You want your actual trip to be just as exciting and run just as smoothly as its itinerary. These tips will help you plan out every traveler’s dream getaway.

Sometimes you will get lucky and come across an itinerary that just sings to you on paper. It’s so well put together it makes your mouth water. You know you can sell this trip in a flash. But will it operate easily? Not always.  So here are ten tips to keep in mind when you’re building your itinerary.

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1. Plan Early

For major tours, whether they are international or domestic, you will need at least a year’s time to appropriately plan out your trip. Plan early to make sure you have everything in place. However, if you buy a trip off the shelf from a tour operator, you can get away with a little less lead time.

2. Open and End With a Bang

The trip should begin and end on a high note. When planning that itinerary, be sure to include a welcome party and a farewell party. Preferably a fancy dinner.

3. Include Variety

Don’t plan the same activities day-in and day-out. Your group will get as bored as you will. Plan for a cathedral visit here, a museum tour there, etc. Changing activities, interests and pace makes for a much more interesting trip.

4. Find a Fest

Especially for trips lasting a week or longer, include some festivity in the middle of the itinerary. Travelers can bog down midway through the trip, and may need a pick-me-up to keep them excited.

5. Include a “Private” Activity

Book something the general public doesn’t get access to. Consider a lecture from a local university, a behind-the-scenes tour of a theater or possibly entrance to a private club. Get creative with this one.

6. Schedule Time for Rest

Remember the limits of your group, and don’t push them past it. Keep a balance in your itinerary. If you’re planning a rigorous morning, allow for an easy afternoon.

7. Vary Transportation Modes

While traveling by motorcoach is easy and affordable, it can be boring. Find a short rail or waterway segment of transportation to break up the monotony of the road.

8. Plan Friendship-Building Activities

These activities don’t have to be in-depth to be fun. On the bus, assign seats to mix up couples and break up possible cliques. Many folks look to their trip as a source of friendship, so help promote a friendly atmosphere.

9. Find the Best Tour Leader

Don’t assume it’s always going to be one of your assistants or you. Find the best fit for the trip. It may not always be the obvious choice.

10. Work with the Best Tour Operator

They will not always be the cheapest or the one you happened to find on the Internet. You want an operator that’s been around for a while and has an established reputation. Good indicators of a reputable tour operator are memberships in travel associations like the United Stated Tour Operators Association (USTOA) or the National Tour Association (NTA).

These 10 tips, along with a good marketing campaign and a detailed scheduling process will help produce a successful trip.

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