During my full-time travelling, I didn’t really create an itinerary except for my first destination. With that much time flexibility and no “going home” flight ticket, it was much easier to meet other travellers and get their personal tips before booking or planning on anything.
But that changed when I finally decide to buy that going home flight ticket and have a home base. Now that I only travel for 2-3 weeks at a time, I want to make sure that I am making the most out of my holiday.
In this post, I want to show you how to write a 2-week travel itinerary. When I’m creating my travel plan, I make sure that I don’t cramp too many things on my plan, I leave plenty of space for flexibility and possibly mess up along the way.
THINGS TO KNOW AND REMEMBER
Before we hop on the actual writing, there are a few things you should know, research, and remember to avoid having to start all over or making a wrong booking. What I personally find challenging to do is to align the dates.
I’m not good with numbers, I remember when I was young, I had to stop and do the math when someone says 3 days and 2 nights. I know that’s so basic, but I do have to pull up a calendar and manually count.
Two months ago, I was writing my 2-week itinerary for Europe. When I finally finished, I realised I made a mistake and overlapped a few things. I had to start from the top. I hope by giving you some of my tips, you won’t make the same mistakes I did.
When and where do you want to go
This is one of the most important parts of creating your travel itinerary. Not only do you have to decide about the dates but you also have to double-check the season. Remember, spring in Europe does not mean it also springs in Australia.
You don’t want to pack your swimsuit and arrive at the airport just to realise it’s winter season if your destination.
Apart from the season, you also want to check if it’s peak time at your destination. The prices take a hike during the peak season like summer and Christmas almost anywhere in the world and things get booked up fast. During these busy times, you also want to consider how crowded it could be.
I love summer in Europe, but I don’t love the crowd. If I really want to spend this season in this region, I’d head to East Europe or the Nordics since most people (even European ones) go to the South of Europe. We have a list of the best destinations to spend your 2-week holiday.
Are you going alone or with someone
Of course, if you have a travel buddy, you will need their input in writing a 2-week travel itinerary. Unless it’s a young child or your pet. Other than that, make sure that you have discussed the places you are visiting, how many days you plan to stay, etc.
If both of you want to be very involved in creating this travel plan, it’s best if you do it together. In that way, you can finish it much faster in discuss in advance if there are places you rather not see or the places that have to be on the priority list.
Travelling with PWD can also be a challenge but not impossible. From choosing the cities that are PWD-friendly, to renting a car where you can load and unload the wheelchair easily – things like this should be addressed early on.
Booked packages or solo explorer
I personally love both. Normally, I do solo exploration in big cities. I prefer to look up some blogs on cafes to visit, museums to explore, and historical spots that are must-sees. I then add pins to the map on my phone.
But for day trips or something that will require a few hours driving away from the city or places that can only be visited with a tour guide, I definitely opt for a booked tour instead of driving on my own. I rather sleep on the bus or have a knowledgeable local tell me about the place’s history.
When I was young, I take buses everywhere. My back and sleep can tolerate it easy, 12-hour bus? No problem! But now that I’m approaching 30, I prefer renting a car or much better, taking a flight or train.
A 12-hour train ride is bearable since I can walk around and some of them even have beds I can book. While domestic flights can be pricey (especially in North America), I’d pay for them. In Europe, both domestic flights and trains are affordable and a no brainer.
Type of accommodation
If you are travelling with someone, sharing a room is more affordable. If you are young, hostels are always an option. But if you are heading to Southeast Asia, $100 can get you a really luxurious resort room with a great ocean or mountain view.
I used to be a fan of Airbnb but their services and fees have drastically gone up and the instructions for cleaning the rooms became too much. We are talking about more than putting the bedsheet in the washer, sweeping the floor, and taking out the trash which is not a problem. I was once asked by the host to scrub the bathroom, kitchen counter, and dust the shelves.
Booking.com now offers apartment options, so I almost don’t use Airbnb anymore and they have free cancellation.
Now that you have decided on the cities you are visiting, you should book your accommodation as soon as you can, especially if you are going during peak season. The great ones get booked up 6-months in advance.
Outdoorsy, museum-geek, or foodie
If you love history, culture, and museums, you should start looking at these places in the cities. Check if you need to get a ticket or book a time slot in advance. For example, Machu Picchu limits the number of people who could enter the citadel per day to avoid damaging the ruins. The tickets are fully-booked 3-months in advance during the peak season.
If you are into outdoor activities, make sure the weather will match your plans and the national park is open. Again, Machu Picchu, it’s closed every February for maintenance, also due to severe weather.
