10 Sep Plotting the Perfect Itinerary
In life, there are pantsers and there are plotters. Pantsers like to live by the seat of their pants (hence the term ‘pantsers’), winging it as they go with the flow and see where the universe takes them. Plotters, on the other hand, plot out their tasks, their grocery lists, their errands and practically everything else in life, making sure they don’t skip a thing.
To plan the perfect travel itinerary, it helps to be a serious plotter (like most travel agents are). But to truly enjoy that well-plotted itinerary, you need to have a little pantser in you (like most travel agents do!). Here are three key tips to plotting the perfect, seamless itinerary:
Give Yourself Time
An overly-ambitious planner would schedule an event for every second of every day, creating an itinerary that maximizes time but leaves no room for error or even improvisational exploration. So prioritize your sightseeing, choose only those at the top of your list and give yourself plenty of time to get there and enjoy these fantastic sights. Also realize that there are many factors you cannot plan for—such as traffic, missed connections or local events that shut down streets—so the more room you leave in your daily schedule, the less stress you’ll experience completing it.
Include the Minor Details
Most people think their itinerary consists only of flights and hotels. Not so. It should also include travel time to the airport and from the airport’s parking lots to the terminal. And let’s not forget travel from the destination airport to your hotel, time to eat during your trip, and time to leisurely catch a connecting flight if your first one is delayed. Only by thinking of all of these various factors will you be able to create a seamless itinerary.
Add an Extra Day of Nothing
Regardless of how well-planned your vacation is, everything changes once you arrive at your destination. You may become ill or need time to shop if your luggage is delayed. Maybe you learned on the flight over about an incredible new restaurant you want to try but didn’t schedule. Or perhaps a storm douses your plans for an all-day outdoor activity. The best thing to do is add an extra day of nothing at the end of your schedule, which will give you a cushion to do the things you might have missed.