January 22, 2013

Planning an Itinerary

From time to time I do receive Facebook messages, emails or comments asking me for itinerary or expenses of our trip. I feel happy about it but at the same time I feel so sorry because I could not send you an itinerary. It is not because I’m selfish and I don’t want to share my itinerary but the truth is I don’t keep my itinerary. 

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time now, you know that I love to declutter, I declutter our home and even my laptop files so after our trip or after I posted it on my blog, I deleted my itinerary. I hope you understand when I say I don’t have the itinerary anymore and I will just give you links of my travel post especially if the trip happened years or months ago.

As I always say, my blog is like my online diary because this is where I document our trips and part of our life. So if ever I need information in the future, I will just check my travel post. Every time I write my travel post, I always make sure that I’m giving readers information that they might need in their future trips. It is my pleasure in helping other people in my own little way by sharing our trips. There are times that I reread my old post; I edit it if there are things that I need to update just to be sure that I’m giving you right information.

Honestly, planning an itinerary is not an easy task. It entails a lot of time and energy in reading and researching for information. When I was starting to travel I don’t have the time to make an itinerary because I was working and I don’t want to spend my rest days in reading and researching. I will just book a flight or hotel and that’s it. #bahala na si batman. We went to Coron without hotel reservation and itinerary and we’ve been in Singapore and Bohol without itinerary. Thank God for travel agency, we survived our trip.

But now that I’m a stay at home mom and I’m not earning anymore, I have to find ways to save money and I’ve learned that DIY trips are cheaper than booking in travel agency. It started on our CDO-Camiguin trip. I inquired for a CDO-Camiguin package in one agency and the quote is P20,000 + for two persons without airfare and food. 

I find it expensive because I haven’t spent P20k+ in a local trip so I decided to make my own itinerary. I had four months to do my research and would you believe, I did not spend P20,000 for our CDO-Camiguin trip including our airfare, food, tip and pasalubong and that is for three persons.

Now, I’m a believer of DIY trips. As much as possible I do make my own itinerary, it may be difficult but I do enjoy reading and researching because along the way I’m learning more. I’m also thankful for those people who shared their itinerary with me because it helps me big time.

Believe it or not most of the time it took me months to plan an itinerary because I do make some revisions and it depends on the situation. So I really feel bad if someone cancel the trip or someone changes his/her mind and doesn’t want to pursue the trip because like I’ve said, I really spend time and energy in researching including my sleepless night.

Travel itinerary is something personal because you have to plan and decide according to your preference, lifestyle and budget. We always travel as a family so expect that our trip is kids-friendly. I’m not a shopaholic so shopping is not included in my itinerary. I am a budget traveler so most of the time we stayed in a hostel and guesthouses but there are times that we splurged too and try high-end resort and hotels.

Anyway, before this post becomes a novel, I will share with you the things that I consider when I’m planning our itinerary. Every time I plan an itinerary. I have to consider six things; Place, Days, Budget, Tourist Spots, Accomodation and Directions.

Things to Consider When Planning an Itinerary

1. Destination 

Of course I have to know which place we are going.

Is it domestic or international trip?
Do I need visa or not?
What is the location of the place? Is there a possibility that I can do some side trips?

Example: Hongkong – Macau, CDO – Camiguin, Bacolod – Iloilo and Guimaras.

2. Days 

It is very important to know how many days do I have to enjoy the place because if I have limited time I can’t do side trips and I will just stick in one place just like our Kota Kinabalu and Cebu trip. I have very limited time so no side trip in Brunei and no side trip in Bohol.

3. Budget

As a budget traveller, as much as possible I do stick on a budget. I try my best to save at the same time enjoy our trips. I have to note if one tourist spot has no entrance fee or how much is the entrance fee.

4. Tourist Spots 

I always list down popular destinations, attractions and even must try restaurants then I will choose.

For example in Hongkong, here are the popular tourist spots that I can visit.

1. Disneyland
2. Ocean Park
3. Ngong Ping Village and Giant Buddha
4. Avenue of Stars -
5. The Peak
6. Tsim Sha Tsui (Harbour City)
7. Mongkok Markets -
8. Causeway Bay -
9. Snoopyworld -
10. Stanley -
11. Wax Museum
12. Other Museums
13. Nanlian Garden & Chilin Nunnery
14. Sky100

Then I will decide which tourist spot is for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and so forth.

Day 1: 1881 Heritage, Clock Tower, Avenue of Stars and The Peak
Day 2: Nan Lian Garden, Ngong Ping Village and CityGate Outlet.
Day 3: Hongkong Disneyland
Day 4: Hongkong Disneyland

5. Accommodation 

Depending on my budget, I will look for hostel, hotels or guesthouses. I have to consider the place of the accommodation.

For example: Yiu Fai Guesthouse – I chose this because it is walking distance in 1881 Heritage, Clock Tower Avenue of Stars and MTR. It is near MTR so it is not difficult to go to Nan Lian Garden and Ngong Ping Village. Lastly, it is affordable too.

Hollywood Hotel – though this is expensive, we still reserve a room for experience and proximity to Hongkong Disneyland Resort.

6. Directions 

I search for maps so I know how can I go to guesthouse, hotel, tourist spots and others. What is the cheaper way to get there, MTR, Taxi or hire a car or van?

Hope this helps. It may be an arduous task but I do encourage you to make your own itinerary and you will feel proud of yourself.  

"A little step may be the beginning of a great journey"


  1. I totally agree, DIY travel is the way! :)

  2. I love making itineraries. It's always so fun to list all those stuff you'd want to go to. It helps to be spontaneous once in a while too.

    1. Agree, sometimes it is stressful but it is also fulfilling. :)