We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
The best way to plan your trip is to do research. It’s how I start every one of my trip planners! Before I went to Europe I read books, travel magazines, websites, and watched all those movies that I had said: “oh I want to see that someday!” In the olden days, I went to my local library to get books on travel to start my vacation planner. I know, who goes to a library anymore, but hey it’s free! Or you can, of course, browse the internet. Once you’ve done that, compile a list of the places you want to go.
Building a Vacation Planner
Depending on how much time you have, and how well spaced out everything this, will decide how much you can accomplish. I Googled every place I wanted to visit and created a Google Drive Document to keep track of it all. Below is an example of what I did for each place. It was first separated by location, picture, name, hours open, cost, address, and finally how to get there. This became my vacation planner or travel itinerary maker that I absolutely live by. Not to say plans don’t change, but it really helps to get the most of my trips.
Public Transportation vs Car Rentals
How to get there was an important piece since I wasn’t renting a car. If you do decide to rent a car, make sure you can. I knew a lady who did in Ireland and she said you had to have an international license. Depending on where you are going it can be cheaper to take public transportation. When I was in Europe it definitely made more sense to go via train or bus. However, occasionally it is cheaper to rent a car. When I was in Vancouver recently, I was going so far outside of the city that it didn’t make sense to use public transportation because of the time and money it would have cost me. Renting a car wound up to be more efficient.
The Best Way to Plan Your Trip
Next, I created a Google My Maps of all the places I was visiting. You can save the map, print it, and bring it with you on your trip. I’d advise creating a map for each city so that when printed, it isn’t tiny and unreadable. These maps came in very handy, as well as my Google Drive Doc as well. Downloading the Maps.me app is also a good idea as you can look up places while on the go. I still plan all my trips this way, it is literally the best way to plan your trip.
My map of my London locations is below, click it to make it bigger. This will help you to plan your days and figure out about how much time it will take to get from place to place. And if you get done early someplace, you can figure out quickly if another destination is nearby. I marked up my map with numbers, corresponding to my Google Doc so that I knew which location was which.
Saving Time and Money
Now, for the locations outside of the main cities, I would Google how to get there. Hampton Court Palace is relatively close to London, where I was staying, so it was an easy day trip. Warwick Castle, however, was a lot farther, and when I looked up how much it would cost to take a train there I decided it wasn’t worth it. Doing this will save you time and money. This way you won’t go to buy a ticket and be shocked at how much it’s costing you. Especially, when you can be doing something else instead of wasting time.
I hope this helps you to build your own itinerary planner. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.