10 Types Of Itineraries, What’s The Best Travel Method? 2024

Travel Brochure Itinerary

Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of options when it comes to planning out the perfect vacation itinerary? With documents, spreadsheets, mobile templates, pen and paper, and printable templates all vying for your attention (not to mention your time!), how can you determine which is the best tool to use?

I get it. As someone who has traveled extensively and lived abroad for 90 days exploring Europe— and visited over 50 cities in total—I know just how daunting it can be to pick the right itinerary style. That’s why I set out on a mission to figure out the best way to plan and carry your itinerary with you on your travels.

This blog post will equip you with the knowledge of what makes a great itinerary and explain why using a combination of different tools could be key. I’ll compare and contrast different styles of planning; from high-tech digital maps to traditional paper-based methods. We’ll also take a look at some pros and cons so that you can decide which is most suitable for you.

No matter what style works best for you when it comes to vacation planning, this post will help ensure that organizing your itinerary won’t add any extra stress or hassle to your travel plans!

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Here Are 10 Itineraries For Travel Planning!

1. Using a Document for Your Travel Itinerary

Document Itinerary

A Word document is a versatile tool commonly used for creating travel itineraries. It offers flexibility, allowing users to easily modify and reorganize their plans while on the go. With the convenience of cloud storage services, these documents can be accessed from any device, making them highly portable. One key advantage of using a Word document for itinerary planning is the ease of sharing with other travelers.

However, it’s important to note that compared to specialized itinerary tools, Word documents may lack structure and visual appeal. Additionally, if not regularly updated, the information in the document may become outdated. Some recommended services to check out include Google Docs, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox. I started out using this method but just like Goldilocks, this porridge was too cold for me.


  • Offers flexibility for adding, deleting, and rearranging components of the itinerary
  • Highly portable with accessibility from any device
  • Easy to share with other travelers


  • Lack of structure may make it challenging to keep track of intricate plans
  • Lacks the visual appeal of itineraries created with specialized tools
  • Difficulty in visualizing routes or distances between multiple destinations

Best for:

  • Individuals who value flexibility and portability
  • Those comfortable navigating through text-heavy information.

2. Using a Spreadsheet for Your Travel Itinerary

Spreadsheet itinerary

A spreadsheet is a versatile tool commonly used for tracking data. These programs offer a flexible and powerful way to design your travel plans. With individual cells for each component of your trip, you can easily view, edit, and organize your itinerary in a structured format.

This method is particularly useful for multi-destination trips, allowing you to create separate columns for each location and include details like accommodation, points of interest, and travel times. Spreadsheets also offer calculation functions to track your budget and bucket list. However, compared to maps or pictures, spreadsheets may lack visual context and can be overwhelming with excessive data.

The best services to check out are Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. This is the next method that I used and still do when planning group trips but just like Goldilocks, it was too hot for me and so I have to keep trying new ways!


  • Flexible and powerful tool for designing travel itineraries
  • Structured format for easy viewing, editing, and organizing
  • Ideal for planning multi-destination trips
  • Calculation functions for tracking budget and bucket list


  • Lacks rich visual context provided by maps or pictures
  • Can be overwhelming with excessive data

Best for:

  • Those who prefer a clear, structured format and are planning multi-destination trips or working with a tight budget.

3. Using Etsy Mobile Templates For Your Travel Itinerary

MyTravelTemplate on Etsy

Etsy’s Mobile Templates offer a unique and visually appealing approach to creating travel itineraries. These templates use Canva, a graphic designing platform, provide an easy-to-use interface that allows users to design professional-looking itineraries with customizable templates, images, and fonts. What sets Etsy Mobile Templates apart is their convenience and accessibility.

With pre-made templates at affordable prices, travelers can make quick on-the-go edits and updates, ensuring that their plans are always accessible. However, it’s worth noting that managing complex, multi-destination trips may not be as efficient with Canva compared to traditional itineraries.

Additionally, there might be a learning curve for those accustomed to other systems, and editing Canva itineraries without an internet connection can be problematic while traveling. I have not tried this method yet but it is on my To-Do list as the templates are quite beautiful and tempting to buy!


