8 Advantages To Having A Travel Itinerary

May 27, 2015
activities
8 Advantages To Having A Travel Itinerary

Whenever I plan a trip, one of the first things I do post booking a flight, is make a travel itinerary. Personally, I like to go all out and include places we’re staying, check-in times, phone numbers to restaurants we’ll be eating so we can call to make reservations when necessary; I may go overboard. It has recently come to my attention that not everyone likes to travel this way. I understand where they are coming from in that traveling is meant to be an exploration, and a schedule could get in the way of curiosity; however, I’d like to make an argument in favor of the itinerary, because overall I believe it makes for a smoother, more successful trip. Here’s why:

8 Advantages To Having A Travel Itinerary

1. You won’t miss out on anything.

Making an itinerary will force you to do your research ahead of time. This may be the only time you visit this place, SO you want to be sure you see everything you came to see. Through your research, you might even learn of destinations, festivals or exhibits you may not have known existed. I just happened to be in Ireland during the Taste of Dublin festival, and I never would have known to attend if I hadn’t read about it ahead of time. This is also prime time to note hours of operation. You can arrange your day to hit the places that open early first before the others that open later. It will also prevent you from getting to a museum right when the doors are closing for the day.

2. You’ll be able to keep track of where you’re staying.

No matter what, it is relatively important to stay organized while traveling. An itinerary is a simple way to keep everything in one place: confirmation numbers, important emails and any phone numbers in case of emergencies. Then when you arrive at your destination, you already have any paperwork or information you need right on hand.

8 Advantages To Having A Travel Itinerary

3. You can purchase tickets ahead of time.

Through your research, you will be able to learn what places or attractions sell tickets ahead of time. I will only buy tickets ahead of time if it is a must-hit place on my list. It does save you time waiting in line, and occasionally money for pre-ordering, but it also binds you to a time and a day which isn’t always worth it unless you know for sure you want to visit.

4. It will help with packing.

Having a tentative plan of what places you’re visiting and activities you’ll be participating in helps greatly in efficient packing. Instead of four pairs of shoes, you’ll know that you may not need those hiking boots after all. It will also help when you’re choosing what to wear each day, because you’ll know what type of jacket, shoes, or even camera lenses you’ll need based on what you’ll be doing.

5. You will be able to take more recommendations.

Whenever I’m traveling, I like to consult with as many people as possible who I know have visited that place before. Whether I take their recommendations or not, I like to hear what they say and compare it to what I hear from others or have read. I have found that if I have an itinerary, I can note these recommendations on the days where they would be feasible, so if we end up stuck on a place for lunch or a place for gelato, I can reference the list, and we’ll be able to try it out.

8 Advantages To Having A Travel Itinerary

6. It will save time (waiting, deciding).

When I was in Amsterdam we waited three hours to get into the Anne Frank Huis. Had we made an itinerary ahead of time, we would have realized that it is quite simple to purchase tickets online and skip the wait entirely. All that time we spent in line could have been spent at another museum or park.

7. You can prioritize activities and go at your own pace.

I want to be clear that in no way do I support following an hour-by-hour itinerary. I do believe that having a skeleton outline of tentative activities makes a huge difference though. It’s a reference. Obviously the nature of travel is going in different directions and following curiosity, but without some kind of guide, it’s easy to let aimless time go by. If you have a list, you at least have a choice of whether you want to be aimless or not.

8. You’ll know where you went when you get back.

I still reference old itineraries when I’m reminiscing about past trips or providing references for friends who are traveling places I’ve already been. It’s a great way to remember exactly where you visited and things that you saw. Especially if you don’t keep a travel journal.

Travel Itinerary


 

 

8 Advantages To Having A Travel Itinerary  // 8 Advantages To Having A Travel Itinerary

About Erin Keene

Erin KeeneErin Keene is a freelancer based in New York City. Falafel is her favorite food group, and when she’s not slurping ramen or eating pizza in the streets of the Big Apple, she’s traveling the world in search of her next “favorite meal of all time.” She was in Barcelona when Spain won the World Cup, she’s watched the sun rise from the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and her favorite place to watch the sun set is her back porch in Pennsylvania.

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