Last Updated: 7/10/20 | July 10th, 2020

Itinerary planning is a complex beast. There’s no single finest path out there. everybody has different travel desires, goals, as well as needs (let alone budget). It’s why I’ve always shied away from talking about schedule planning for long-lasting travel beyond the most easy advice: don’t double back.

Showing somebody exactly how to plan a trip is one thing, however planning a trip for somebody else is challenging since I don’t understand what they want or like.

Because, at the end of the day, there is no magic formula for producing an itinerary. You have to see as well as go where you want to go and, while suggested routes can assist influence you, at the end of the day, only you can plan the very best path for you.

Just don’t double back (it increases your costs a lot).

BUT, to assist you get familiar with exactly how to plan an itinerary, I want to share exactly how I choose my routes. Or at least the general routes (because, frequently when you land in a place, you throw out your plans as well as let the wind take you).

To show my points, I’ll utilize a semi-recent two-month jaunt around Southeast Asia.

Tip #1: dreams vs Reality

The very first thing to understand about schedule planning is that it is always going to disappoint you.


Because you’ll gaze at a map as well as state “I want to go here, here, here, as well as certainly here,” then all of a sudden recognize you won’t have sufficient time (or money) to see it alle. Something will have to get cut, as well as that’s going to make you sad.

So, the very first thing you requirement to do is accept that you likely won’t be able to see as well as do whatever — unless you’ve got limitless time as well as a solid travel budget. You’ll still be able to see as well as do a ton of amazing things, so don’t get discouraged. simply set some reasonable expectations at the start.

Tip #2: always sluggish Down

I can’t tension this enough. All as well frequently I see travelers plotting their dream trip as well as bouncing from one destination to one more every 1-2 days.

That’s a awful idea.

If you try to relocation between destinations every few days you’re just going to end up costs all your days in transit. Your trip will be a blur and, while you may have some good pictures for Instagram, you won’t keep in mind a thing.

I traveled method to quick on my very first trip to Europe. many people do. The significance of sluggish travel is something we travelers typically discover the difficult way.

Sænk farten. Take your time to soak in each destination. travel is about quality, not quantity! regn med mig. mindre er mere.

Tip #3: Be Flexible

As you can see, plans change. You satisfy people or discover about something new as well as all of a unexpected your planning goes out the window. That’s why I always motivate travelers to have a suggested schedule however develop in sufficient space for flexibility. That way, if you requirement to make a last-minute modification you can do so without stressing out.

When I plan my travel routes now, I leave much much more space in situation plans modification — since they always do. as well as I don’t pre-book anything either (unless it’s a very hectic time of the year). You never understand if you’ll want to stay longer or leave sooner, so just book along the way. in some cases I like a city as well as choose to state longer. in some cases I dislike a location as well as leave sooner than expected.

Give yourself that wiggle room. That way, no matter what comes your method you’ll be able to adapt.

Real world Example: My Southeast Asia Itinerary

My original Plan

Originally, I was planning to travel from Bangkok into Isaan, Thailand’s rural northeast province, for a couple of weeks.

Then, I’d go to Pakse as well as the 4,000 Islands in Laos before heading as much as Vientiane (with stops along the way). Then, I’d go the back with Isaan to Bangkok.

After that, it was off to the Philippines. This would provide me about six weeks in Southeast Asia as well as two weeks in the Philippines.

That schedule packs in a ton of amazing things to see as well as do. however it likewise leaves no downtime, no time to sit back as well as delight in serendipitous experiences. It’s an exhausting schedule as well as one that needs a go-go-go mentality for weeks on end.

Yes, this travel path flows in a good circle, there’s no doubling back, as well as it hits great deals of major on- as well as off–the-beaten-path areas I’ve always wished to see. however it’s not a sensible pace. 

Now, because I’ve been to numerous of these locations before I don’t requirement as much time, which is why an schedule such as this can work. However, when going to locations for the very first time, an schedule this packed is going o be much more exhausting than it is fun.

And it doesn’t leave space for versatility — which is something that every traveler needs to embrace.


Well, just before I flew to Hong Kong, my buddy Jodi called as well as stated she was staying in Thailand longer than she’d organized — but she was in Chiang Mai. In purchase to see her, I had to revise my entire path on a whim.

My Plan: version 2.0

In this revised version of my trip, I see less of Isaan. However, the path lets me go to a hold of new places. I chosen Pai since I’ve never been as well as it’s a hit with backpackers. I organized to spend a few days there before heading into Chiang Rai on my method into Laos.

Chiang Rai is a great stopping point (it’s near the border) before heading into Luang Prabang, a city popular for its Buddhist temples.

Then it’s off to the ordinary of Jars as well as Vang Vieng, a city that was when ruined by backpackers who turned it into a drunken booze fest of stupidity.

Luckily, the government put an end to that, as well as I want to see exactly how the city’s altered now that people don’t get drunk as well as jump off something called “the death slide.”

After that, it’s off to Vientiane before traveling to Isaan as well as into Pakse.

What I really Did
Even after producing several itineraries, what I did was still quite different from my revised itinerary:

Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Pai – Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng – Vientiane – Bangkok – Korat – Nong Kong – Surin – Ubon Ratchathani – Pakse – Nong Khai – Khon Kaen – Bangkok

This final schedule was very different from my original plan. I still explored Isaan but, since I went to Chiang Mai, ended up seeing a great deal of Laos too. This schedule ended up being a great deal much better than my original.

The point of all this is that your plans will change. in some cases by a lot. Don’t be married to your plans as well as don’t state no to chances just since your “route” states no. travel is finest when you choose the flow.

Build additional area into your itineraries. Be flexible. Gå langsomt.

That’s exactly how you plan an amazing schedule – not only to Southeast Asia however to anywhere in the world.

Book Your trip to Southeast Asia: Logistical suggestions as well as Tricks
Book din flyvning
Brug Skyscanner eller Momondo til at opdage en billig flyvning. They are my two preferred browse engines since they browse sites as well as airlines around the globe so you always understand no stone is left unturned. begin with Skyscanner very first though since they have the most significant reach!

Book din indkvartering
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the most significant stock as well as finest deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, utilize as they consistently return the most affordable rates for guesthouses as well as inexpensive hotels.

Undlad ikke at huske rejseforsikring
Travel insurance coverage will safeguard you against illness, injury, theft, as well as cancellations. It’s extensive security in situation anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to utilize it numerous times in the past. Min foretrukne forretning, der tilbyder den allerbedste service såvel som værdi er:

Sikkerhedsfløj (for alle under 70)

Forsikre min rejse (for dem over 70)

Medjet (til ekstra repatrieringsdækning)

Leder du efter den allerbedste forretning for at spare penge med?
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Want much more info on Southeast Asia?
Be sure to go to our robust destination guide on Southeast Asia for even much more planning tips!

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