THINGS TO PREPARE
Now that you have the date, and destination, and have visualised the type of trip you are planning, it’s time to prepare the things you need for writing a 2-week travel itinerary. If you are looking for a sample of what to pack, check out our packing list for a 2-week trip.
Book your time
I love being organised, although I’m not the best at it. I always book time on my calendar, be it when to do laundry, a weekly grocery run, and meeting friends, I add it on my phone calendar.
Not only it’s a great way to remind me 15-30 minutes in advance, it’s also helping me set my mind.
Some people can easily whip a travel itinerary in just a few minutes, some people take time. Either way, make sure you allow time to work on this plan to make sure you are not forgetting anything. After all, if you are travelling to another continent (maybe), it’s worth your time planning it properly.
Calendar and a map
Make sure that you have a calendar and a map. Digital maps can easily tell you how far each place is. You can see how long it will take you to travel from one place to another, which result, can help you visualise your day-to-day plan.
Pen and paper or digital writing
Some people are traditional and love their pen and paper. I’m not going to lie, I was that person until I have my tablet which helped me write my itinerary faster (I prefer to only turn on my laptop for work).
There are even apps that can assist you in creating an itinerary on your phone or smart device. You can also print one and write it directly on the paper.
HOW TO WRITE A 2-WEEK TRAVEL ITINERARY
Now that you have everything you need, let’s get on writing your fun and adventurous itinerary that is tailored for you.
Get our travel itinerary template
We have a free printable itinerary template. You can print it as much as you want or if you are tech-savvy, you can edit it with PDF.
Write down the dates and destinations
This step-by-step guide will work regardless of whether you are using our template or not.
On the writing pad, create 3 columns and divide them into 2. On the top, write the departure date, destination/s, and booking information such as flight booking code, flight code, and time of departure/arrival.
In the second part, the first column for the dates, the second for the places you want to see (a.k.a destination), and the third for the accommodations. Remember that this part is your first draft, so it’s okay to make mistakes and scratch things off.
Things you really want to do
In the destination section, write the city first, then write the places you really want to see in this city. Mark the ones that you want to be a priority, which ones are a medium priority and the ones that you don’t mind missing.
This will remove the pressure of cramming your itinerary. In the end, you will be able to see if you have space for the least priority activities and if you need to remove some stuff to make sure you get to see all the places on top priority.
You should also add here the name of the tours and where you can book them (does it need to be booked in advance or can it be done once you arrive at the destination). There will be a lot of information in this section, keep it spacious.
How many days to spend in each place/city
On the date section, write how many days you want to spend in each city. Calculate if you are within your number of days or if you have gone over and need to shave some off. The best way to do this is to find out how long each tour takes.
For example, if you go on a day tour to Kruger National Park, that takes an entire day, from 8.00-17.00. While visiting a vineyard should only take your morning, that means you can either relax in the afternoon or book a different tour or plan a different activity.
Getting from one place to the next
Next, you will have to write how you plan to get to places A to B. You can write this under dates. This could include things like:
- take a 2-hour bus to city B
- take a domestic flight from A to B (flight number: ABC123)
- take the 12.00 train from A to B, arriving at 14.35 (local time)
Here’s a sample:
Accommodations you booked/will book
In the last column, write the hotels you like for each city. Make sure to adjust the dates accordingly so it does not overlap. I often make a mistake like this:
- Day 1-3: Paris
- Day 4: Normandy
- Day 5: Dunkirk
I would book accommodation for days 1-3, then day 4. I usually forget that this means I check out on day 3 and my next booked hotel is for day 4. Completely forgot that I don’t have room to sleep for day 3. I always use booking.com when choosing accommodations, most of the hotels here allow free cancellation.
Once it all comes together, in the end, double-check for mistakes or overlapped dates.
Once things are done, rewrite your itinerary. It can be confusing if there are a lot of strike-throughs and errors. Once it’s all done, it’s time to book your flight, hotels, and tours.
TIP: Create a label or folder in your email for this trip (i.e summer in Europe 2023). Then every email (from flights, hotels, tours, insurance, etc) should be labelled and placed in this folder. This will make things easier when you need to look for specific booking confirmation.
Make a copy
Create a copy of your 2-week travel itinerary and give it to a trusted person or family member. Make sure it has your flight information and hotel name. In case your family can’t contact you, they can follow your itinerary and know which hotel/airline to contact and where.
SUMMARY OF 2-WEEK TRAVEL ITINERARY
Writing a travel itinerary can be overwhelming and stressful. As long as you make time to do it, the process can be easy to follow and will give you a great visualization of what your trip would look like.
I hope that you found this 2-week travel itinerary helpful. If you have other tips that I forgot to add, leave me a comment below.