“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet …” – Rachel Wolchin
I guess, I just wanna say, I WANNA TRAVEL THE WORLD. Then again, don’t we all?
I recently shared my 2-part New York First Timer’s Guide and I truly hope you picked up something helpful from those blogs. If you haven’t seen that yet, I’ll link them all below.
Today, I thought of walking you through MY process of planning a trip. Since New York was my most recent travel destination, we’ll use it as an example for this blog. Think of this as the bts of my 5 – Day NY itinerary.
STEP 1 : Due diligence. Read blogs. Check Yelp. Watch YouTube videos. Doing these will give you an idea what you really wanna include on your list and what you should expect (costs, culture, places, etc.) Since you are reading this blog, you’re off to a good start!
Here are some resources I found entertaining and helpful, maybe you’ll like them too :
If you have other resources, feel free to drop them in the comments section.
STEP 2 : Dump and Distribute. I use Trello for EVERYTHING! So, I start planning a trip by listing the places I wanna see, food I wanna try and activities I wanna do on my DUMP list on Trello. If you are not travelling solo, make sure you consider asking for their own list before you finalize your itinerary.
There’s also nothing wrong with going old school – WRITE IT DOWN! The main goal is, you have something to look at when you plan your trip.
Since I was planning for my 1st New York visit, I wanna knock out all the touristy spots that I’ve always wanted to see before I splurge on tummy treats. It’s important to organize your priorities and know your goals (applies for other things too). Basically, I distribute my dump list to 3 lists depending on how much I’d love to see or experience it.
My I NEED TO list consists of all must-visit spots and must-eat food. In other words, I can’t leave New York without ticking those boxes off. My I HOPE TO list will show you places that I also want to see but I won’t cry if I don’t get to. Lastly, the I’M NOT SURE YET BUT MAYBE list are basically other places that doesn’t fall under the 1st two lists. These can be friends’ recommendations or something I saw online that are not necessarily touristy spots but I may want to check out if the budget and schedule allow.
This system allows me to enjoy the place while staying efficient and within my budget. Most importantly, I don’t leave the place with “Oh! I forgots” and “I should haves”.
If you’re already happy with this rough draft, feel free to stop here. If you wanna be more efficient and much more organized, keep scrolling.
STEP 3 : DESIGN YOUR DAYS. After drafting my list, I create a trip on Sygic Travel. Here’s my actual 5-Day NY Planner that you can use as is or duplicate it to add your personal touch. There are a lot of reasons why I love using this tool for my trips. Their Trip Templates and Trip Guide are my faves for it makes planning your trip so much easier. Let me know in the comments if you want me to draft a more comprehensive blog on this tool.
I love themed days but as much as I want to have my all Gossip Girl spots day, it’s not the most practical approach when the places you wanna visit are scattered all over New York. It was my 1st time there but it might also be the last (or so I thought)! So, I wanna see MORE with LESS travel time.
I searched all my I NEED TO items on Sygic Travel just to get an idea on where they are located. Then, strategically add it to my daily planner based on their location. Once I’m done with my #1 list, I look at each day and see if there’s a chance to squeeze in some, if not all of the items in my other lists.
What’s cool about Sygic Travel is, it shows you how much time you need to go from one place to the next. I also love that it shows photos, descriptions / historical infos, phone numbers and will even give you details of ticket prices (if applicable). I know I sound like they are paying me to say all the good things about them but they seriously aren’t (I wish they are LOL). I just love this tool a lot!
Now, you are looking at our itinerary. If you are a solo traveler, you should be all set! If you have travel buddies, then don’t forget the next step!
STEP 4 : Discuss! You’ve worked so hard for this trip. Give yourself a pat in the back before doing this last step. Now, that you have your planner, share this to your friends. You can invite them through email or simply copy the link and send it to your group chat room. Regardless of what option you pick, your friends will have access to your itinerary which gives them no excuse to wake up late or wear inappropriate OOTDs.
Due Diligence > Dump & Distribute > Design Your Days > Discuss with the Buddies
4 easy steps that I hope will help you plan your trip efficiently.
I’m gonna end this blog with a reminder that itineraries are guides. Don’t go crazy if things don’t go EXACTLY as you planned it. Mine didn’t! Let the planner guide you, not consume you. Be flexible! Explore! And never ever forget to do the most important thing – HAVE FUN!
- NY First Timer’s Guide
- NY First Timer’s Guide : My 5-Day New York Itinerary
- My 5-Day NY Planner on Sygic Travel
- Alone in New York Google Maps
As always, thank you for your love and support. I’ll chat with you again on the next blog.
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