Travel Itinerary Template: Keep Your Trip Organized With a “Cheat Sheet”

For those of you who know me, it may come as no surprise that I’m a bit of a “type-A” personality.  This is especially true when it comes to being organized for my travel.  It’s not that I want to run us ragged, but because I want us to enjoy the trip.  And as a result of my years of travel, I’ve come up with some pretty simple ways to stay organized while on the road.  One way I do this is by creating a special travel itinerary template, which I also refer to as my “cheat sheet” for the trip.

A “Cheat Sheet” is More Than Just a Travel Itinerary Template

Keeping track of all the details related to a vacation can be overwhelming.  Especially if it is a long or busy trip filled with hotel changes, transportation, and activities.  After you have made your travel arrangements, you are bound to have endless emails and confirmation numbers to sort through.

That combined with your research and notes about the things you want to see and do on your trip can make being organized even more complicated.    You need all this information nicely organized where you can access it easily when you need it.

And that is why I came up with my travel “cheat sheet.”  With has helped myself and over 11,000 travelers stay organized on the road!

Sometimes Nothing Beats a Good Ol’ Fashioned Piece of Paper!

Technology, especially mobile devices, have really helped travelers stay organized while on the road.  In fact, one of our favorite travel apps that we use is called TripIt.

The TripIt app helps us consolidate a lot of our travel information and confirmation numbers into one place.  This allows us to access it online or save it for viewing offline on our mobile devices. However, I have learned from my previous travel experience that using technology doesn’t always make things easier or quicker.

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This is especially true when traveling overseas.  I don’t always have my mobile devices powered on, and often they are not connected to a data network.  Other times I may not want to draw attention to myself and my fancy technology while I’m walking down the street.  In these cases I’ve discovered that it’s easier to go old school, with an actual piece of paper!

Unfortunately, all those confirmation emails and travel planning documents tend be long and include a lot of information that you may not need.  In fact, if you were to print all of that information out, you would probably be walking around with a small book in your pocket!

This defeats the whole point of a “cheat sheet” because you would be fumbling around trying to find what you need.

My “cheat sheet’ is only 1 page!
stay organized while on vacation, travel planning tools, trip organizer, itinerary template, travel itinerary

A travel “cheat sheet” should be concise. Mine is only one page. The text looks small, but when it’s printed it can be read fine.  Just fold it into quarters and stuff it in your pocket!

Items to Include on Your Travel Itinerary “Cheat Sheet”

There are all kinds of things you may find useful to put on your travel “Cheat Sheet.”  But the most critical pieces of information to include are only those that you may need to reference quickly while you are on the go.  So don’t overdo it by putting too much information.  Keep it concise and easy to read.  Some of the items I include in my “cheat sheet” include:

  • Rough Itinerary – Don’t plan each minute!  But it’s helpful to plan out major activities on each day, especially days when you are traveling.
  • Hotel Information – confirmation numbers, addresses, contact information, prices & deposits paid (so you know what you owe on arrival), and possibly directions.
  • Transportation Information – flight numbers, train / bus schedules, how to use local transportation and buy tickets, etc.
  • Attractions – if there are certain sights that you absolutely want to see, make a note of their operating hours and days (because that might impact your itinerary), addresses, and prices (which will help with budgeting).
  • Activities – anything that you have pre-booked, along with the confirmation numbers.
  • Language Phrases – include a few simple phrases or notes about the language or even local customs.

Bring a Hard Copy of Your Travel Itinerary “Cheat Sheet” & Keep It Handy

My “cheat sheet” travel itinerary template is only one page.  It is grouped into 4 sections so that I can easily fold it into quarters and stuff it in my pocket. Within the document itself, I group the information within each quarter section.  This way when it is folded, each side has a table of similar information.

For example, one side of the page might have my overall itinerary for each day, while another side contains all my hotel information.  I also color code the header of each page for each section.  This makes it easy for me to find the page I need for whatever it is that I’m looking for.

Be sure to print out a few copies, and it is good to send an electronic copy to your email.  

Lastly, this “cheat sheet” document is perfect for sharing with family and friends, in case they need to contact you while you are away!

Join 11,000 Other Travelers Who Have Downloaded this Useful Template

Download Our Travel Itinerary Template & Create Your Own “Cheat Sheet!”

