An itinerary is a form of travel document in which records what you plan to do during a journey in detail. It may include the time of scheduled events and possible places and landmarks that you may want to visit. I make my own form of an itinerary for each holiday that I go on, which is made months in advance, which lists all of the places I want to visit as well as information regarding my accommodation, flights, plan for each day, information regarding the transfers to and from the airport while abroad as well as information on how I’ll get to the airport from my house. This is essential in making sure that I see everything I’ve planned and making sure that I’ve gotten the most out of my holiday. A lot of time and research goes into making an itinerary such as researching a place, looking at the cost of it as well as the time it would take for me to get there from my accommodation and the time it would take to explore it. These itineraries are printed out and given to each member of the party travelling with me. Additional copies are made which are left inside of my accommodation as well as a copy given to my parents. An itinerary may also help if I went missing since I would’ve left information regarding my whereabouts and a rough time as to when I should be returning.
Making an Itinerary
On my itinerary the departing time and date of the flights I’ll be taking is noted down and the terminal and airport it’ll be departing from. Extra information I add onto my itinerary is the time that we’ll be landing, so I can plan my transfers to my hotel around it as well as seeing what I can do that day as it all depends on when I’m able to get to my hotel to drop my bags off so I can then go out. This information can all be found on the booking confirmation sent to your email when you book your flights, with the time check in closes and your seat numbers (if you have pre-booked them). I also include the flight number on my itinerary so if needed I could easily state what flight I’m on as well as easily recognizing where my flight is on the departure board. Through my chosen airlines website I’m able to put in my flight number and be sent an email when the gate number is released, leaving me time to relax and wander around the airport.
An important feature of an itinerary, which many people forget to list, is the hotel they’re staying at. I firstly list the full name of the hotel since many hotels go under the same name but in different locations such as Aparthotel in Spain. Then I list the address since I may need to show to a taxi driver if they cannot understand what I’m trying to say as well as making sure that we don’t get lost (thus saving me from being heavily overcharged). The phone number of the hotel is included on my itinerary since it’s useful to have if I need to notify them that I may be checking in late or if there is any problems. When writing down the phone number make sure to include the country code, for Spain it’s +34 whereas for Portugal it’s +351. Additional information I include is the check in and check out time of the hotel I’m staying at, which can be found on sites such as Booking.com as well as the website of the hotel. In some instances some hotels are very particular about the times guests can check out of the hotel, with a late check out being chargeable, something every traveler wants to avoid just before they leave to come back home. This information allows me to plan any activities around these times, for instance my check out time for my hotel in Amsterdam is 11am which allows me a few hours to do any activities beforehand. I researched museums and landmarks close to my hotel and booked up the Van Gogh Museum for 9am. I’ve planned out that I’ll be able to get breakfast, walk to the museum and then at 9am have two hours to walk around and explore it. Then I’ve allowed myself an hour to walk back to my hotel to then get everything together and check out, with time to spare.
The plan for a holiday is essential: what you’ll be doing and what you’ll be seeing. For each day I listed the landmarks, museums I wanted to visit and anything else that I had wanted to do for that day. I would then write down the time I wanted to visit, either an estimate or a definitive time through booking an allocated time slot (such as visiting the Van Gogh Museum at 9am on the dot). I will then go even further to list if this attraction is free, if it’s been booked and fully paid or whether I need to book it in person. This gives me an idea of how much money I would need to take with me since if all my attractions have been booked then I would only need spending money whereas if nothing has been booked then I would need money for entrance fees plus spending money on top of that. My itinerary includes printed out versions of confirmations for both the attractions I’ve booked, most of which include my ticket. As much as I praise technology, knowing my luck my phone would probably end up dying the moment I need to show my ticket at the entrance, so it’s better to be safe than sorry by having a digital and a physical version of your ticket. Another bonus to printing out the tickets is that most of them feature a map which guides you towards the attraction, so if your phone does die and you can’t use a digital form of maps then you always have the good old fashioned way of navigating around.
If I do decide to get a private transfer from my airport to the hotel, then I’ll list the information regarding the time I’ll be picked up as well as the place I’m being picked up from. This being easy to read when I get to my destination rather than searching frantically through my emails to try and find the confirmation. Then I’ll do the same for my return journey by marking down the time that I’m being picked up from my hotel. When booking I already have a rough idea of the time I wanted to fly, by taking into consideration what time my flight would land, the time it would take to get from the airport to my hotel and the hotel check in time. For example if my flight landed at 12:45pm and it took me around 30 minutes to get through customs and immigration as well as then taking me another 30-45 minutes to transfer then I’ll be just in time for 2pm (most times that hotels allow you to check in).
The main form of transport in which I use to get to and from the airport is a train that runs through London Bridge to Brighton, which stops at Gatwick Airport (where most of the flights I’ve booked are departing). The journey takes around 30 minutes, making it a convenient way to get to and from the airport cheaply (a return ticket which is anytime of the day costs me around £15-20 as I get additional discount from my 16-25 Railcard). By listing what form of transport I’m going to use, it reminds me to bring my tickets with me as before my holiday I usually look at my itinerary. By doing this I’m able to check that I have any tickets for any attractions that I’ve booked up with me as well as making sure I have supporting documents for my train tickets and transfers.
My Itinerary from Barcelona.
Tips and tricks for all aspects of travelling, most of which include saving money.