What to Put in your Itinerary

Hey guys, so like I said, I want to share some serious travel planning tips. haha

First up, I just to give you an idea on how I plan:

I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to organizing these things so I use Google Sheets. For you guys who doesn't  have a clue on what it is, it's just like Microsoft Excel, but online. So, all your travel buddies can see it! And you can control who can view only or who can edit (like a co-trip organizer). I sound so serious hahaha! But this really helps you not get lost on the trip itself and budget well, especially if you're travelling with a group.

Just a disclaimer, I haven't traveled much abroad, and I'm not hopping from city to city every few weeks, I travel a few times a year. The things I'll be sharing here are based on my experiences and on how to PLAN for a trip. I've traveled alone a few times and I just meet family or friends who are in the area, so I have to figure out how to do things on my own since they'll be working or be having classes. I also don't want to keep on making them come with me, cause chances are, they don't want to play tour guide. I think that's what made me want to prepare for a trip, I don't want to waste my time not doing anything because I have a fear of getting lost due to my ignorance and lack of research. 

On What to Plot:

1. Arrival & Departure Schedules
-Best to write complete details of your flight to remind yourself [and others, if you're travelling in a group]. Time & Date, Airline, Flight Number, Airport & Terminal.

2. Highlight Important activities where everyone needs to be present
-These includes city tours, nature trips, theme parks, etc. Things that you can most probably do only in the place you're visiting in.

3. Schedule Meals.
-Of course, don't forget to eat! Also, schedule meals because this is a great opportunity to try out unique & famous restaurants/local delicacies. 
-This is also important if you decide on Example: Plotting "Brunch" instead of the usual Breakfast + Lunch because of time constraint. It will keep everyone informed and ready their stomachs the night before. You don't want anyone nagging because of hunger.

4. Write down the places you'll be staying in
-Write down the name of the place and what category it belongs because they do not have the same amenities.
Ex. You'll be staying at a hostel/inn, everyone should ready their toiletries because they're not provided like in hotels. Mostly, they just lend you towels.
-Also, so that you can plot out how to go from place to place from where you're staying.

5. Estimated travel times [especially land trips]
-Over estimate about 30 mins - 1 hour, chances are, if you're travelling with a group, there will be delays. 
-Also over estimate if you're not familiar with the place and there's a language barrier, chances are, you are gonna spend more time getting lost.

6. Budget
-Include your budgeting of expenses right below the dates [lie what I did], this will help you keep track of how much to bring and you can even bring an empty one to keep track of your spendings.

Some Tips on Budgeting

1. Over budget a little [or a lot]
-Over budgeting will be your savior in times of emergency. When ticket prices go up, when roads are close and you're forced to take a much much longer route, when you lose money, or worse--if you miss your flight!
-Also over budget your last-day money and set it aside, you need that cab ride to the airport and you can't afford delays.

2. Remind them what it includes or excludes
-In the case above, this includes plane tickets, taxes, shopping/pocket money, other personal expenses and preferences.
-This is very important to avoid under-budgeting

3. Consider all possibilities
-In terms of Hotels, Transportation, Food, Activities, etc., don't rule out the possibility of something, just because you think it's gonna cost more.
-Also consider the safety and convenience.

Ex. You rule out staying at a hotel (where you'll divide the room among each other and end up paying Php 500 per person) because you think staying in a Backpacker's Inn is cheaper (Php 800 per person)
Another Ex. You decide to commute [bus-jeep-taxi], rather than renting a car and divide the cost among each other.

4. For international trips, best to count in USD $$
-Why? Because US Dollar's exchange rate is high in most countries, so bring dollars instead of Ph Peso.
-It's also easier because almost everyone memorizes the value of USD to their currecy; do this especially if you are visiting multiple countries.

5. Total IT!
-Total it per day. Total your pocket money or trip expenses. Total the over all expenses.
-You just need to know where you're at. Can you afford it? or you need to skip the theme park? That pricey restaurant? Some shopping?

'Til next time! It was nice meeting you! You're Charmed, I'm sure.

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