bien sobre los gastos

A budget is divided into

  • transportation: within the country, and also to enter and leave the country
  • Food: dinners, breakfasts, eating from the supermarket, etc…
  • accommodation: always count more in case there is a problem with the hotel and you decide to change
  • activities: tours, theater tickets, kayak rental, etc…

Avoid price surprises

Keep in mind that sometimes the country’s economy is not in line with the price of accommodation, but rather more expensive.

In addition, the price of tickets may be more expensive to enter some places (natural parks, museums or whatever) simply because you are a foreigner, and this difference in price is totally legal. In some countries, local people pay, for example, 10 times less.

With transportation it can happen, but I’ve only found myself once in a similar situation, so it really doesn’t happen.

The thing is, when you’re abroad, you don’t want to be in for any surprises.

safety when traveling

Another very important issue when planning a trip is safety. There are some countries that are not directly safe, or that have some areas that it would be better for you to avoid because they are conflictive.

It would also not hurt to inform yourself about the dangerous animals that you can find when you go on an excursion. These are basically scorpions, snakes or any bug that can kill you.

country entry requirements

Find out about the requirements for entering the country:

  • if you need a visa, the price and where you should go to do it
  • also ask if there are additional costs when carrying out the visa procedures
  • if you need a visa extension (because you want to stay longer in the country), look for information about the price of the extension, where you can do it and how long it takes to do it
  • if there are compulsory vaccines to enter the country, or if you need any additional documentation (such as the flight to the country, hotel reservations, an invitation letter, etc…)

weather and temperatures

Also think about the weather: if it is a place where it is very cold or, on the contrary, it is extremely hot. Especially if you have health problems or go with older people. Keep in mind that the heat can have a great impact on a physical level.

There are also some countries that have rainy or dry seasons, hurricanes, etc. and all these things can have a great impact on your trip.

Step 3: Organize THE ITINERARY

This step is important if you are planning a route either between cities or between countries.

Transportation and geography

The itinerary has to be logical both in terms of geography and transportation, since you don’t want to be wandering aimlessly around the country.

It is particularly important that you make sure that from one point to the next there will be some method of direct transport, because many times you have to return to the capital, go to the next point or take many different types of transport and it ends up being a hassle.

You have to assess what is best for you: whether to take a route through the same area, or choose places that are further away, because going from top to bottom can represent more physical wear, lost time and sometimes it is even more expensive.

level of tourism

See if they are more or less touristy places, depending on the type of trip you like, and if you are more adventurous or prefer alternative and calmer destinations.

variety is the spice of life

Try to bring variety to your trip, you can go to places where there is sea, visit the mountain area, go to museums, visit cathedrals,…

Even if you are a person who is passionate about the mountains, for example, there is also a very wide range of activities to do: hiking, taking a waterfall route, rafting, caves, observing fauna. There are so many different things!

Step 4: DETAIL THE TRIP

This is the most fun step, because you are going to finish giving the final shape to your trip. Take a look at the following aspects.

hotels/hostels

Before leaving, you need to have some things clear to lighten the arrival:

  • Decide how many days you are going to go to each place and book the accommodation (if possible with free cancellation)
  • Find out how to get to the hotel (if you are going to go by taxi, metro, bus, on foot, etc…). If you don’t want to have to depend on the information or prices offered at airports (they tend to rip you off), download an offline map and the relevant applications (Uber, Grab,…).

tourist attractions

When you are deciding which attractions or sites you want to visit, you should look for information on:

  • if you can get yourself to the places you want to visit (attractions) or if you have to hire a tour
  • the price of the tickets, and if there are discounts to be able to visit different museums/mythical places in a certain period of time (1 day, 3 days, 1 week,…)
  • In the event that you want to drive yourself (be it a motorcycle or a car), you should inform yourself about the legal aspect, since there are some countries that do not recognize foreign driving licenses, or only accept those from certain countries.

when to hire the tours and activities

You can hire the activities online, but many times they are more expensive than if you hire them when you arrive at the place you want to visit.

I recommend that you wait to get to the site because it gives you the opportunity to compare offers or haggle, you can feel bad, the weather may not be right, and, thus, you save trouble.

Step 5: Pack

Find out about the maximum weight and measurements of the luggage, although I recommend that you travel light.

If you are traveling only with a carry-on bag and you are carrying unusual objects, remember to call the airport or ask for information to find out if everything is allowed.

Make a detailed list with everything you need and, also, do it with time in case you have to buy something. It is better that you do not depend on buying things when you arrive, because you may not find them, you may not know where to buy them, and besides, it is a waste of time and unnecessary worry.

Think that, when you return, the suitcase will weigh more because you will carry all the souvenirs. Remember to reserve a little extra space!

Always carry a small kit with band-aids and disinfectant and also if you need medications or vitamins.