  • Unique and visually appealing templates
  • Easy-to-use interface for designing professional-looking itineraries
  • Customizable templates, images, and fonts
  • Affordable prices for pre-made mobile itinerary templates
  • Quick on-the-go edits and updates
  • Adds convenience for travelers


  • May not be as efficient for managing complex, multi-destination trips
  • The learning curve for users accustomed to other systems
  • Editing without an internet connection can be problematic

Best for:

  • Those who value aesthetics and simplicity in travel itineraries
  • Travelers on less complicated trips
  • Individuals with reliable internet access

4. Using A Custom Brochure For Your Travel Itinerary

Brochure itinerary

Custom itinerary brochures are a fantastic tool for creating and organizing travel plans. Unlike other methods, these brochures offer a visually engaging way to present your itinerary, combining text and images for easy comprehension and an aesthetically pleasing view.

You can download my template that I made for free, by signing up below. It can be printed and carried along, providing access to your itinerary even without an internet connection. This porridge is just right for me as I use this method after figuring out every detail of my trip in combination with method #10. I don’t know why more people aren’t using or creating itinerary templates as a brochure but they are simple, effective, and fun to use!


  • Visually engaging
  • A balanced blend of text and images
  • Easy planning process: With predefined structures, these templates simplify the planning process, helping you create an organized itinerary effortlessly.
  • Accessible offline


  • Limited detailed information: Due to space constraints, custom brochure templates may not accommodate extensive details for each location or activity.
  • Lack of easy editing: Once printed, these brochures cannot be easily edited or updated, which may pose challenges if your travel plans change.

Best for:

  • Travelers seeking a visually appealing, tangible record of their travel plans.
  • Those who have finalized their itinerary and do not anticipate last-minute alterations.

I created a fun and really cool itinerary template. It’s made to be in brochure form that way you can easily walk around with it or store it in a bag. You can download it for FREE by signing up below!

5. Using Pen & Paper For Your Travel Itinerary

Pen and paper itinerary

A pen-and-paper itinerary is a traditional method where you can jot down anything really. It involves manually writing out all the details and plans for a trip, such as flight schedules, accommodation information, and activities. Unlike other methods that rely on digital tools, a pen-and-paper offers a tangible and flexible approach to planning.

However, there are drawbacks to this method. It can be time-consuming to write everything by hand, especially for longer and more complex trips. Changes to the itinerary may result in a messy and unorganized document, and there is a risk of losing all the planning if the paper is lost or damaged.

Despite these limitations, some travelers value the charm and tangibility of handwritten notes. I use pen and paper when I want to make quick notes I don’t want to forget or when I was working but secretly planning trips in my head (shhh don’t tell anyone!)


  • Tangible and flexible approach
  • Charming and traditional
  • No reliance on digital tools or devices


  • Time-consuming to write everything by hand
  • Potential lack of organization and messiness
  • Risk of losing the itinerary if paper is lost or damaged

Best for:

  • Travelers who value the flexibility and tangibility of handwritten notes
  • Those who don’t mind potential organization issues
  • Individuals who prefer a traditional and non-digital approach to planning.

6. Using A Notes App For Your Travel Itinerary

Notes itinerary

A Notes App is a digital tool that offers accessibility and convenience for creating travel itineraries. Unlike other methods, a Notes App allows users to update their itineraries on the go, offering flexibility for spontaneous adjustments. With features like syncing between devices, checklists, and attachments, it helps in organizing and structuring travel plans effectively.

However, it may lack the level of detail and customization provided by dedicated travel planner apps. Sharing the itinerary with others using different operating systems or devices can also pose challenges. But it is simple and anyone with a smart phone can use them.


  • Harnesses accessibility and convenience
  • Allows for on-the-go adjustments
  • Syncs between devices
  • Offers features like checklists, attachments, and tagging
  • Easy inclusion of packing lists


  • Limited functionality compared to dedicated travel planner apps
  • Difficulties in sharing with fellow travelers using different devices

Best for:

  • Non-tech-savvy travelers
  • Those who value convenience and flexibility
  • Users who don’t prioritize organizational features and make on-the-go adjustments

Here is your Minimalist Packing List for all Vacations!

7. Using Google Maps For Your Travel Itinerary

map of a multiple stops

Google Maps is a highly practical tool for creating travel itineraries. Its standout feature is its interactive nature, allowing users to visualize their travel route, calculate travel time, and explore nearby attractions. The integration with Google’s extensive database provides real-time traffic updates and public transit options, making it great for urban exploration.

