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Mission Control / Travel

4 Ways to Rethink the Traditional Travel Itinerary

You have plenty of weekend guides. Now, it’s time to get imaginative with your city’s travel itineraries.

Plastic flamingos wearing giant sunglasses.

Travel itineraries aren’t hard assignments for DMOs — in fact, they’re usually fun to write and even more fun to read. However, the main attractions, obvious restaurants and busy shopping areas probably been mentioned. Go beyond the usual visitor schedule by targeting progressive traveler types, bumping up the visual aids and more.

Here’s how to rethink the traditional travel itinerary.

1. Go Beyond Traditional Traveler Types

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s time to think beyond families and couples. Staple visitor types can easily sneak beyond your CVB’s marketing reach. Your DMO should tailor city itineraries to traveler types like the interactive foodie (cooking classes and edible tours in addition to restaurants suggestions), female travelers (this demographic is a large presence and are often the primary travel decision-makers), and the reward seeker (think passport programs and cancellation stamps).

2. Get More Visual with Your Travel Guides

Yes, enticing copy is obviously needed to endorse your specific region’s many attractions, but bold imagery in travel guides really helps get the job done.

Are the sunsets absolutely stunning? Do any restaurants have beautifully lush and shady patio sections? Are we talking warm sandy shores, vibrant fall colors or a colorful desert in bloom? How blue are your pools or skies? How charming are your boutiques? Even a folksy illustration can carry the draws of your city’s unique flavor to the end zone. Check out some of Design Sponge’s city guides as a starting off point.

3. Understand Your City’s Transportation Type

Travel starts first and foremost with one thing: transportation. Are visitors coming by plane, road-tripping into town, taking a train or even coming into port?

With this information you can lay a foundation for a unique travel itinerary. If travelers are coming to most likely eat and drink, maybe hit a couple of museums, you can list all the pubs, eateries and cultural attractions worth visiting along a public rail system. Airports are bringing in better and better restaurants and airport sites of famous bars and eateries — something you should definitely mention to your foodie travelers. And for those on a road trip, it’s OK to mention the stunning park, scenic overlook or rewarding hiking trail that’s not too far out of town.

And with bike-share programs on the rise, don’t forget the bicycle as another form of transportation and tourism for possible city guides.

4. Promote Super-Specific Regional Attributes

You’ve likely already promoted to the masses with all-encompassing guides. Now, highlight your city’s fringe, super-niche attractions. After all, this is what sets your destination apart, and that Arizona taco trail or Palm Springs’ vintage shopping list will appeal to more potential visitors than you think.

Don’t be afraid to drill down to your region’s unique draws a la Journey Into the Ritz-Carlton by telling stories similar to Inside Lake Tahoe’s Summer Music Scene and Enchanting Christmas Markets In Vienna. You can even go after two needs for incoming visitors like Charlotte’s Got A Lot’s guide to Where to Drink Beer with Your Dog in Charlotte.

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