An itinerary is basically a travel document regarding a planned route or journey. An itinerary specifically lists down the schedule of activities (e.g. time, date, activity). An itinerary is a simple document that really does not need a whole lot of time or effort to be created, but quality should still not be compromised.
In this article, we will be helping you create an itinerary in Google Sheets. We have provided you with examples that you can download for free as well as some simple tips to help you create a detailed itinerary.
Here are the elements of an itinerary. Make sure to include all the elements so that you can create an effective as well as detailed itinerary for your next trip.
1. Columns and rows: Although not mandatory, columns and rows easily organize the information you will list down in the itinerary. Before you start writing the itinerary, you should already lay down the columns and row in the paper or document file. Once you have created the columns and rows, you can now add the other elements in the itinerary as stated below.
2. Date of travel: This is one of the most basic information you will include in the itinerary. The date or dates of travel should be the first information you will be listing down in the itinerary. Listing down the date of travel will help you organize your schedule of activities, saving you time, money, as well as energy. The date should be specific, listing down the month, day, and year.
3. Location of travel: Travel location is also another important element when creating an itinerary. You just don’t decide to go anywhere on the fly. It takes meticulous planning for weeks, or even months depending on the duration of the travel. Similar to the date of travel, the location of travel should also be specific. For example, you have to list down the specific city or country you will be going. If you will be traveling to multiple locations, list them down as well.
4. Schedule of activities: The schedule of activities will mostly comprise the main content of the itinerary. Listing down the schedule of activities is very important especially if your travel schedule will compose of multiple dates. The schedule will basically dictate you what activities you will be doing, what place or places you will go, and inform you what time the event or events will start and end. You can arrange everything in the columns and rows so that the information will be clear and organized.
5. Approval of travel partner or group: If you are traveling with a partner or group, you will need their approval on the itinerary you created. Of course, you just cannot decide on the activities as they will definitely have their own suggestions on what they want to do. The approval does not have to be written, as you can just get their approval verbally.
6. Contingency plan: Most of the time, the activities you list in the itinerary do not always go the way you plan them to be. A plan B, also called a contingency plan, will help you when things go sideways during your trip (e.g. boarded on the wrong bus, arrived late at the accommodation, didn’t bring enough cash, etc.).
Follow these simple tips so that you can create an effective itinerary layout:
1. Do necessary research: Before you actually start writing the itinerary, you need to do research first. Research pertains to the location and the activities you will conduct during the trip. The last thing you want to do is do everything on the fly. When you are on a leisure trip, you will definitely be missing out on a few spots and locations as you did not plan ahead of time. Also, even if you are the most seasoned traveler, you will still be losing valuable time as well money and energy since you did not do your research before the trip.
2. Keep it short and simple: An itinerary does not need to be a business plan nor an contract or agreement in terms of length. As they say, use the KISS principle when creating an itinerary. KISS stands for Keep It Short and Simple. You can go into detail with the itinerary, but you don’t have to exceed it to more than two or three pages. You can actually fit everything in the columns and rows, especially in the rows as you will be incorporating most of your information in the rows. All you need to do is create headings and subheadings and everything else will follow.
3. Add images in a separate document or file: Since you are keeping the itinerary short and simple, there is no need to incorporate images. But if you need additional instructions, maps, or pictures of the event location, you can place them in a separate document or file and attach it in the data sheet when you will be traveling. When the itinerary is only one to three pages long, the separate document or file for the images does not have any limit.
4. Use professional or basic fonts: You also need to mind the fonts when creating an itinerary. You still need to maintain a level of professionalism, as you easily want to understand the text listed in the itinerary. You definitely do not want to use graffiti-style font style in the itinerary as they do not only take too much space, but does not match with the document you are creating.
Follow these simple steps when creating an itinerary:
1. Do research: As mentioned in the previous section, you should do research first before you actually write the actual itinerary. You can always create the itinerary while doing research at the same time although it will take you longer to finish the itinerary when you research and create the itinerary at the same time. You will most likely finish doing research within a few hours, depending on the itinerary you are creating.
2. Use a word processing software: Once you have done conducting the necessary research, you should first choose the word processing software you are going to use. Actually, there are numerous word processing software you can use to create an itinerary. But the most popular and most common is Microsoft Word. This software is easy to use and is also the preferred software by professionals as well as students.
Your laptop or desktop may already have Word installed it. If not, download or purchase an installer right now! To help you out, we have itinerary templates and examples in Word available for you.
3. Incorporate all elements: After doing research, gathering all the necessary information and choosing Microsoft Word, it’s now time to create the itinerary. You can simply incorporate all the elements and create the itinerary in a matter of minutes. But since you will still be doing research, you need to allot and budget your time as you don’t want to rush the itinerary.
4. Edit and revise: You are now done with the itinerary. Congratulations! But before you print it out, you first need to proofread and revise if necessary. Check and double-check the details (e.g. schedule of activities, date of travel) as they are the most important aspect of the itinerary. One simple mistake will cause nightmares for your trip, so make sure to edit and revise.
You will need to print the itinerary in a piece of paper. Here are the three paper sizes you can choose from: 8.5 × 11 inches, 8.5 × 14 inches, and 8.27 × 11.69 inches (A4). The best paper size you can choose is the 8.5 × 11 one, due mainly because it is not too wide nor too long. But the other paper sizes will do if you don’t have the first size available.
What is an itinerary?
An itinerary is a piece of document mainly used for travel, and lists down the schedule of activities as well as the location and date of travel.
Why is an itinerary important?
An itinerary basically acts as a guide or blueprint for your travel. Having an itinerary maximizes your limited stay in a new location, saving you time, energy, and most importantly, money.
We hope you found this article to be informative and useful when you will be creating your own travel itinerary in Google Sheets. We have provided templates that you can download and easily edit for free.