You plan on travelling. That’s awesome! So many people never do that, unable to see just how incredible and vast the world outside their home is. You are experiencing something that expands your horizons, or at least lets you see some cool stuff.
Wait, there’s a catch. You know that packaged tours are not a good thing. They miss out on all the good stuff that’s hidden away. You decide to make your plans. The trouble is that you have no idea how to plan a travel itinerary.
Don’t fret, though. We have some great advice for you on how to do that.
First, get yourself a guidebook. Lonely Planet is an excellent choice, but not the only one. You can also look into the DK Eyewitness books, which are handy as guides and full of useful trivia. Depending on where you go, there might be a local tourist guide website, like japan-guide.com.
Use these as a reference point. See the important stuff or the ones that you want to see. This will act as a reference point for you.
Your second most important tool is Google Maps. Since you aren’t on a prepackaged tour, your biggest issue is going to be travel. You need to know how to get to where you want to go, and preferably have more than one route ready just in case.
Google Maps is also useful for getting the details right. Whether you prefer to go far and move closer to the hotel as the day progresses or the reverse, Maps will help you plan.
Forums like TripAdvisor are also excellent resources. You’ll find people who have done a lot of what you’re doing now, so you can ask questions.
Finally, you’ll need flexibility. Sometimes, you’ll see something nice that you’ll want to stick around for. Other times, what you planned for is closed for repairs, and you have to scramble to find an alternative for the day. Be flexible and explore.