How do you develop a travel itinerary? In other words, how do you get where you want to go and where should you stay when you get there?
Some travelers like to wing it when they travel. No hotel reservations, no advance purchase of train tickets or reservations on ferries. Armed with their plane ticket, yes you always need to purchase that in advance unless your schedule is very flexible and your pocketbook knows no bottom these travelers set off on their trip.
Other travelers schedule every minute of every day they are away from home. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, hotel reservations when traveling during the high season or if we really want to stay in a particular hotel in a particular city.
Most of us like to plan some things but leave enough time to take advantage of spur of the moment activities whenever they pop up. Happening on a town having a festival can be so much fun that you want to be able to change your plans and stay there for the night.
And, of course, there are times when you have to change your plans because of strikes, illness, travel delays or any number of things that happen when you travel.
Here are some tips to developing your travel itinerary for your trip to Italy:
Use AmoreTravelGuides tips and other information to make your trip the most it can be.
Use the internet to post questions on forums and look at reviews that have been written by fellow travelers.
Look at on-line airline ticket sites to book your plane tickets and Trenitalia or Eurorail to book your train travel.
- Internet ticketing is easy and reliable if you understand the system. Make sure you get answers: When will my credit card be charged? What is the cancellation policy? What if there is a problem with my reservation? Do I need to confirm my reservation before I leave home?
- Flights first, hotels second. If cost is a primary consideration or if you plan to use frequent flyer points book your flights first and plan your trip around your flights. If visiting certain cities or sites is most important then plot your itinerary first, next book your flight and last book your hotels.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Look at the pictures and read the reviews of hotels on major online sites. If reviewers rave about things that are important to you then that may be a hotel you would be happy with. On the other hand, if a couple with small children complains about the lack of family friendly services and you are a retired couple then what do you care?
- To some a view is worth any cost to others it’s not so important. If you want a room with a view you have to ask for one. Be sure to ask for the price. In most cases the better the view the higher the price.
- The sleeker the train the faster your trip. Look for the high speed trains if you are trying to get from one big city to the next. When you book train travel on the Internet they usually tell you the type of train servicing a particular route at a particular time. Save the local trains for day trips when time is not as important and you may want to get off and look at some of the smaller towns.
- Know your limitations. If you have physical limitations make sure the places you want to visit can accommodate you. If you need a ramp or elevator check in advance to make sure that the train station is not at the top of the stairs with no other way down. Keep in mind that a lot of Italian elevators are very small and may not be able to accommodate a large wheelchair.
- To e-mail or not to e-mail. Most hotels have e-mail. Because of the time change and language barriers it is easier to ask your questions through an e-mail.
- Planes, trains and automobiles. Local airlines are cheaper than the international carriers.If trains will be your primary mode of travel buy a Euro Rail Pass on the Internet before you leave home. Do your research; renting cars in Italy can be expensive.
- I don’t want much, but I want my own bathroom and I want to fit in it. The world outside of the United States will never fully understand Americans’ relationship with their bathrooms, but the fact is Americans don’t like to share they like them bigger than a linen closet. Make sure you ask for a room with a private bathroom when booking your hotel room.
- Can I quote you? Get a rate quote for your room before you tell the hotel that you are a member of AAA, AARP or another organization that qualifies you for a discount. The discount should be on top of their regular rate.