Getting the itinerary Builder Right – The evolution of the Itinerary Builder

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Getting the itinerary Builder Right:
The evolution of the Itinerary Builder

Picture of By Doug Ralston

By Doug Ralston

To any of us that have traveled post-pandemic, we now understand that the complexity especially when traveling with a family has gone up.  Unless you have a Type-A planner in your family, things are going to be very difficult for you not showing up prepared to a destination. Restaurants are understaffed and have limited reservations, attractions are booked up and require, sometimes, weeks in advance scheduling and yes, even our beloved outdoor activities now have reservations and rules which need to be understood before just showing up.

So what can we do as travel professionals to help our visitors have the best experience possible? How can we help enforce policies of Stewardship and Sustainability while giving them the tools they need to easily navigate our destinations?

One digital tool that can help and revitalize options for this challenge, is the itinerary builder.  We understand we all have different opinions on this feature, some feel because they had one 5 years ago and it didn’t get used that it wasn’t useful. Below are some things to consider as you think through digital tools to utilize on your web, app, and other touch channels.

Top 5 Updates to the Next-Generation Itinerary Builders

  1. Integrate Favorites and Itinerary in one solution, allowing ease of use and letting users decide how they want to use the information or if they want to use their own calendar solutions
  2. Ability to build packages, local favorites, and segment things to do by demographic categories or visitor preferences
  3. Connect across marketing channels, web, kiosk, mobile, and social.  Ensuring that visitors can use any device to help them build an itinerary they want the most
  4. Provide instant connection to schedules, ticketing, and reservations. Consider integrations with partnerships like Trip Advisor or Book Now for easier-to-manage listings and revenue opportunities.
  5. Easily designed into your existing brand, listings, and information. Connects to your existing CRM to manage content and track analytics for better visitor information and opportunities to learn more about preferences
What Decides If You Should Have An Itinerary? 
 
PROS
Pro#1 You Can Book Your Activities in Advance so They Aren’t Sold Out For You
“When you travel with an itinerary, it lets you book your hotels, shows, attractions, and tours in advance. Many of the best things to do will sell out in advance, and if you wait until you are in your destination to book your travel, you risk missing out on the best and most popular tours and hotels. We always recommend setting an itinerary and booking your travel in advance when traveling.” Matthew Meier, the Founder of MaxTour.
 
Pro#2 Time and Cost Saver
“Having a travel itinerary plan is always a good idea mainly because you have an early idea of places of interest in a certain area. This means you can cover the sights all at once without having to keep traveling back to the same district/neighborhood. This is a real-time and cost saver, especially if you only have limited time. This works best for big cities like New York, and Buenos Aires where multiple districts are considered tourist spots.” (Rax Suen, Founder of NomadsUnveiled)
 
Pro#3 Budgeting
“You can estimate your budget better. Having an itinerary means you already have an idea where to go. That also means you’ll have a rough estimate of the amount you’ll spend. This will allow you to budget accordingly.” Jack Miller 
 
CONS
 
Con#1 Stress in Keeping to Schedule
“However, a common mistake is letting the travel itinerary drive your whole trip. This can sometimes result in travel stress and a rush of touch-and-go at every place. In that case, you risk creating a tiresome experience where you don’t really get to enjoy or understand the local culture. A travel itinerary should always just be a rough plan in support of creating happy and immersive travel memories.” (Rax Suen, Founder of NomadsUnveiled)
 
Con#2 Keeps You Too Busy
“On the other hand, sometimes having a travel itinerary has you so busy that you need a vacation for your vacation! That is the main drawback I’ve experienced, and sometimes I run myself ragged trying to see and do everything I want to. I’ve learned over the years that I need to build in some rest time. I also take trips solely for relaxation where I don’t have to worry about keeping a schedule.” Tawnya Redding, elementary special education teacher and co-blogger at Money Saved is Money Earned.
 
Con#3 A Tedious Task
“Preparing one can be too time-consuming. Especially if you’re traveling to a place with numerous sceneries and destinations, planning an itinerary could be a tedious chore in itself. This could also add stress to your supposedly relaxing trip.”  Jack Miller
 
The Next-Generation Balance
The perfectly curated itinerary ensures you see all the sights you want, with the freedom to wander about, it’s easy to create, share and follow. To be well-traveled is a delicate balance between planning and going with the flow. True Omni helps travelers master this art.
 
Learn more about options and solutions that can help you implement the right tools for your centers and organization. If you need help moving your team to the next level in providing next-generation visitor experience, we’re just one click away. Email us at info@trueomni.com or call 888-334-6664. 

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