Planning a getaway is always a fun thing to do :) But sometimes, the excitement confuse us on where to start ;)
Few tips from my experience on how to start planning a trip
1. List down all attractions of your destination – everything, don’t hold back :D
Then sort the list based on priority, which attraction you would like to visit most, and less.
2. Make simple table in a spreadsheet to start your itinerary
Day – to remind you , because day matters (some attraction like museum is closed in particular day).
Date – put the date
Agenda – put the attraction name that you want to visit that day. Not everything in your #1 list will fit into the itinerary (depend on how long will you stay), that’s the reason to sort it based on the priority. Don’t be too sad, the list of places that cannot make it to your itinerary is a motivation for you to make another trip! Hehe
Lodge – doesn’t have to be spesific hotel/hostel, but the area where you will stay the night.
Remark – useful link of the attraction, etc.
When starting the itinerary, I usually downloaded area and transporation maps to help me understand the mobility (so I know how to group attraction based on their location and how to hop on to next destination).
3. Calculate the budget
I always travel on a budget, so this part is vital for me :D
Add more columns to your itinerary
Lodge – budget for hotel/hostel each night. If you don’t have exact amount, make approximation by searching general hotel/hostel fare in the area.
Transport – transportation budget from one attaraction to another, or approximate by day if you don’t have the detail. (For Japan, you can use this site)
Meals – budget for meals & snack per day
Misc. – for misc expense like admission fee to attraction, airport tax, souvenirs, etc.
You’ll have the overall budget. Then you can see if still fits your budget, and adjust the itinerary accordingly (remove some attraction with expensive admission fee? cut off the meal budget? stay in hostel rather that a hotel?).
There you go, you have the simple travel itinerary now :) this will also be useful when you’re applying for visa (the embassy usually asks for travel itinerary).