Offline use is also possible, enabling access to itineraries without an internet connection. However, Google Maps may lack intricate details and collaborative editing features. It can also be a bit tricky or have a slight learning curve to add in all your destinations in plus the fact that Google Maps has a 10-stop limit. The good thing is you can use My Maps to get around that, a sub-page offered by Google.


  • Interactive nature for visualizing travel routes
  • Real-time traffic updates and public transit options
  • Offline use for accessing itineraries without internet
  • Integration with Google’s comprehensive database


  • Lack of detailed features like scheduled timeline and personal notes
  • Tricky management of editing rights for collaborative itineraries
  • Preparation required for offline maps and storage space usage

Best for:

  • Individuals who prioritize route visualization and real-time updates
  • Travelers who need offline access to their itineraries
  • Those who do not require extensive details or collaborative editing features

8. Using Printable Templates For Your Travel Itinerary

Printable Method

Printable templates are a classic method of creating travel itineraries that continue to be valuable. These templates provide a tangible copy of your travel plans, ensuring that you have access to them regardless of battery life or internet connectivity. What sets printable templates apart is their customizability – you can tailor the layout and format to suit your preferences, allowing for a more personalized travel experience.

They also offer flexibility, as you can easily adjust them with personal notes, reminders, or changes. However, it’s important to note that printable templates lack interactive features like real-time updates or location tagging, and any adjustments to your travel plans would require manual editing and reprinting. They may be less convenient and portable compared to the Brochure itinerary, but they are both not environmentally friendly. The ones to check out are on Etsy, and Pinterest


  • Tangible copy of travel plans
  • Customizable layout and format
  • Flexibility for personal notes and changes


  • Lack of interactive features
  • Manual editing and reprinting for adjustments
  • Less convenience and portability
  • Not environmentally friendly

Best for:

  • Travelers who value a tangible, customizable, and independent travel plan
  • Don’t rely heavily on digital conveniences or real-time updates.

If you want to know How You Can Travel More read here!

9. Using A Calendar For Your Travel Itinerary

Calendar Method

A calendar is an effective tool for organizing and keeping track of dates, providing a systematic way to plan and schedule activities. Calendars offer a clear visual representation of your travel schedule, allowing you to set specific times for each event. They are particularly beneficial for individuals who prefer a time-based breakdown of their plans.

Many calendar apps come with built-in alert features to ensure you don’t miss any planned activities. The down side is that calendars lack extensive details about each activity or location, and they may not have features for keeping track of budgets or lists. Managing overlapping events can also be challenging, especially for busy itineraries.


  • Efficiently organizes travel schedule
  • Provides a clear visual representation of the itinerary
  • Built-in alert features to avoid missing activities
  • Allows for synchronization with travel companions


  • Lack of visual details about each activity or location
  • Limited features for tracking budgets or lists
  • Difficulty in managing overlapping events
  • Potential confusion when multiple people edit the schedule simultaneously

Best for:

  • Individuals who prefer a meticulous, time-based plan
  • Those who value the convenience of sharing itinerary details with fellow travelers.

10. Using A Travel Planner For Your Travel Itinerary

Travel Planner on a blue blanket with flowers

The best method for planning your trips is my Personal Travel Planner! This planner is meticulously designed with travelers in mind, offering an organized and aesthetic way to prepare for your journey. It features dedicated spaces for all your travel details, from flight times to accommodation addresses, and even areas to jot down notes and memories.

Packed with inspiring quotes, this planner goes beyond just an itinerary planner. Its physical nature provides the advantage of offline usage, and the act of writing enhances memory retention. But that’s not all! My travel planner also includes a packing list, travel planning checklist, and so much more. You can plan for 12 incredible 10-day trips. It’s everything you need and more!

Once I started traveling more I was tired of buying planners that lacked realistic planning details that we travelers actually needed. As well as ample time frames for each destination. Even though this is my product that I created with LOVE and truly believe it is better than what’s out there on the market, I still think it’s fair to go over the pros and cons of it as it won’t be for everyone.

However, if it is perfect for you, get ready to plan your trips like never before with my exceptional travel planner!


