When someone asks what you hope to do when you venture out to explore a new part of the world, nobody responds that they hope to spend their vacation time researching and planning excursions.
To get the most out of your trip you need to create a tentative vacation itinerary prior to departure. Travelers who are fortunate enough to know people in the region they are visiting are at a special advantage, as they have their own personal concierge who will be most helpful in generating the itinerary.
If you find yourself in the position of hosting houseguests, in addition to preparing your home for visitors and planning meals,
a gracious host will compile a tentative vacation itinerary.
The most useful itinerary will be created blending the guests’ desired experiences with local host knowledge. I had houseguests visit from overseas for ten days and found five key questions were instrumental in my ability to generate an itinerary that maximized our time together. The first three questions are for the guests, and the final two are for the host.
5 Key Questions for Creating a Vacation Itinerary for Houseguests:
- What is the travel timeline? When will your guests arrive and depart? Will they require transportation to and from the airport?
- Are there any scheduled events? Are your guests attending a wedding, a major league ball game, or other special event that must be planned around?
- What sorts of events are your guests hoping to experience? Do they hope to go sightseeing, relax on the beach, or hit the mall?
- What local events or attractions can be featured for the guests? Is there a festival? Are you within driving distance of a national park? Do some restaurants specialize in cuisine crafted from local ingredients? What can you show your guests to make the trip special and memorable?
- Are there special discounts or coupons you can take advantage of?
Compile your events into a tentative vacation itinerary
- Place the fixed events. (wedding, ball game, other special events)
- Review the coupons or discounts. The discounts will help you place the events into your timeline. For example, if the local science museum offers reduced pricing on Sunday, then you will schedule the visit the museum on Sunday. If the native dancing only occurs on Saturday, then Saturday is reserved.
- Plan time for your guests to relax and prepare for their journey home. They will need to pack and may need a nap at some point.
- Share the itinerary with your guests. Also share with any family or friends in town who may wish to join in on the fun.
* The most important aspect of this itinerary is that it must remain flexible. Keep in mind this is not your vacation. If your guests wish to omit one of the excursions, let them. I simply update the itinerary as we amend it and send an updated copy home with my guests so they can better recall where we went on each day of the visit.
I am including a sample vacation itinerary featuring some of the events I included for my guests.
Another important aspect of preparing for guests includes making your home inviting and welcoming, so that your guests feel celebrated. Read my post that includes steps for preparing your home for houseguests.
What factors do you take into consideration when planning events for houseguests? Share in the comments section below.
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