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Research and Creating an Itinerary

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Unit 2 How to Properly Plan a Trip
Lesson 1: Choosing the Right Destination
Lesson 2: Bookings
Lesson 3: Research and Creating an Itinerary
Lesson 4: Tips, Tricks, and Things to Remember


Lesson 3: Research and Creating an Itinerary

In the previous lesson, we walked through how to decide where to travel to, making a budget for your trip, researching the different expenses of your trip, and thinking more about your choices. If you already know where you are going by now, that is great! This lesson is still useful in taking the next step towards your trip. However, if you have not decided where you are going, this will be the lesson where you will finalize your decision.

In this lesson, you will want to use these resources:

Researching the Location

Understanding where you are traveling to is important. Maybe it is just not the right time of year ornot the right time to visit the country you want to because of internal issues. Understanding these things is important when considering your destination.

  • Seasons
  • Knowing what season it is when you are traveling is crucial to your trip. Tropical destinations have rainy seasons you would want to avoid. Other destinations you may want to avoid the winter time unless you are a skier. If you know the dates that you will leave, search the average weather and rainfall. Try World Weather Online.

  • Danger
  • Is there any danger where you are going? It may not be the right time to visit the country you want to at the moment. Look at the news if you are unsure and see what is happening in the country you are visiting. Demonstrations against a government in an unstable country can quickly escalate, and you will definitely not want to be there when that happens. Places that have just been hit by natural disasters are not necessarily the best place to travel unless you are willing to help. Keep informed on what is happening to help you with your decision. Visit Canada’s travel advisory website for more details of countries that have travel advisory warnings.

  • Immunizations
  • Knowing which vaccinations you need and how much time in advance you need to get them is extremely important. If you do not have the time available to get these vaccinations, choose the proper destination accordingly. Visit the CDC website for more information.

  • Visa
  • Much like getting vaccinations, obtaining a tourist visa can take time and money. Unless you are from a visa exempt country, you will need to either prepare in advance a tourist visa or pay for one upon arrival / departure. Visit your country’s website or do a quick search to see whether or not you are required to get a tourist visa. Search: ‘Your country tourist visa to the country you are visiting‘.

Things to Consider When choosing your travel destination

Creating an Itinerary

With all of this information from the previous lesson, and this one, you are ready to decide where you will be traveling to. Are you still undecided? We have one last step to help you make up your mind.

Creating an itinerary can be time-consuming, so we recommend you create a thorough itinerary for just one destination. However, if you are still undecided on your destination, you can do some researching without planning your itinerary. This will give you some ideas as to what each destination will offer you. It will also provide you with future travel possibilities.

Once you have made up your mind, complete your Itinerary Planner that is downloadable with this lesson. Also, update the Travel Budget with any additional expenses, such as ticket prices for entertainment costs or tours that you will book.

Budget or Luxury

What type of traveler are you? Referring back to Unit 1, what is it that you want to accomplish and gain from your trip? Now that you know what you want, are you looking to travel on a budget or to be pampered? You have all of the information you need from the previous lessons. You know your budget and how much your flight, hotel, and other expenses are going to cost.

The next question is, where do you want to allocate the majority of the spending? Are you going to spend it on a resort to relax during your travel? Or, are you going to book a cheap hostel, book an AirBnB, or take the cheapest option of Couchsurfing. This is all based on what type of traveler you are. Just remember to stay within your budget.


Do you need to book a tour for your traveling? Some people who travel would prefer to be on a guided tour throughout their time. These tours depend on your destination, and to find a good tour you can search: ‘Your destination tours’. This will give you accurate results of tours for that specific destination. Be sure to see the reviews of that tour company before booking. If you need help with this step, you can contact us.

Tours are not necessary and can be very expensive, adding to a growing travel budget. I would recommend that you do not book a tour, as they are not flexible. Sticking to the tour schedule can quickly turn into a chore. On the other hand, some people need a schedule to be planned for them and that is fine. If you can, opt to create your own itinerary based on what you want to see and when. This will save your wallet, and it will create a more entertaining trip for you.

However, some tours are required. For example, when wanting to do a safari in Africa, you must book a tour. These are times when booking a tour is a necessity.


Planning your activities requires lots of searching. Start by searching: ‘Things to do in Your Destination‘. This will provide you with lots of suggestions as to the main attractions that people see when visiting that place. Another search term you can research is: ‘Itinerary to Your Destination‘. This should be the fun part to planning your trip, but it can easily become a nuisance.

Need help deciding what activities to choose? We can help you with this step! Contact us, and we will help you decide on the activities. Alternatively, we have turned to Lonely Planet as a resource on several occasions. On previous trips, we have purchased their guide books that are country-specific. We find them extremely informative, and the ebooks are affordable. Check them out at Lonely Planet Shop

Your Itinerary

The most difficult step to planning your itinerary is not finding the activities, it is placing them in a particular order so that you use your time efficiently. Finding activities to fill your time is fun, and it allows you to understand what the country has to offer you. Taking the time to plan out your trip by the hour can get a little tedious, so we have put together an Itinerary Planner for you to download to help with this process. Here is what you should do…

Whenever you find something you decide to add to your itinerary, add it to a list. Be sure to add notes for each activity including: website, address, telephone number, pricing, and whether or not you can book it in advance. This information will come in handy later when creating your itinerary and when things do not go as planned during your travels. You can usually find this information on the right side of Google when you search that specific company or attraction that hosts the activity you want to do. For example, if I found the Korea War Memorial Museum that I want to visit after searching, “Things to do in Seoul, South Korea”. I should then search Google specifically for the “Korea War Memorial Museum” in order to get the information.

Your Travel Map

Now that you have a list of things you want to do, you now need to add them to a map to see where they are in relation to each other and where you will be staying the night. If you create an account with us, you can do all of this with your own personal travel map that you can take with you while you travel.

Dir D B W T

Placing and editing markers on the map…

  1. Right click to add a marker.
  2. Left click on a marker to add text, photos, and video to your marker.
  3. Save and Close to save the changes or Remove Marker if you do not want it.
  4. Left click and hold on a marker to move it around the map.

Other map features…

  • Scroll up and down to zoom in and out.
  • Left click and hold to move the map around.

Creating Your Itinerary

Using your travel itinerary is simple with your personal travel map. We will explore the different steps to create an itinerary with your map here.

First, I will start by inserting my accommodation’s address. This is my starting point. If you search the address in the top bar of your travel map, you can add a marker to it. From here, I can continue plugging in the different addresses I have accumulated for the different activities I will be doing. This will give me an idea as to where each of the activities will be located.

Using this information, you need to begin grouping these activities into specific days and inserting the information into your Itinerary Planner that is downloadable from this lesson. Estimate how long each activity will take and how long it will take you to get to each one. Try not to book too many things on one day and remember to include time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and rest.

During your travels, you should remember to be flexible and not to rush yourself too much. It is always good to have a couple of activities in reserve just in case the weather does not go as planned, and if you need to do more indoor activities rather than the ones you had planned for that day.

The final step in planning your itinerary is making any necessary bookings in advance. From your list you created at the beginning of this exercise, look at the activities that you can book in advance, visit the websites, schedule your appointments, and add the expense to your Travel Budget. This is how you can continue to budget and plan for your trip.

Need some further help planning your itinerary? We can help! contact us, and we will help you decide on a place or narrow down your options. We would be happy to help!

Want to make this process even easier and take it with you when you travel? Create an account with us and use your own step-by-step booking and itinerary planner in your profile on your personal travel map.

Lesson Resources: