How to Make a Custom Tour Itinerary


(Last Updated On: December 7, 2015)

itinerary

 

A custom itinerary makes everything so so so much easier during your trip and lets you maximize your time and money. This fulfilling activity makes you fully in control of how you travel. You get to decide where you’ll go, when you’ll do it, how much you’ll spend, and the time spent wherever. Having a complete itinerary lessens the hassle of getting lost, floundering in an unfamiliar place, and wasting time trying to decide where to go next. Don’t get me wrong, I like spontaneous adventures as much as my RPG characters online, but I don’t like wasting my time just trying to decide among other people (or among the voices in my head) what I’m supposed to do in a middle of a trip.

When making your own custom itinerary to wherever you are going, be prepared to take time and effort. Like spend a full day for it. For an itinerary to be as useful to you as possible, you need a lot of information. I don’t just mean cursory glances at the websites of places you’d like to visit, either. It doesn’t count as “looking it up”. This involves note-taking, scheduling, and detailed preparation. Yup. your tendency to be OC comes handy right about now.

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Soooo, here are my guidelines to creating your complete custom itinerary for your DIY travel.

1. Determine the Length of Your Stay, Where You’re Staying, and Budget

This is basically your starting point. It allows you to set boundaries on yourself so you don’t go overboard in planning places to go only to come short of budget in the middle of the trip. People usually also forget to factor in the travel time of going place to place. By determining where you’re staying for the duration of your trip, you can easily plan how long it takes to go around your destinations and how much time and money you can spend there.

2. List Down Places You’d like to Go

This is still the initial planning stages. By listing your possible destinations and keeping in mind your starting point (Step 1), you can already gauge if you’re stay is too short or if you need to increase your budget and so on and so forth. You don’t necessarily have to go to every place you listed here. It’s just your kind of check list. This list is your guide for your next step which is to:

3. Research your Destinations

This is the start of the gruelling process of itinerary making. This is the part where you try to get as much information you need. General information for the whole of your trip and the specifics for each activity or place you want to visit. Take down notes! Lots and lots of notes! Remember, knowledge is your friend. IT. IS. YOUR. FRIEND.

a. Where and How to Get There

It’s a great time saver when you know how to get to your destination. I mean, its difficult to ask for directions on a normal day, but what if you’re in a country that isn’t speaking your language? Aside from being lost, screwed, and confused, you’ll look like a total tourist and well, they’re usually pickpocket’s targets.  I’m just saying there’s a lot more to gain aside from not getting lost.

b. What to expect

Should I not be wearing shorts in that temple? Does it have 15 different roller coasters? Do I need to bring closed shoes? Little details that make your life waaaay easier. If you can prepare for it, why not yeah?

c. Prices

Hoho. This is the clincher for a lot of travellers like me. How much do I need to spend to get there and how can I lower that amount. Please do remember to factor in how much you’ll need to actually get there (tram, bus, MTR, etc). I actually usually tend to forget that I do need money to commute from place to place.

d. Hours and Days of Operation

So, one time, I commuted an hour to its nearest stop then walked 45 minutes to this museum, right? I knew it was free, how to get there by walking, etc. But when I got there, it was closed. Apparently Tuesdays were their maintenance day. After that, I made sure to check when places are closed. Don’t be a daft fool like me and forget to check this. You might just get unlucky.

4. Group Destinations

After a gazillion notes written and information-overload you had to experience, it’s now time to group them together.y the time we move on to the next step which id scheduling, it’ll be easier to manage. I recommend you to group them by location. I feel like it’s less time consuming because you know, less travel time. But I know some people who like to group them by activity though. They prefer to do activities by day. Like, Tuesday is Museum day, Wednesday is food trip day, etc etc. Or do both! Group them however your innocent fragile heart tells you to.

5. Schedule

Dunduduuuun! This is the puzzle fitting part of the itinerary making! And the, hard part for me, decision making. Since you’ve grouped all your destinations together, this should be a piece of cake now!

6. Be Flexible

We can’t really expect that the plan will go flawlessly. No matter what happens, something comes up. Roll with it. The itinerary is your in-depth guide. You have the knowledge in your hands. You can wing it if you have to. You can switch destinations, even. You know the deets, man.

 

When travelling in a big group such as a family, consider renting vans or cars to maximize your money and time since public transportation can add up to a considerable amount when jumping from place to place. It’s also more comfortable way to travel, and if you are travelling with enough people, proves to be cheaper.

Bonus Tip: Research Promos and Events. Check out sites a month before your travel date. Usually promos come up during that time to entice the people to visit their attractions. This doesn’t include airfare and hotel promos, usually those promos are available more than a month before your travel date. For example, airlines usually give wonderful promos a year before the travel date.

 

I actually try to make an itinerary for every trip I go to (even if just a cursory one in my head)
I’ll upload my past itineraries soon for your reference!

If you have any questions, comment below! I’m more than glad to help you out!

  • liza

    Great post! Thank you for the tips on how to create the best travel itinerary. I will keep in mind your suggestions.

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  • tet

    I am currently on bed rest as per my OB’s advised because I had spotting issues and I’m near my delivery date. Since I am not doing anything, I listed down all places here in Pampanga that I would like to visit . I just listed the place without thinking of the budget, schedule etc. Your post will help me to make an itinerary for my future travel plans. Thanks dear!

  • Karmela Mirriam Ebreo

    This is really helpful! The get flexi part scared me though. Hahaha My OC-ness just cannot be as flexi 😂

  • Richard Anthony Baldoza

    I’ve never thought I would take notes as much as I did while reading this! Thank u so much for all the tips and info. You’re really good at this! 🙂

  • Miss Piggy

    This is great! I’m planning to have a do it your self tour next week. Will use this advice of yours

  • Ane

    I feel you! I don’t like wasting time arguing with people or myself about where to go next so yes, an itinerary is a must have. 😛

    And very true, your inner OC goddess comes in handy when prepping for a trip. 🙂

  • Great tips! Whenever my family and I go on trips we always make our own itinerary insteadnof getting a tour package. I prefer it cause you can do whatever you please hehe.

  • Great tips! Jotting down to every detail, planning ahead and having fun should be encouraged.Creative prepping is always fun!

  • Jeszelle Suetos

    These is very helpful ! This is just so me when planning trip with barkada , I’m always the one who’s assigned for the itinerary and plannings . Gread read , Thanks!

  • Informational post!! Absolutely, I too believe in planning ahead the complete itinerary properly which makes the travel so much easier. 🙂

  • A very informative post indeed! I can use this to plan some trips with relatives and friends. Thank you so much!

  • Milton Coyne

    this is really useful tips.. i used to make my own itinerary too and include all the places I really want to go.. but then I always make sure it would be realistic.. if it is really impossible to visit a certain place, then I have to remove it on the list

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  • I LOVE making my own itineraries… I think it’s helpful to look at other itineraries that are out there though as well to get a better idea of how much time travel planners would allot for adventures. Being flexible is always a good key though. ^^

  • These are such great tips. I often don’t plan enough and although that is also because I love spontaneous trips, I do feel it sometimes makes me miss out on great things to see and do in a place. Thanks for sharing, I will try to use these tips more often! 😉

  • Very extensive collection of useful tips! Although I’m more of a go with the flow, spontaneous kind of traveller and don’t often plan things, on the odd occasion that I do, my process is quite similar to this. Thanks for sharing!

  • david

    Your tips are great, useful. This blog post is very informative.

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