Impress Your Travel Buddies With These Travel Itinerary Hacks

I absolutely love creating itineraries. Is that sad? I’ll happily spend a day researching and crafting the perfect guide which will guarantee me the trip of a lifetime. After all, I’ve paid for it and patiently waited for my countdown app to strike, ‘0 days to go’.

Having your very own bespoke itinerary makes life 10x easier. Not to mention you inevitably end up doing heaps more than if you were to just wing the whole trip.

Don’t get too excited, I’m not giving up all my hard work and handing over my collection of itineraries just like that. But, I am willing to give away a few hacks that’ll have your Insta following wondering what travel agent tipped you off.

1. Who needs an itinerary company?

You can stop reading this post right now, google ‘itinerary tools’ and viola you’ll be presented with thousands of results for sites that’ll make an itinerary for you. But where’s the fun in that? I’m not saying these aren’t useful tools and a lot of people utilize them, especially for longer term travel or business trips. But there’s almost always a catch, like money or a sign up required and if you’re anything like me will begrudge doing that if you have the facilities to do your own.

2. Have some fun

What’s life without a little creativity and colour? A few weeks before your trip invest in a couple of hours to devise an itinerary template. Now I know there are more pressing things to get done on any given day, but hear me out… You can use this over and over again it’ll be worth your while. You don’t even have to have any fancy programmes. I started out with Microsoft Word, now I use Photoshop, anything will do.

Here’s some template inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

3. Be realistic and don’t jam pack your itinerary

Whether you’re going alone or on a family trip, you don’t want to get to your destination and have the ‘so much to do in so little time’ attitude. If you have a weekend, week, or even a month don’t overdo it. It’s a holiday and you’ve earned those rest days! Plus having things on your itinerary that you can’t possibly fit in will make you feel guilty about not ticking them off. Choose what you want to do, work it into your itinerary and let go of the rest.

4. Use these tools to get you off to a good start

Researching for this kind of thing is really not rocket science. When I get feedback from the itineraries I’ve created in the past people are amazed at how I discover all of these random places to visit that they’ve never even heard of. It doesn’t take a lot to dig a little deeper than your average tourist, just look a little outside the box or check out my post on my favourite apps to prep for travel. Apps I’m liking lately are Neat Places (NZ only) and Foodspotting.

5. Be a step ahead and add the address

This is a tip that’ll save you a lot of time and hassle when you’re about to set off to the first place on day 1. I have to admit this is something I tend to leave out of my itineraries to keep them short and sweet but it only means I spend 10 minutes looking up the address/directions on holiday and if there’s no wifi to connect to it becomes a bit of a problem. Don’t go into detail just write the street name or a landmark you know that’s near.

6. Make it accessible so you can actually use it

There’s nothing worse than putting all your time and effort into something to then make the stupid mistake of not sending it to yourself or printing it off. Trust me, I’ve been there. The easiest way to do this is to PDF your itinerary and then get it onto a device that you carry with you, typically your phone. I usually send it to my number/email but you can add it to your dropbox or store it in the cloud, whatever works. Having it right there in your pocket will give you the freedom of choice.

Try it out, have some fun and let me know how you get on. Don’t forget to watch this space for itineraries coming your way.

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Steven Schwartzman

The first night we drove into Wellington on our 2015 visit, we parked on Taranaki St.