With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, many people have had to postpone or cancel their planned overseas leisure trips. Still, it is never too early to start planning for your next trip once it is safe to travel again. Creating a travel itinerary can be a tough ask, given the various factors that can influence every decision. And with so many decisions to make, from the locations to medical evacuation arrangements, some may find themselves struggling to plan out the timetable.
For those who need a little help organising their next trip, here are some things to consider when planning out your itinerary.
People you are going with
If you are travelling with others, it would be good to take their needs and wants into consideration. Naturally, different individuals would have their own preferences for the places to visit or the food to eat.
Take the elderly, for instance, who are likely to enjoy the more quiet and scenic landmarks. Children, however, may desire more action-packed stops like amusement parks or other hands-on experiences. Of course, this varies from person to person. People in your group may prioritise food, culture, educational attractions, etc. A robust itinerary has a good balance of stops that account for all the interests in your group.
Practical concerns are also significant. If there are any persons with disabilities in your party, you would want to plan for stops that are accessible to them. The same goes for the elderly. You ideally want to avoid stops that would force them to exert themselves excessively, like climbing steep inclines.
Moving from location to location takes time, and when you only have a week to explore it all, every minute counts. As such, minimising travel time is the simplest way to maximise the time spent at your landmarks of choice. And to plan out a time-efficient itinerary, you need to start by looking closely at the map.
Instead of simply going down the list of landmarks in alphabetical order, you may want to group them together by proximity. Within each day’s schedule, you can plan to visit small clusters of landmarks that are nearby one another. This ensures that you avoid wasting time by repeatedly travelling across town.
Distance from accommodations
Keeping track of the distance between each stop and your accommodations are also essential. There are times when you will want to make a pit stop back at your hotel mid-day. For example, your party may want to wash up and change after having done some physically exerting activities. If the said location is far away from the hotel, you may want to place it at the end of the day, to avoid excessive travel time.
The final stop on each day’s itinerary is especially important. Ideally, you would not want it to be too far away from the night’s accommodations. Having to travel long distances late at night could be tiring for your group, not to mention dangerous, depending on the circumstances.
Your budget plays a major role in deciding what stops to visit. If you can afford to splurge for a good time, then this is much less of a concern. However, for those who are working on a budget, you can save significantly on costs by being smart with your itinerary choices.
Most tourist-heavy regions have their own infamous ‘tourist traps’. These areas, while popular, are catered directly to tourists, and as such may sell more expensive services or goods. You can choose to side-step these attractions and focus on the more locally popular areas, with lower prices catered to the locals. You can easily find these places through online research or by asking the locals directly.
Alternatively, you can visit places with no entry costs whatsoever. These usually include scenic attractions or public spaces. Some museums or exhibitions may also be free for the public. Finally, minimising travel distance, as discussed before, can save you on both time and travel costs.
Perhaps the most crucial consideration for your travel itinerary is safety. The specific factors for consideration would differ based on your group. Somebody with a severe allergy to seafood may want to stay away from fish markets, while a person with weak knees may want to avoid areas that require a lot of climbing.
Another key consideration is the availability of medical facilities. You could search up on nearby hospitals, clinics, or pharmacies which you would have access to in the event of an emergency. To prepare for the unlikely event that you are admitted to a hospital, you may also want to search up on providers of air ambulances in Singapore. They will be able to safely repatriate you, or anyone in your group, by providing critical medical care during transit.