Some of you who already know me, know that I’ve been a vacation planner all my life.  Yes, even as a child!  Even though I was too young to actually pay for a trip or go on my own, I used to help my mom (who also loved to plan trips) — and I would frequently plan my own dream adventures for my future.  But not everyone shares my enthusiasm for planning a trip.  That’s why I wanted to help make it easy for other vacation planners out there by turning one of my own tools into a FREE trip planning itinerary template!

Planning a Vacation Is Stressful

Even a person experienced with trip planning can get stressed with all the moving parts and notes to keep track of.  After all, I’ve planned hundreds (if not thousands) of trips both personally, and professionally as a vacation planner!  And sometimes I get all frazzled trying to keep it straight.

But the biggest issue for me is that I’m a perfectionist.  Other perfectionists out there may be able to relate to that feeling of trying to put together the absolute best trip…for the lowest price.  It’s not necessarily finding the cheapest trip available, but maximizing the most fun for the best price.

That is no easy task.

It means that you are often comparing different destinations, and different options for your itinerary — adding up costs and trying to see which is the best alternative.  But again, tracking all that information can be a real pain.

You may end up throwing up your hands saying “enough already, let’s just pick one and go!”  Or worse, you may abandon your plans altogether because you are frustrated with this whole vacation planning process.  But DON’T do that – seriously!

Instead, I’ve got something that can help save you a lot of time and frustration.

A Vacation Planner’s Passion (and “Type A” Tenancies) Led to Your FREE Template!

Having such a love for travel planning has enabled me to plan trips all over the world for myself, friends, family, and clients.  From weekend getaways, to Disney trips.  Romantic honeymoons to family-sized anniversaries.  I’ve planned a number of cruises as well as complicated international trips…and I even planned our own multi-day destination wedding in Key West (that was a whopper!).

Not only do I have a passion for planning trips, but I also am a bit of a Type A personality.  I’m overly detailed and like to research and plan out everything.  However, I don’t go overboard with planning out every minute of every trip (that’s just crazy…).  I actually enjoy spontaneity and believe that you should be flexible during your trip!  Yet, I think it’s important to be prepared in case things don’t go as planned.

I’ve also found that having a well-researched and planned out itinerary for a trip can help you not waste time.

After all, if you flew all the way to Paris you wouldn’t want to waste your whole first afternoon trying to find your hotel!  Or worse, getting on a wrong train and getting lost or ending up in a totally different city!

So after many years of putting trips together, I’ve come up with some tools that really helped me to stay organized during the planning process. So I figured, why not share these helpful tools with other people who could use them too!

I Confess:  I Have a Spreadsheet Addiction!

Alright, alright…laugh if you will.  But it’s true.

I love spreadsheets.

My spreadsheets have baby spreadsheets.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to love them as much as I do.  I’ve taken the spreadsheets that I use to plan a trip and condensed them, and combined them, added formulas and instructions to make it easy for you to download and start using them today.  I’ve really tried to make it as easy as possible for you to use these files without any (or minimal) customization.

Of course, if you love spreadsheets too…then by all means…GO NUTS with further customization and details!

But if not, I assure you that you can get the benefit of these sheets without doing any work to them.

How to Use This FREE Trip Itinerary Template

After downloading this vacation planning template, you can open it and find multiple “worksheets” along the bottom (tabs to click).  Each one of these is for a different part of the vacation planning process.

Instruction Worksheet

I’ve included detailed instructions (steps) for how to use this worksheet on the first tab of the file.  It also includes key features of the worksheet, for example, all text in RED are formulas that will automatically update for you!  So you don’t even need type in those cells.

At the bottom of this instruction worksheet I’ve also included links to other helpful tools and tips / advice for vacation planners so they can get the most out of the trip they are putting together!  So take a peek and don’t miss out on some travel planning tips that might really help you!

General Research Worksheet

This tab is for you to use during the very beginning stages of your trip planning.  There are columns for you to make notes about cool destinations you find, things to do, accommodations, etc.  You can also copy and paste links or prices (if there are any) — just for future reference.

An alternative to using this worksheet is to use Pinterest (social media / bookmarking website).  If you are not familiar with this site or how to use it, be sure to check out our detailed post all about how to use Pinterest for Travel Planning!

Destination Research Worksheet

Use this worksheet when you have narrowed down your vacation destination (or if you are trying to decide between a couple destination options).  Here you can input all the details and even compare different options for your trip.  This is a great place to put all the information that may not end up on a final itinerary because you can still refer back to it later.

Itinerary Worksheets:  Draft & Final Versions

Lastly, you will also see some draft itinerary worksheets and a final itinerary worksheet.  You may not use all of these (or you can copy to make more), but the idea is that you may create a couple draft itineraries and compare them before making the final itinerary.

The great thing about these worksheets is that there are formulas for numbers.  So you can actually input prices and it will automatically update!  This is SUPER helpful when vacation planning so that you can make sure you are staying within your travel budget.

Also, there are columns for contact information and confirmation numbers once you start actually making your reservations!

Make Your Life Easier – Just Download This FREE Itinerary Template!

My initial reason for creating these worksheets was to make my life easier.  So why not make your life easier too?

Simply click on the button below to download your FREE copy.  

Download Vacation Planning Template

Vacation Planning Template 21.20 KB 1222 downloads

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I hope that all vacation planners out there find it as useful as I have.  However, if you are still not thrilled with the idea of planning your own vacation, or if you want some help from a pro, then you can always contact me for my vacation consulting and planning services.  I’m always here to help.

Happy Vacation Planning!

Liz


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