One of the questions we get asked the most is “How did you decide where to go and what to see?” – the answer, as unpopular as it may seem, is lots and lots of work. Whether setting off on a weekend roadtrip, taking a week off to soak up the sun at a beach resort, or undertaking a round-the-world adventure, crafting a solid and well thought out itinerary is one of the most vital and sometimes overlooked steps in the planning process.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a little spontaneous adventure or detour as much as the next backpacker, but gone are the days when travelers can throw caution to the wind and set off without any semblance of a plan – at least without an unlimited budget or unlimited patience. With the increased accessibility to travel for much of the world, booking transportation and accommodation ahead of time and having a plan is becoming more important to make the most of your travel time and budget. This was very evident during our last trip through Europe, where we quickly realized that being organized and well planned out was the only way to ensure we had a bed to sleep in or a seat to sit in when we needed one most.
Crafting a perfect itinerary means striking a perfect balance between rigidity and flexibility – most of us don’t want to get to the point where each and every minute of every day is accounted for (although this may work perfectly for a select few), but we also want to know where we are sleeping before nightfall begins to creep in. While this balance of planning vs staying aloof is different for everyone, with a little trial and error you can figure out what works best for you.
It is for this reason that we’re focusing on travel planning in this series. For us, planning is one of the most enjoyable (and sometimes frustrating) aspects of travel. Sorting out where to go, how to get there, where to stay while we’re there, and what to do is a lot of work – but it also lets us fantasize about the trip before it even begins – sometimes the only way to stay sane between trips. Hopefully everyone will find a suggestion or new idea that will help with their next trip.
If there’s anything you want to know about or you have any questions for us, let us know in the comments or contact us via email or our social networks!