Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Planning Your Perfect Trip

Are you the type who wonders how all your friends look relaxed even when they're battling one of the toughest vacations out there? Not at of us take the easy route, and it can be really challenging to figure out how to do it. Not anymore. It's estimated that about 90% of the time, these effortless travelers utilize a special itinerary planner to keep things under control. Websites and computer programs both have the capacity to allow for fine-gauge travel planning tuning, and you'll be able to plan your trip guidelines, as well as share travel plans with friends and family so they can follow along as you zip around the globe. Curious about some of the best ways to plan that trip? MSNBC explores.

Creating the Ideal Vacation Experience
Here are just some of the ways to make that vacation a little more seamless.

*Know Your Tools
NileGuide will help travelers create a customized travel itinerary from a pre-set grouping of special locations listed on the site. If you're traveling beyond the beaten path, you might not want to use this program, simply because it won't allow you to add destinations not in their system. You can select from a list of hotels, restaurants, and tourist hot spots to develop your special itinerary if your stops are accommodated, though.

Prime Hotels on the Map
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney: Views abound at this luxury hotel location, which overlooks the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After a recent renovation, this spot is even cozier and more comfortable than before, and you'll get twice-daily housekeeping, plenty of amenities, warm and fuzzy towels, and a privately stocked fridge.

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze: Located in tourist-friendly Florence, this location offers views of the famous city along with a prime location when it comes to tourism spots. From museum exploration to shopping at some of the world's best fashion destinations, tourists will leave here filled with knowledge (and with full-to-the-brim shopping bags).

Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg: This hotel dates back to 1824 and has provided a luxurious and hospitable environment for royalty and celebrities alike. The Grand Hotel Europe has 301 rooms and suites, and has received a Five Diamond Award of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

The Scotsman Hotel: Located on Edinburgh's historical North Bridge, this hotel is one of the most stylish in the city. 56 bedrooms and 12 suites add to the intimate environment of this top tourist sleep spot, and there are even points of Scottish heritage worked into the décor.

Create a more complex online itinerary and plan the perfect trip with TripIt, which you can also email to friends and family. While there are optional add-ons that you can use with your cell phone, the original program is pretty impressive, with maps, directions, and weather added to your plans.

*Know Your Connections
Using a travel agency is key when you're planning the flight connection part of your trip, so be smart about transferring baggage, potential delays, and even the world's worst airports. If you need to get some rest on the plane at night, this could be a serious issue, so talk to the person who's arranging your flight and luxury hotel.

*Be Flexible
Know that no matter what you do to plan your itinerary (and no matter what program you choose), there are things that can affect your plans, and when you experience them. Try scheduling a free day into the plan to allow for both schedule adjustments and last-minute changes.

How do you plan to organize your itinerary?

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