Sample Travel Itineraries (By Region)

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The great thing about traveling the world is the freedom it gives you to go where you want, when you want.

Another great thing about it is that two people could follow the same route visiting the same countries and have completely different experience.

Whether you want to travel, Europe, North America, Central America, South America, South-East Asia, Australia, New Zealand or Africa, I’ve come up with a selection of example travel itineraries that should help you to plan your route.

All travel itinerary examples have been designed in such a way so that doubling-back on yourself is minimized and that high transportation costs are avoided.

The good thing about these itineraries is that although each one only covers a specific area/region (i.e. South America or New Zealand) they can be easily combined together like pieces of a jigsaw if you fancy exploring multiple regions.

To aid this I’ve made sure that the start and end point of each route is a place where there’s an airport nearby (making it easy to fly to another continent).

Obviously I’ve left some places off of the sample itineraries (notably The Middle East and Central and Northern Asia), but what I’ve done is try and cover the most popular areas that travelers visit.

Western Europe Travel Itinerary

A great tour of the major highlights of Western Europe.

western europe travel itinerary

LONDON (England) > PARIS (France) > BRUSSELS (Belgium) > Amsterdam (The Netherlands) > BERLIN (Germany) > MUNICH > ZURICH (Switzerland) > MILAN (Italy) > VENICE > FLORENCE > ROME > GENOA > MONACO > MARSEILLE (France) > BARCELONA (Spain) > MALAGA > SEVILLA > MADRID

Estimated Completion Time: 2-3 months

One of the great things about traveling around Western Europe is that because the countries are all so close together (and because most countries neighbor several other countries) the route you take can be fairly spontaneous (as you’ll never be too far away from where you need to go next).

Saying that, however, it is good to have some idea of the general direction you want to take, and this route I’ve outlined will take you round a lot of the best highlights along the way.

What You’ll See Along the Way
After arriving in London and taking in the sights of England’s capital, your next stop should be Paris. Fortunately, you now take the channel tunnel train straight to Paris from London making getting there a breeze.

houses of parliament londonFrom there you can either head down through France and into Spain before circling back around, or you can head up through Belgium and the Netherlands first. For this itinerary, I’ve chosen the latter route.

After heading through the Belgian capital of Brussels you’ll arrive in Amsterdam; one of the most chilled out cities in the world (if a little sleazy).

From there your next stop should be Berlin, so make sure to take an overnight train as it’s a fair distance away). Despite whatever stereotypes you might have about Germany, Berlin is trendy and happening city (almost like the San Francisco of Germany).

If you’re a fan of beer, make sure to stop off in Munich for a glass or two before heading into Zurich in Switzerland (where you’ll discover amazing mountain ranges and chocolate that’s to die for).

Next stop is the fashion capital of the world – Milan. Take the time to go shopping there (if you can afford it) before heading into the floating city of Venice.

TuscanyAfter heading through the beautiful area of Tuscany and Florence you’ll arrive in Rome where you can visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon or just eat pizza and pasta until you drop.

On your way through France don’t forget to stop of in Monaco (the ‘land of the rich and famous’) and head down the French Riviera.

Barcelona is a unique city like no other, and a tour of the Camp Nou stadium is a sight not to be missed.

After that you’ve got the luxury of spending time on the beautiful beaches along the coast of Spain and the Costa Del Sol before arriving in Madrid; the cultural central of Spain.

Eastern Europe Travel Itinerary

A route taking you around the main highlights of Eestern Europe.

Eastern Europe travel itinerary
PRAGUE (CZECH REPUBLIC) > VIENNA (Austria) > ZAGREB (Croatia) > BUDAPEST (Hungary) > KRAKOW (Poland) > WARSAW > GOTEHNBURG (Sweden) > STOCKHOLM > HELSINKI (Finland) > TALLINN (Estonia) > RIGA > MINSK (Belarus) > KIEV (Ukraine) > ODESSA > CONSTANTA (Romania) > BUCHAREST > SOFIA (Bulgaria) > THESSALONIKI (Greece) > ATHENS

Minimum Completion Time: 2-3 months

What You’ll See Along the Way
As with most of these itineraries, once you’ve got a route planned out it doesn’t matter too much which end you start at (i.e. either Prague or Athens), but for the purpose of this itinerary we’ll be starting in Prague and ending in Athens.

