There are three ways to create a travel itinerary: the “old-fashioned” way by entering everything into a file online; virtually, by using one of the many apps that fit quite nicely in the confines of your smartphone or your tablet; or by booking your travel with a professional Travel Advisor who will do all the work for you.
If you’re a do-it-yoursefer, you’ll need to follow the same basic steps.
Gather all the hard and fast details first.
This means your flight information (airline, flight number, confirmation number, arrival and departure times), your rental car reservation (confirmation number, company phone number) and your hotel reservation details (hotel name, address, confirmation number, reservations phone number). Include directions from the airport to the car rental area and round trip hotel/airport.
This is also where you need to gather all your emergency contact information, as well as any special medical needs you might have (include your SkyMed number). It’s also a good idea include the address and contact information for the local embassy or consulate outpost, plus the local hospital. If you’re planning on sending postcards, make a list of the recipients’ addresses.
Do your research.
Online guidebooks and local tourism offices are a great place to start, but nothing compares to putting your questions out in the social media world. Ask about things to do, to see and to eat, chances are you’ll get some insider information that will take your trip beyond tourist level. Check to find out about local festivals that might be going on during your visit, and don’t forget to eyeball the weather so you know what to pack.
Draw a timeline.
Virtual or otherwise, it will give you an idea of how much you can do and when. Jot down your activities, but don’t overbook yourself: there’s no sense in all your memories being but a blur. Oh, and add a free day into the mix, just in case you bump into something you might want to explore further.
Don’t look down on folding maps.
Technology can be tricky, and what if you can’t charge up? Print out as much as you can and take a folding map with you—it won’t take up too much space (even if you can never fold it perfectly again) and it’s a great backup in case of tech breakdown.
Organize your info.
Type everything into a document you can email to yourself and print hard copies, too. Keep those in a sturdy folder where you can keep any paperwork from the rental car, airline or hotel. Online travel itinerary templates are also good and you can access them by logging in at any cyber café.
There’s an app for that.
Developers have created a wonderful range of apps that take trip planning to a whole new level. Tripit keeps all your travel plans in one spot in the easiest way possible: you simply forward confirmation emails and it builds the itinerary for you. The Pro edition will also help you find alternate flights, lets you share itineraries, adds maps and directions and more. Minube helps you choose the places you can’t miss and let’s you share your experiences with other travelers. With over 100K mini-guides from travelers that cover 24,000 destinations in about 200 countries, it’s an inspiration smorgasbord! You might also want to take a look at PackPoint: it helps you pack by making it easy to create a packing list and making sure you don’t leave anything behind. It can save you from having to recycle your socks for a week or brush your teeth with your finger.
Buying travel protection should be a part of any travel itinerary—we’ve got your back at www.skymed.com!