How to Plan Your Ideal Holiday Itinerary

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of planning in almost every facet of life, from our personal to our professional endeavors.

It certainly enables us to identify goals and plot the best course for achieving them, while also accounting for the practicalities of accomplishing objectives and smaller details that can derail any particular project.

This rule can definitely be applied to planning holidays and trips abroad, which despite being recreational in nature, require significant planning and organization if you’re to make the most of your travel experience.

But how should you go about planning your ideal travel itinerary? Here are a few practical considerations to help you on your way!

Menton France colorful city View on old part of Menton, Provence-Alpes-Cote dAzur, France. High quality photo
  1. Choose Your Destination (or Destinations)

Your entire travel itinerary is impacted directly by your choice of destination, which is itself influenced by a number of different factors.

Firstly, there’s the type of holiday experience that you want to enjoy. From active city breaks and adventure holidays to beach excursions, there are numerous ways in which you can explore the world, so you’ll need to choose the right option based on your preferences and reasons for traveling in the first place.

Understanding such tastes and motivations is key, while your monetary budget is also an important factor. In fact, it’s crucial that you create a fixed and realistic budget before planning your holiday, as this allows you to identify viable destinations that strike the necessary compromise between cost and your desired experience.

If you identify a preferred location that is costly to reach (such as Australia, for example), you may also want to identify ways of reducing flight and accommodation prices. When it comes to the former, you can access competitively priced online flights in eDreams, while considering flying from different cities may also lower costs incrementally.

  1. Target Dates and See What Activities are Available

Once you have a target destination in mind, it’s time to pick your dates of travel and start to plan your itinerary.

Interestingly, your dates of travel may also impact on the cost of flying, but visiting destinations at different times of the year may mean that you don’t have access to the same number of types of activities.

After all, while famous landmarks are largely accessible all-year-round, there are activities and locations that may be less widely available. For example, if you’re visiting China during the Chinese New Year, you’ll be able to experience a huge range of special events and festivals that can contribute to a truly unique travel experience.

Conversely, those of you who book a trip to Vietnam during the Vietnamese New Year will find that many shops, bars and restaurants are closed at this time, meaning that you’re restricted in terms of what you can do, see and experience.

Then there’s the prevailing weather conditions at your destination of choice. For example, traveling to Asia and locations like Thailand during mid-monsoon season could see many potential outdoor activities and events washed out, although visiting at this time will also unlock cheaper flights and accommodation options.

Cruise at long tail boat with view to tropical islands at pink sunset in Andaman Sea, Thailand
  1. Tailor Your Itinerary to Suit Your Prefered Travel Experience

Now that you have an idea of where you’re traveling and some of the activities that you’ll be able to do, it’s time to start adding meat to the bones of your itinerary.

At this stage, it’s also important to build an itinerary that suits your preferred travel experience and the desired pace of your holiday. This also relates back to the type of holiday that you’re booking, as those of you in the market for a beach trip will most likely look to create a relatively slow-paced itinerary that allows plenty of time for rest, relaxation and sunbathing.

Conversely, city breaks are typically shorter (largely due to the cost of traveling to and residing in bustling metropolitan areas) and more intense, so you’ll be inclined to pack as many activities and landmarks as you can into each day.

Just remember to create an itinerary that reflects the type of holiday that you want to enjoy, while remembering that you can take a little more time to explore your surroundings if you’re able to book a 10 or 14-day trip to your destination of choice.

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Adjust Your Itinerary as You Go

Once you’ve finalized your itinerary in principle, it’s important to remember that this isn’t set in stone.

This way, you can continue to tweak and update your itinerary in the build up to your holiday and once you’ve arrived overseas, ensuring that you enjoy the best possible experience and are able to react to any unforeseen circumstances or challenges that may arise.

Of course, some activities and trips will have to be booked in advance due to limited availability, but there are others that can be booked more flexibly once you’ve arrived. This affords you some flexibility in your itinerary, which may prove crucial when you discover new activities or sights that you’d like to experience.

This also requires an open mind, and an ability to prioritize the individual elements of your itinerary and cut some activities as and when required!


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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