StockholmPrague is filled with great history, art and architecture as well as crazy parties most nights (which explains why so many stag weekends are spent there).

Vienna is a romantic city built on classical music and great scenery (watch the film ‘Before Sunrise’ to get a feel for Vienna).

After taking a detour through Zagreb, you’ll end up in Budapest, Hungary, where you can relax and take one of the now infamous hot baths.

Krakow, Poland is a unique city in that it has kept its medieval style to the present day and is well worth exploring.

Heading over to Gothenburg (‘Gotenborg’) and Stockholm in Sweden you’ll be amongst some of the most beautiful people in the world (Stockholm was recently described by a friend of mine as “Heaven on earth”), as Sweden is known for its tall blondes.

AthensHeading south from Helsinki, Finland you’ll pass through a whole host of countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus) that are very new to tourists, making them feel untouched (not to mention inexpensive).

Kiev, Ukraine is undoubtedly another party town that attracts all kinds of people. Going on to Odessa after Kiev makes for a nice change of pace, as this relaxing beach town (along the Black Sea) will let you unwind.

Any fans of Dracula will love Romania and Bucharest, and you’ll really be able to feel that Transylvanian spirit when you get away from the cities.

Moving into Bulgaria, Sofia is yet another cheap party town that demands attention.

For some high culture, ancient history and philosophical debate, Athens is your final stop.

North America Travel Itinerary

This route takes you round a lot of the highlights of the United States whilst focusing on the South and both coasts.

north america travel itinerary

SEATTLE > PORTLAND > SACRAMENTO > SAN FRANCISCO > LOS ANGELES > LAS VEGAS > SAN DIEGO > PHOENIX > FLAGSTAFF > ALBUQUERQUE > SANTA FE > CARLSBAD > AUSTIN > HOUSTON > NEW ORLEANS > MEMPHIS > NASHVILLE > MONTGOMERY > ATLANTA > ORLANDO > MIAMI > SAVANNAH > CHARLESTON > RALEIGH > WASHINGTON D.C. > PHILADELPHIA > NEW YORK CITY > BOSTON

Minimum Completion Time: 2 months

The USA can roughly be divided up into four areas: the West coast, the East coast, the North and the South. Traveling around all four of these areas is definitely possible if you’re determined enough and if you have enough time to do so, but because the USA is so large it’s usually best to stick to traveling both coasts and then either the North or the South.

For this route, we’ll be starting on the West coast (in Seattle), traveling down the coast then across the South of America and up the East coast to Boston.

What You’ll See Along the Way
Starting off in Seattle there’s the Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square to visit. Heading down to Portland you’ll find an unpretentious city with a distinctly bohemian flavor, where you can relax in the various coffeehouses or head into Forest Park for the Wildwood Trail.

San FranciscoHeading down the coast to San Francisco you’ll find a unique fog-bound city built on slopes, tram lines and arty culture with some great shopping spots. Be sure to check out the winding Lombard Street.

From here (if possible) head down Highway 1 (i.e. the Pacific Coast Highway) into Los Angeles where you can do visit Hollywood, Rodeo Drive and do some star spotting.

Las Vegas is only a few hours away from LA and well worth stopping off for a few days.

Coming back through Los Angeles and down to San Diego, you’ll find yourself in a surprisingly relaxed and clean city (almost the opposite of LA). Take a walk through Balboa park or head out at night to the Gaslamp District.

From San Diego, head East to Phoenix and then up to Flagstaff to see the Grand Canyon.

Albuquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico provide you with a chance to soak up some Native American culture before heading on to Texas (for some ‘classic American’ culture).

Austin, Texas is a city of great (and varied styles of) music, so be sure to find a few bars and listen to a few bands.