  • A tangible, organized approach with aesthetic and inspirational content
  • Above and beyond pages to plan every aspect of your trip including Emergency Contacts, Trip Details, Travel Budget, Monthly and Weekly Itineraries, Meal Plans, Outfit Planners, Packing Lists, Trip Planning Checklist, Sitter Notes, and a Reflection Page!
  • One planner will last you all year if you take a trip every month!
  • You can plan your Bucket List and mark where you’ve been!
  • Compact so you can travel with it


  • may lack the flexibility and convenience of digital alternatives
  • its physical nature could pose challenges such as space constraints or the risk of loss or damage

Best for:

  • those who appreciate a tangible, organized approach to travel planning
  • Value aesthetic and inspirational content
  • Individuals who don’t heavily rely on digital conveniences for itinerary management

Like I said earlier I use a combination of two methods and that’s my Travel Planner where I use the workbook to plan my entire trip with all the information I can and will need. Then I make a neat and aesthetically pleasing Travel Brochure with the template I made on Canva. I can carry the brochure with me everywhere I go on my trip and it hosts as an overview detail of my travels.


What Is The Difference Between Itinerary and Schedule?

There are various itineraries, including both an itinerary and a schedule. While they both serve to organize plans, they differ in their focus and level of detail.

An itinerary is a planned route or journey that outlines the places you plan to visit during your trip. It provides a broad overview of your travel plans and can be flexible.

On the other hand, a schedule is more specific and breaks down the itinerary into smaller time slots.

It details the timing of activities or events, specifying what you will be doing at each moment. Both are valuable tools for organizing your trips effectively.

How Many Types Of itineraries Can You Create?

There are various itineraries to create for your trip. Ten notable options for creating different types of itineraries.

These include using a document (such as Word or Google Docs), a spreadsheet (such as Excel or Google Sheets), or a graphic design tool (like Canva).

More ways are a custom-made brochure, traditional pen & paper, a notes app on your smartphone, Google Maps, a printable template, a calendar, or utilizing a travel planner.

The specific type of itinerary you choose largely depends on your personal preference, level of tech-savviness, and the level of detail you wish to include in your travel plans.

How Do I Organize My Perfect Trip?

To plan your ideal trip, you can follow a series of steps. First, decide on your destination and the duration of your trip.

Next, research and select the activities and places you wish to explore. Then, based on your findings, create various types of itineraries to suit your preferences.

You can organize them using different formats such as documents, spreadsheets, printable templates, or digital calendars.

Once you have your itineraries ready, proceed with making reservations for accommodations, restaurants, or activities, if required.

Finally, pack accordingly by considering the weather and cultural norms of your destination. Remember to stay flexible as plans can change, and be open to adjusting your itineraries as needed.

I love my Travel Planner because it has everything I need to make a great trip!

What Are My Recommended Resources For Planning A Trip?

When planning my trip, I use my trusted trio of CheapOair, Viator, and Booking.com to provide a comprehensive solution for everything I need.

CheapOair is a go-to resource for affordable flight tickets. With its extensive network of over 600 airlines, it offers a wide array of choices, enabling you to easily compare prices and select the best deal that suits your budget and travel schedule.

Viator on the other hand, is an excellent platform for booking tours and activities. It provides access to thousands of sightseeing tours, attractions, and events in over 1,500 locations worldwide. It ensures you don’t miss out on the unique experiences each destination has to offer.

Booking.com is your reliable partner for accommodations. With over 28 million listings including hotels, apartments, and hostels, you can find the perfect place to stay that fits your budget and preference.

Together, these platforms make trip planning convenient, cost-effective, and fun. They ensure you have everything you need, from flights and accommodations to activities – at your fingertips.

Check Out My Resources Page For All My Recommended Travel Tools!

Final Thoughts-

There are a variety of tools available to assist with travel planning. Documents, spreadsheets, mobile templates, brochures, pen and paper, notes app, Google Maps, printable templates, calendars, and my travel planner have been discussed as potential options for planning your trip.

Each option offers its own pros and cons which should be considered when selecting the most suitable method for you. My expertise in using most of these methods led me to make my travel itinerary brochure and travel planner. I believe they are an excellent choice for those looking for the best way to plan their trip.

Happy exploring!

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