If you’d like to travel as efficient as possible, than you must map out your itinerary. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, browse through the web and list some of the things that you must see, do, or eat in the area. I normally go to Google and type in Must See / Do / Eat in (insert destination here). Jot down a list of places you must visit, and once you’re figured that out: Pin it on the Map! The more detailed you are at mapping things out, the more efficient you will be when you get there. Spending the time to map out your itinerary before you go will allow you to maximize your time while you’re on vacation. This way of traveling is not for everyone, but if you want to see and do as much as possible, while you’re on vacation, than this is a very important step that you can not skip.
Before you start booking any hotels or any activities, this step must be completed. I can not stress this enough. I recommend using Google My Maps. If you’re unfamiliar with Google My Maps, and need help, comment below or send me a message. If I get enough requests, I will go through a full tutorial. Google My Maps is a tool that will allow you to set up and create your own maps. By doing so, you can start inputting pins on the map of the places you would like to visit. Once you’ve completed this, you can start to plan out your trip day-by-day, marking the most efficient route without having to backtrack too much. Look for places that are grouped together and make sure to do all those activities around the same time.
Here is an example of how you should be mapping out your itinerary:
You can be as detailed as you want or as simplified as you want. Here are a few things to ask yourself while planning your activities:
1.) What is the distances between one point of interest to another. It’s always good to know the distance. This includes any hikes, biking, or any other communing, so that you can prepare yourself accordingly. If you know that you’re going on a 10 mile hike, more than likely, you will need to pack a lunch or some snacks.
2.) What is the time required to get from point A to Point B. Sometimes when you’re researching, you will notice that some remote places are harder to get to than others. What would typically take you 5 minutes to get to on a paved freeway, may take you 50 minutes to get to on a dirt road. Be aware of the time it will take you get there.
3.) If you’re visiting a business, what are the hours of operation? If you’re in a remote area and there’s only 1 place to eat – you better make sure you arrive before they close, or bring enough food where you won’t have to starve for the evening.
4.) How much is it going to cost? If you’re looking to visit a museum or an adventure park, make sure you know the cost of entry. You don’t want to spend over your budget on 1 single ticket to Disney World.
5.) Are there any restrictions? Are you visiting the Capitol Building or the White house? If so, check online to make sure that you don’t need to book in advanced. Believe of not, a lot of hikes require a permit. Double check to make sure that you’re not going to miss out because you didn’t do your research.
6.) Is it safe? Be aware of danger zones, high alert on terrorism activity, or crime rate areas. Make sure to do your research and be prepared. There are lot of places in Mexico that are considered high crime area, make sure to steer clear of those place. More than likely, if you’re traveling to touristy places, you won’t have to worry.
7.) Are there availability? Whether it’s a hotel, show tickets, or a tour, make sure to call ahead and see if there are any availability. You won’t want to book last minute if it is during peak season, or show up expecting to buy tickets at the door, just to get rejected.