The core of any of my trips is the itinerary — it is the primary plan for my travels! Itineraries can be bare bones, simply with a few ideas that you’ll develop spontaneously while on the road; or itineraries can be fully formed with restaurant reservations and museum visits already prepared. I’ve done both styles of trips, and I think they both have a lot of merit. There are times when a flexible plan works most effectively, like a multi-country long-haul backpacking trip, while a short city break itinerary needs to have more details prepared ahead of time.
What I have learned about myself over this last decade of traveling is that I gravitate towards a highly planned travel experience. I am not a spontaneous person, and I don’t like using my time while traveling to make decisions or figure out logistics that I could have done ahead of time. The level of planning that you put in all depends on how much work you want to invest in a trip because creating itineraries is no joke.
After planning many, many itineraries for my own travels and the travels of family + friends, I understand that creating an itinerary can be a lot of work. I can’t tell you how many half-baked itinerary ideas live in my Google Drive on any given day, but I actually get a lot of satisfaction from the planning process — it is arguably my favorite hobby. For me, planning is this building of anticipation and excitement that comes from researching a new place which is then realized when you actually take the trip. Plus, it helps me learn so much about a different country or city.
Quick 24 Hour Visits
48 Hour City Breaks
For a long time, both my husband and I worked full time in the United States with limited time off — only 10 days of vacation per year. With family living across the country, we were spending a lot of those days traveling to see loved ones. If we wanted to take a trip just for us, we had to get clever with our timing.
One thing we learned is that 48 hour weekend visits worked well with our limited time off, especially in a city as well connected as Chicago where flights to places like Cleveland, Ohio or Denver, Colorado were readily available. It really helped us maximize our meager vacation allowance while still feeling the excitement of travel. We could even go international to a city like Toronto, Canada for the weekend!
Working for a European company has granted my husband and I a lot more vacation time, but city breaks became one of our most beloved forms of traveling, a tradition which we continue today. Now that we live in Europe, we can thankfully take weekend trips to places like Heidelberg, Germany or Salzburg, Austria by train without compromising our environmental values.
Itinerary Tips + Resources
If you’ve researched or planned a trip using the internet lately, then you know how much junk you have to wade through until you find actually useful resources. I usually have like 938712 unhelpful Chrome tabs open when I’m planning my trips, which I find so frustrating! I am someone that enjoys doing endless amounts of research for destinations, all of which I like to share on my blog and with my readers.
What I love most about the planning process is the acquisition of knowledge. Like the best islands to visit in Croatia — I am obsessed with “discovery” through research, because it feels like I am learning about and getting to know a new place from afar. I want this blog to have actually useful resources and time-saving solutions for travelers interested in similar experiences as me.
I write detailed and thorough blog posts like my off-the-beaten path Greek island guide, which are all good stuff, none of the fluff. I help you discover unique destinations you may never have considered and give my readers insider tips that will make you feel like a local in whatever destination you’re visiting.
One Week Getaways
Over the past year, I have grown to really love one week itineraries. They are long enough to be restorative but short enough to fit within budget and professional constraints. I appreciate that one week itineraries let you see a lot or a little depending on your pace. Personally, I like slow travel more and more, so my one week itineraries are typically concentrated in a small geographic area.
Take my one week vacation in Saxony, Germany as an example. It is a lesser known state in Germany, but not because of lack of things to do. Spending a week there allowed me to see a few different cities, like Dresden and Leipzig, at a leisurely but not rushed pace.
The same is true in the USA! Spending one week in a state like Colorado is an awesome way to soak in some of the natural attractions and cities the Mile High state has to offer without having to commit all of your vacation time.
One week itineraries can even work for small countries, like Sri Lanka. The compact island is packed with amazing things to do, and you can get a glimpse at many of them in just one week!