Planning your own travel itinerary comes with a variety of options offering you a unique way to explore an unknown country or region. Not only are you able to adapt the itinerary to your own needs and schedule, but you can also make unplanned stops and get off the beaten track. However, in order to reap all the benefits and avoid making any costly mistakes, you need to plan your itinerary carefully.
Define your budget limits
First and foremost, you need to establish your budget and stick to it no matter what. When defining your budget limits, consider all the expenses, from your tickets and accommodation to the items you might want to buy and food you’d like to try. Once you’ve decided how much you can spend, it’ll be easier to make other decisions concerning your trip. Keep in mind that some destinations are generally more affordable, while some others require a sizeable amount of money. If you decide on a more expensive itinerary, figure out how you can minimise your costs. For example, you can travel off-season, plan a shorter trip or save on accommodation. Your budget will affect your options, so make sure to establish it early on.
Choose a destination
The next step is choosing your destination based on your available resources. Since you’re about to embark on a Euro trip, think about whether there are any sites that you really want to see. Have you always wanted to soak in the romantic flair of the French regions, or cruise along the canals of Amsterdam? If you know the answers straight away, plan your trip around your must-see sites. This way, you’ll be able to check them off your travel list while still exploring the surrounding beauties of the region.
Get all the necessary documents
While you can apply for some documents even before you start planning your trip, others can be dealt with only after you’ve decided on your destination. For example, you can apply for a passport or extend its expiration date even two or three months before your trip. However, certain documents, such as visas, will depend on your destination. Make sure to apply for all the necessary documents early on, because getting them in order can take weeks, or even months.
Outline your itinerary
Now comes the fun part when you can plan your itinerary and start looking forward to seeing all the places you put on your list. Since you’ve already picked a region or a country, you can choose which areas or cities you want to visit. However, you shouldn’t overpack your itinerary with too many destinations, especially if you have just a few days available to explore them.
At this point you should also consider how you’ll travel from one place to another. If you’re planning to rent a car, you’ll have a lot of flexibility, but you’ll also have to research the roads in the area. However, if you want something more authentic and different, you should consider exploring Europe by boat. While cruising itineraries are already planned to some extent, you’ll have a variety of options for barge vacations in Europe that will meet your needs. For example, if you decide to visit France, you’ll have an opportunity to choose among a range of available itineraries, from exploring the medieval charms of the Loire Valley, to cruising along the Canal du Midi, one of the oldest canals in Europe. This way, you won’t have to worry about planning your journey in detail while still being able to explore Europe the way you want to.
Book your tickets and accommodation
Once you’ve done planning your itinerary, you can book your airfare and accommodation – the earlier the better since you can save a lot of money if you book in advance, especially when it comes to your flight. As for accommodation, do a bit of research in order to find the best offer available and save some money.
Europe has a variety of attractions that will completely charm you. All you need to do is decide which ones you want to see first, and then start planning your itinerary.