After seeing a good friend do the same for her parents, I decided to write up a rough itinerary of my trip to supply mine with, to ease the itching worries I’m sure they only express half of and to stem the flow of questions over dinner the night before departure.
I’ll admit it felt quite childish writing out the name, address and contact number for each place we are going to be staying, almost like when my Mum used to ring the house of the friend I was sleeping over in to check I was actually there; but when I look at the bigger picture I can see now and understand perfectly why it is so important to have a record of such things. Even if it wasn’t to be given to my mother, but a friend, other relative, or just somebody who I trust and who would be dependable were something to happen abroad, and I was rendered uncontactable, a general itinerary and outline of your travel plans is vital to have laid out before you go.
Too often we hear of travel-stories from hell – things going wrong, phones being lost, people getting lost or too drunk or kidnapped or attacked…it’s bleak and scary to think about, but it should never be ruled out as a possibility.
That’s why by letting someone at home know where you plan to be (give or take) on certain days and nights, even if you veer off course slightly or decide to accompany some new travel friends for a night in a different city or take a tour you hadn’t planned on, there basic structure and outline of the trip will be there to work from should something happen, and you can’t be contacted.
Another benefit of doing out an itinerary is that it makes you clearer yourself on the plan for the trip, saving you from frantically checking dates and hostel names at the last minute. It’s almost like doing a bit of study on the places you’re heading beforehand, so all the information is fresh and clear in your head!
If nothing else it’s also an excuse to get excited for your trip and doodle around a page of travel-plans when you’re supposed to be working!