Itineraries: the love / hate relationship simplified

With an ever increasing influence, travel bloggers now find themselves becoming the new go-to source of for first time and seasoned travelers alike. Any city can be explored a million ways – and our goal, as travel bloggers, is to show you all of them. Different from industry giants such as Lonely Planet or Trip Advisor, travel bloggers create original content catering to their personal interests and those of their blog readers. Some travel bloggers even go so far as to create their content in direct correlation with what their readers want to see, understand and experience.

When planning your own trip, you can take courage in knowing that a recommendation from a travel blogger comes from honest experience. An itinerary can make or break your next trip. Luckily, half the work is already done for you! Let’s start with the destination you’ve chosen. Paris, for example. You could Google “Paris travel blogger” and *BOOM* thousands of results later you have countless travel blogger’s experiences with this enchanting city. But wait… that’s a little overwhelming, right?

Step 1, be specific about what or when.

“top 10 sights in Paris,” “Paris for honeymoon,” “Paris NYE” will all yield better results. Skim through these and take note on which sites spark your interest. Keep in my mind that having flexible dates gives you more freedom over the price of your ticket!

Travel Tip: Some TOURISTS travelers focus more on checking off a list than actually EXPERIENCING a country. Through local cuisine, engaging activities and switching it up for an AirBnb can completely change the dynamics and quality of your trip.

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#AirBnBgoals in Cannes, France.

Step 2, don’t stress about not seeing everything. A city can be explored a million ways, remember? If you’re that set on seeing all of Paris (or any city for that matter), I’d suggest moving there. 😉 prioritize a list of your “must sees” spots.

Travel Tip: If you know any locals, ask them about their favorite local spots! These can sometimes be so under the radar that even the travel bloggers haven’t picked up on them (yet).

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Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France.

Step 3, create a google map and pinpoint all the “must see” sites. Then, include some of the things that didn’t quite make it to the top of the list. This might be a bit of undertaking if you’re doing a cross continental trek, but for an otherwise normal vacay it’s perfect. Using a map has ALWAYS worked for me. Why the map? You can then see which areas are more concentrated with what you want to see. This saves you SO MUCH TIME from wandering back and forth across the city, checking off a list, but all backtracking every 2 hours. Plus, it’s harder to get lost when you’re staying in the same general area. 😉

Travel Tip: You can color coordinate your pins on a custom google map. I’ve used it to categorize things based on their priority level (must see vs like to see) and what they are (food vs museum vs hike to an overlook)

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Step 4, research food places NEAR your top locations. This also saves time from wandering around trying to find “something that looks good.” *hint* travel bloggers LOVE food. Oftentimes I’ve been just as excited about my meals planned throughout the day as I was for the actual touristy stuff.

Travel Tip: if you really want to experience a culture, look up some of the local foods when looking at recommendations).

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Falafels will never not be my “go-to” food in Paris.

Step 5, divide and conquer! Once you have your key areas, you can organize your itinerary, giving each area its own day.

Travel Tip: Exploring a city can still be overwhelming even with all the preplanning. Take a day and go out of the city for a day trip! This works especially well with large cities where a little taste of the countryside is just a train, bus or boat ride away.

Final thoughts:

Take a travel blogger recommendation with a grain of salt. Not every person is the same, and that club that was supposed to be “so hip” that was super lame could be just a difference in taste. Looking up other online reviews can provide some reassurance that you’re investing your time wisely. Using a travel blogger’s perspective gives you a better start for a more unique way to experience the culture, it does not guarantee you the “trip of life time.” Because TBH, they didn’t plan their trip for you. YOU need to play your trip for you.

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