It’s always tough to start out from scratch creating a planning document like this.  And sometimes, it may not seem worth it to put in all the effort.  But since I have already found a format that seems to work well, I wanted to share it here for all of you .

Your time is valuable.

So all I ask is that you buy me a small cup of coffee (.99 cents) for saving you the time and hassle of making it yourself.  

I assure you that you will feel so much more organized during your trip, and not fumbling around with smartphones or trying to open emails while on the road.

 


 

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Photo Credit: All photos under CC 2.0edar, Unsplash, TheAndrasBarta, GotCredit, docentjoyce

Got Your Cheat Sheet?  Now It’s Time to Plan Your Trip!

Plan Your Trip - SBNow that you’ve got your awesome cheat sheet to help you stay organized, it’s time to plan your trip!

There are MANY ways to go about planning a trip – and every person, and situation is different.  To help make it easier on you, we’ve created a special Plan Your Trip page — with do it yourself (DIY) planning resources and links, as well as additional options if you want to ask us some questions or have us help you out with planning.

Just let us know – we are here to help you by making your trip planning easier, more fun, and cheaper!

 

26 Comments
  • TWF
    Posted at 03:16h, 14 July Reply

    Great post, very helpful. Thanks!

  • Cristina
    Posted at 09:32h, 16 July Reply

    I don’t own a smartphone and the iPad i bought was without the wireless service so my only source of info is through paper! I love Excel and create my cheat sheets on it. Same method! I love it and it’s like studying for a trip! Pretty soon you have most of the info memorized in your mind! Cool article and glad to know I am not alone in my tech-free travels!

    • Liz
      Posted at 14:02h, 16 July Reply

      Thanks for the comment Cristina! YES – I completely agree with you that putting together a “cheat sheet” is like studying for your trip. It helps you memorize things so that you don’t even have to refer to it as much. I am a firm believer that when you travel you need to try and at least look like you know what you are doing. So this really helps put everything into your memory! Don’t get me wrong, technology can be super helpful…but not in every situation.

      Happy Travels!!!
      – Liz

  • Kay Dougherty
    Posted at 13:32h, 16 July Reply

    I’m going to use this for a trip to Europe that my sister and I are going on. We have a lot to keep track on and she is a firm believer in having it on a piece of paper! I rely on putting in my iCalendar and TripIt but this a very handy document to have so I’ll give it a go! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Liz
      Posted at 13:59h, 16 July Reply

      Awesome! Thanks for the comment Kay. I understand completely – I actually started making these for my trips to Europe years ago just for those same reasons. There is just so much to keep track of! Have a blast!!!

      – Liz

  • Howard @ Backroad Planet
    Posted at 05:24h, 17 July Reply

    Excellent tool! Unfortunately, there is an issue when the Word document converts to Mac Pages. Is there any way you can export and post a Pages document or even email me one? Thanks so much!

    • Liz
      Posted at 09:25h, 17 July Reply

      Thanks for the comment Howard – and thank you for letting me know! I will convert the file to Pages and email a copy to you, as well as making the Pages version available for download. Thanks!

      – Liz

  • Julie Dawn Fox
    Posted at 06:47h, 19 July Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m currently planning two trips and am surrounded by scraps of paper and have articles and confirmation forms stored in various places online but this is a great idea to have all the information at my fingertips. I will definitely be trying it out for my Madeira and Douro Valley trips.

    • Liz
      Posted at 08:00h, 19 July Reply

      Wonderful – thanks so much Julie! Very glad to hear that you find it helpful. It’s amazing how much it really does help, and you don’t have to haul all those other papers around!

      Enjoy your trips!
      – Liz

  • Emma @ Everyday Postcard
    Posted at 08:24h, 19 July Reply

    Thanks for such a useful post. Usually this isn’t my method of travelling at all, I tend to only book the first night or two and then just go with the flow for the rest of the trip. However, I’m meeting my parents for a road trip along Australia’s east coast and my Dad has requested an itinerary so this is perfect! He’ll think I’m being very organised for a change!

