Planning a holiday itinerary

After a year of late finishes, early mornings, dismal weather and the daily grind, it's only natural to cherish the precious time that we get to enjoy abroad. Trying to make the most of the time away usually means packing as much in to the trip as is physically possible. Ancient ruins, galleries, museums, restaurants, water parks, guided tours, beach trips – there certainly is a lot to see and do while on holiday, and making an itinerary can be the best way to fit it all in.

Do your research

Before you booked the flights, hotels and car hire, chances are you probably had at least a vague idea of what you were going to see at your chosen destination. If not, kudos – you're a lot more intrepid than we are!

Nevertheless, whether you're a planner or a winger, you should take a look online and do some research into the various attractions, sights, and places of interest that surround the area and take your fancy. Try and find enough places so that you'll have lots of things to enjoy throughout your stay, and find out whether your hotel runs any particular tours or trips – compared to using the local transport network, guided tours can be an easy way to ensure you see all of the sights.

Creating the itinerary

Now you know what you want to see and experience during your holiday, you can go about slotting these activities into an itinerary, and there are a number of ways you can go about doing this. You can write it up yourself, drawing up a table of days split into morning, afternoon, evening and night; you could do a quick search of the net and find a pre-printed blank itinerary; or finally, you could download a specialised app - of which there are hundreds – which you can use to compile all of your travel plans into one, easy-to-manage place.

When compiling your itinerary, don't try and pack an enormous number of activities into your limited number of days. Why? Firstly, you don't want to feel like you're being rushed through your holiday, with all of the stress that goes along with constant time-checking. Secondly, you need to make time for both overrunning travel connections and unforeseen circumstances, both good and bad.

Imagine you're looking around a beautiful foreign city and you want to spend some more time in a museum or gallery you've found that wasn't on your original itinerary. Following too rigid a plan would cause you to miss out on discovering things by chance – perhaps the best part of a holiday!

Holidays are a time for us all to loosen up, enjoy ourselves and see some amazing things that deviate from the norm. Itineraries certainly help us achieve these aims, although creating a perfect balance between looseness and rigidity is key when making one.

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