If you arrange your own travel plans, a Travel Itinerary is a key component of staying organized and being able to maximize your vacation time. Below is my itinerary for an upcoming trip to the Pacific Northwest. I like to research most details ahead of time, so I don’t use valuable vacation time.
You can determine how many sights and/or activities you can squeeze in comfortably.
I use Bing Maps and plan out my driving route. My driving time is minimized because I plan my order of activities based on the driving route. Sometimes I use it to plan my walking route if I need to see a lot in one day.
For ideas, I usually look at Frommer’s suggested itineraries and Trip Advisor, and talk to the owner of the VRBO or friends that have been there. I also Google “itinerary” for the area and look at other people’s blogs for inspiration. For this trip, we won’t be visiting Victoria, B.C. or Olympic Nat’l Park. It’s difficult to decide which places to see because they’re all wonderful!
Spontaneity is nice, that’s why I always leave 1 or 2 days open. Some people might prefer to plan a lot less and take it day by day, but I feel when you’re spending a lot of money, you should get to see and do as much as you can.
You’ll notice on my itinerary that we take the light rail from the airport to a car rental place downtown. You can save hundreds of dollars by not renting the car from the airport…just another tip!
6:30 am – Leave house
9:20am – Delta Flight leaves
11:10am – Arrive Seattle
(Take light rail 10 stops (36 mins) to University St. Station
BAY A (After Pioneer Square stop ) then walk to 6th street –
Hilton to p/u rental car)
Stop at grocery – arrive approx. 2:00pm
park next to gate on right at unit
Address of unit: ___________________________
5:00pm – Dinner at Palisade – 1st seating $29pp
7:00am – Drive to AMGEN Co. – Walk 40 min. to Pike Place Market – Walk to Olympic Sculpture Park – then walk to Space Needle – take monorail to Seattle Center – take Monorail back to Needle – Walk to Edgewater Hotel for Happy Hr.
Walk to Discovery Park
7am – leave condo – drive loop around Mt. Rainier – Hike Comet Falls (5 miles – 3 ½ hrs.) From Tacoma, drive east on State Route 7 to Elbe, then veer left onto SR 706 to enter the park at the Nisqually Entrance near Ashford. Continue east 10 miles to the parking area on the left (north) side of the road, found just before the road passes over Christine Falls bridge. (TAKE packed lunch)
6:00am – Drive 1 ½ hrs. to Anacortes
9:00am – Board ferry
10:00am – Arrive San Juan Islands
Drop luggage at hotel – explore Friday Harbor / eat lunch / bicycle
Have lunch at Market Chef or Duck Soup Inn
3pm-6pm Whale watching tour with Western Prince
OVERNIGHT: SAN JUAN ISLAND
(They have indoor pool/sauna/hot tub/free bikes)
9:00am – Take ferry from San Juan
10:00am – Arrive Anacortes
Drive 2 hrs. to Vancouver – arrive 1pm (with customs wait) – Eat lunch
Keep driving to Squamish towards Whistler…then drive back
8am – HAVE breakfast with Mahara & Ken
Explore Granville Island – go to the sandbar restaurant under
The Granville bridge (go to The Lobster Man booth also)
CycleVancouver – 1-5:30
Cont’l Brft Included
10:00am – Drive 2.75 hrs. to Seattle (go thru Customs)
2pm - Arrive back at condo
9:00am – Leave rental
12:45pm – Flight leaves
8:05pm – Arrives home
Grocery list: juice; bananas (6); fruit; muffins, eggs; butter & jam; coffee; cream; chips; beer; wine; water; trail mix; lunchmeat/bread/cheese/mayo
$1150 for 9 nights – $75 cleaning fee (tax included) = $1225
Vancouver lodging (includes parking 2 nights) = $ 320
San Juan Island lodging = $ 216
Whale Watching tour = $ 200
Ferry Fee to San Juan Islands for 2 pp round trip = $ 23
Nat’l Park Entrance Fee = $ 15
Rental Car = $432
Gas (approx.) = $ 100
Light Rail round trip for 2 = $ 12
Guided Bicycle tour Vancouver for 2 = $ 170
Parking Lot fee at Anacortes for 2 days = $ 20
Restaurants (approximate) = $300
Grocery (approximate) = $100