    • Liz
      Posted at 08:41h, 19 July Reply

      LOL – thanks Emma! Everyone has their own style for sure, but I’m glad that your dad will appreciate it. 🙂

      Have fun in Australia!
      – Liz

  • Sabine
    Posted at 23:35h, 02 November Reply

    Depending on where I travel, I do exactly the same. You don’t go prepared and still have the freedom to do whatever you want and change whatever you like, but you can keep track of things. I never gave mine a name, but hey Cheat Sheet does not sound bad 🙂

    • Liz
      Posted at 04:57h, 04 November Reply

      Thanks Sabine! We agree that it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, even if plans change. In fact, there should be flexibility in your plans so that you can “go with the flow” — but at least being prepared helps if things don’t work out the way you planned.

      Happy travels!
      – Liz

  • Merina
    Posted at 14:02h, 26 November Reply

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for sharing this, it looks great and really useful. I cannot seem to find the link to download the template, can you point me to it?

    Thanks,
    Merina

    • Liz
      Posted at 00:30h, 27 November Reply

      Thank you SO much for letting me know Merina! It appears that during an update to my website, it removed the links!

      ** I have added them back in the post, but attached here is a link to download the template. Thank you so much – I hope you find it helpful!

      Download MS Word Version: http://www.peanutsorpretzels.com/?wpdmdl=10122

      – Liz

  • Brittiny
    Posted at 10:13h, 04 March Reply

    Love this idea and love the fact you offered it to us without having to pay. Thank you.

    • Liz
      Posted at 06:22h, 05 March Reply

      Thanks so much for the comment Brittiny – I appreciate it! It is good to know that readers find our resources useful. Thanks for reading – happy planning!

      – Liz

  • Renee
    Posted at 21:25h, 24 March Reply

    Thanks for this post! Totally helpful!

    • Liz
      Posted at 23:33h, 25 March Reply

      That’s great to hear Renee – thanks for letting us know. Enjoy planning your trip!

      – Liz

  • Tracy Montgomery
    Posted at 18:18h, 25 October Reply

    You are “my kind of people”! I am so grateful I found this & bow down to your awesomeness!

    • Liz
      Posted at 07:40h, 26 October Reply

      Thanks so much Tracy — we really appreciate the comment! We hope that you find it just as useful as we have. Thanks for reading and happy travels to you!!!

      – Liz

  • Jeannette Wong
    Posted at 12:56h, 31 January Reply

    I always prefer to have everything in hard copy. Thanks for the template.

  • Emmalene
    Posted at 10:36h, 17 February Reply

    Oh my, for someone like me who takes pages and pages of research and planning away with them – this is like a gift from heaven! No more lugging an A4 ringbinder around with me (Yes, i actually did this once…)

    • Liz
      Posted at 22:46h, 18 February Reply

      Thanks so much for the comment! Agree — I have been there before too, carrying so many pages and print-outs with all the information. I loved being organized…but hated hauling it around. This “Cheat Sheet” has really been a lifesaver for me. So I hope it helps you too!

      Happy travels!
      – Liz

  • Tammie Finch
    Posted at 12:18h, 19 March Reply

    Hello Liz, We are planning a family history trip to the eastern United States. We are taking our RV and leaving from Arizona so we have a free schedule to stop many times if needed. I have a huge list of places we’d like to go and research such as graveyards, churchs, and family sites that we’d like to see. Are you aware of an app that lets us plug in the places we’d like to go, and then makes an actual map of the best route to take to see these sights? Maybe yours has that option. I would love to hear from your experience how to best go about this. Thank you, Tammie

    • Liz
      Posted at 18:35h, 19 March Reply

      Hello Tammie – thanks for reading and for the comment.

      Our cheat sheet is purely a paper-form that is a simple way to keep reference information handy for a trip, like contact numbers, daily itineraries, confirmations, etc. It’s not interactive like an app, nor does it map anything.

      As far as I know, there are a few tourist / travel kind of apps that can do some of this; however, a lot of times you have to buy a lot of extra maps for different cities.

      You can also look into Google maps, there are a lot of features that people don’t use in that tool that might work for you. Also, there is the MyMaps on Google — which lets you create your own custom maps, add items to it, map routes and save / share for later. That might work for you as well.

      (here’s an example of a Boston history tour map that was made – so you can see some of the functionality that you can do: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?hl=en&mid=1e1Yxlq1w5eLAXukad0sfxGlFyqE&ll=42.362404864843555%2C-71.082739&z=14)

      I hope this helps. Have an AWESOME trip.
      Thanks!
      Liz

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