How to Build Itineraries for Your Destination
We all know it — Content is King. And as a destination, it’s critical that you create new and exciting content to entice returning visitors and attract new ones. How about adding some itineraries?
In its simplest form, a travel itinerary is a list of things you plan to do during a traveling excursion. It’s a descriptive step-by-step guide of how a traveler should spend their time. As a bonus for your destination’s website, itineraries also tend to provide a natural SEO boost, and they often help your destination marketing organization improve its relationship with any partner businesses or attractions you feature.
These simple trip planner guides can be relatively quick to put together, while being super useful for travelers to your destination. After all, you’re the insider expert with all the hot information about the best spots in town. Itineraries are a practical, helpful way to share that info and build excitement about their next visit.
Visit Atascadero and Visit Concord are two of our destination marketing clients with strong examples on their respective websites dedicated to their various itineraries. These plan out different types of trips that visitors may want to follow. From Girls’ Weekend to Escape Outdoors Without the Crowds to Pets Welcome Here, there are endless different itinerary themes you can focus on depending on what’s special about your town and what its visitors love to do.
Now let’s build your own itinerary in three simple steps.
1. Pick a Theme
Like the examples above, you’ll want to pick a theme to center your itinerary around. Consider your audience, budget and the best attractions in your destination. Having specific themes can help attract visitors who know what they want or inspire visitors who are exploring their options.
More examples to check out:
Other common themes involve food, wine or another edible specialty in your area; tours or attractions that are based around accessibility; history, art and culture; or a major event that your community hosts. You can even do a trending theme that resonates with viral fads, like this Coastal Grandmother Road Trip from our client Visit Arroyo Grande. Get creative!
2. Choose Activities to Fill the Time
Whether the plan is for a week or just a weekend, find activities that will fit into the chosen timeframe.
Your itinerary should break down the trip into days. Each day, highlight what your visitor would do during the morning, mid-day, late afternoon and evening. Be sure to link to specific locations, businesses and activities to make it interactive, informative and fun to plan. Include photos of people enjoying these activities to help your visitors envision themselves in your destination, following your itinerary.
3. Put It All Together
Write in an active voice about your itinerary, show what they are and why they are must-do activities not to miss out on. Include the photos and links for more information that your audience might be interested in. The more quality images and helpful links, the better.
Example: From Day 1 of Girls’ Weekend in Concord, California
- Morning: Start your day in historic Todos Santos Plaza with some coffee from Peet’s and delicious breakfast sandwiches from House of Bagels. Grab a seat in the park, catch up with your friends and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Mid-day: Check in to one of Concord’s nine great hotels. The Concord Hilton tops the list for travelers looking for a touch of luxury with a lovely outdoor patio with a heated pool, spa and fire pit. Enjoy a cocktail and soak in the spa before you and your BFFs head out for a night on the town.
- Late Afternoon: Hit the happy hour at Residual Sugar Wine Bar and enjoy some stimulating conversation around their outdoor fire pit. If you’re hungry, share one of their charcuterie or cheese platters, or stroll over to Mikuni, a Japanese sushi bar for some of their fresh, delicious rolls.
- Evening: After dinner, finish the night off right at the Veranda Luxe Cinema and enjoy a kicked-back movie experience in their plush, reclining seats. Or, if the girls are up for some clubbing, hit the Nica Lounge or Agave Grill & Cantina for cocktails and late-night grooves.
Beyond the Webpage
Remember to leverage your itinerary content. It doesn’t have to be information on your website. It can go further. If resources are available, providing descriptive, interesting printed maps to distribute to local hotels is one way to put the itinerary out into the real world.
Reach out to businesses on the itinerary for cross-promotion on social media, or ask businesses to provide special discounts to people who follow your itinerary.
There are so many ways you can bring your marketing destination’s itineraries to life. Happy planning!