January 22, 2013

Things to Consider When Planning an Itinerary

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 resorts and hotels.

Planning an itinerary is not easy especially if you have limited time but let me share with you the things that I consider when I’m planning our itinerary. Every time I plan an itinerary. I have to consider seven things; Place, Days, Budget, Tourist Spots, Accommodation, Directions, and Weather.

Things to Consider When Planning an Itinerary

1. Destination 

Of course, I have to know which place we are going. Is it a domestic or international trip? If budget is not a problem, booking a private jet could be an option to take us to our destination in style. Plus, making use of a resource like this page about jet card pricing could help me to save money on the cost of this so that I could put it towards more luxury flights in the future. But the reality is that, more often than not, I am on a pretty strict budget so I have to check lots of different airlines where we can score cheap airfare to get us from A to B. 

Do we need a visa or not? If we need a visa, I need to prepare all the required requirements and schedule an appointment at the embassy or accredited travel agency. 

What is the location of the place? Is there a possibility that we can do some side trips? 


Hongkong – Macau,
CDO – Camiguin,
Bacolod, Iloilo, and Guimaras
Singapore - Malaysia
Oslo - Copenhagen and Sweden

2. Number of Days 

It is very important to know how many days I have to enjoy the place because if I have limited time I can’t do side trips and I will just stick to 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 traveler, as much as possible I do stick to 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. If there are special passes or tickets that we can avail so we can save money on exploring the city or visit different attractions at a fraction cost. 

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.

a. Disneyland
b. Ocean Park
c. Avenue of Stars
d. The Peak
e. Tsim Sha Tsui (Harbour City)
f. Mongkok Markets
g. Causeway Bay
h. Snoopy World
i. Stanley
f. Wax Museum
g. Other Museums
h. Nanlian Garden & Chilin Nunnery
i. Sky100

Since I only have four days to enjoy Hongkong, I chose Disneyland, Ngong Ping Village, Avenues of Stars, The Peak, HarbourCity, Nan Lian Garden, and Chi Lin Nunnery. 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 a hostel, hotel, or guesthouse. I have to consider the location of the accommodation. As much as possible, I chose a hotel that is accessible to different transportation so commuting won't be a problem. Since hotel foods are expensive, it is important that there are restaurants or fastfoods in the area.


Yiu Fai Guesthouse – I chose this because it is walking distance from 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 a guesthouse, hotel, tourist spots, and others. What is the cheaper way to get there, MTR, Taxi or hire a car or van?

7. Weather

Of course, don't forget to check the weather, is it winter, spring, summer or fall. You have to pack the right clothes and gear that you need to survive the weather during your trip. Don't forget to pack vitamins, medicines, and even a first aid kit.

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. :)