New Orleans is city still recovering from natural disasters, but is well worth visiting for Mardi Gras and some of the best Cajun food you’ll find anywhere.

From here, head up to Memphis, Tennessee to find the home of Elvis Presley (Graceland) and the home of the blues.

Gil GannNashville is a city drenched in blues and country music (with many famous musicians coming out of there). The downtown area is full of bars that have bands playing all day and all night.

Head down to Atlanta to visit the Six Flags amusement park and to see the home of Coca-Cola.

From here you can head down to Florida, where you can visit Disney World (in Orlando) and the amazing beaches of Miami. Take a trip to Key West and go alligator spotting or party all night on South Beach.

In Savannah, Georgia you’ll find amazing houses with wide verandas, cobbled streets and horse-drawn carriages in one of America’s loveliest towns.

Washington D.C. is the home of the White House (and of course the President) and the Washington Monument.

New York City is a place that needs no introduction, but be sure to check out Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and the Rockerfeller Centre if you’re determined to ‘see the sights’.

Finishing off your trip in Boston, Massachusetts you’ll find a slightly European style city with great seafood to taste.

Central America Travel Itinerary

This route takes you right through the heart of Central and Latin America.

central america travel itinerary

BELIZE CITY (Belize) > ORANGE WALK > CAYE CAULKER > SAN IGNACIO > TIKAL (Guatemala) > PUERTO BARRIOS > GUATEMALA CITY > SAN SALVADOR (El Salvador) > COPAN (Honduras) > SAN PEDRO > TEGUCIGALPA > GRANADA (Nicaragua) > LIBERIA (Costa Rica) > MONTEVERDE > ARENAL > SAN JOSE > MANUEL ANTONIO > BOCAS DEL TORO (Panama) > PANAMA CITY

Minimum Completion Time: 5-8 Weeks

Traveling right through the heart of Central and Latin America is an unfashionable but rewarding travel experience. This route is much cheaper than traveling Australia or Europe, and hasn’t been tainted as much by tourism as South-East Asia.

What You’ll See Along the Way
After arriving in Belize City you can head north to Orange Walk to the historical site of the Lamanai archaeological reserve.

From there you can head to Caye Caulker; a small white sand Caribbean-style island where you can go sailing, fishing or diving in the world famous Blue Hole.

After seeing the Mayan Caracol archeological site, your next stop is Guatemala (via San Ignacio) where you can visit Tikal National Park.

Cloud ForestThe country of El Salvador as a whole is a great place to go hiking or surfing, so it’s definitely a place for the more adventurous.

Heading through Honduras you’ll find the magnificent ancient ruins at Copan as well as the Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve.

From the historical city of Granada, Nicaragua you can rest up and enjoy the great food on offer before moving onto Costa Rica – by far the most tourist-happy country in all of Central America.

Costa Rica is home to an active volcano at Arenal and the spectacular Cloud Forest of Monteverde.

Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica is a great place to relax as it hosts some stunning beaches.

While making your way to Panama City, make sure to stop off on the island of Bocas Del Toro where you can go surfing or kick back and unwind like the locals do.

Panama City is your last destination before flying out or heading into South America. Make sure to check out the Panama Canal – one of the busiest shipping ports in the world.

South America Travel Itinerary

An ambitious route around the entire continent. Not for the faint hearted!

south america travel itinerary

BOGATO (Columbia) > QUITO (Ecuador) > LIMA (Peru) > MACCHU PICHU > LAKE TITICACA > LA PAZ (Bolivia) > SANTIAGO (Chile) > PATAGONIA > BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) > IZGUAZO FALLS > MONTEVIDEO (Uruguay) > SAO PAOLO (Brazil) > RIO DE JANEIRO > BELEM > ANGEL FALLS (Venezuela) > CARACAS

Minimum Completion Time: 4-5 months

This route takes you on a giant loop all the way around South America. Of course, if you don’t have the time (or money) you can always choose to just travel a particular section of the route.

What You’ll See Along the Way
This route starts off in Bogato, Columbia where you can spend some time soaking up the rays on the northern coast.

JesusFrom there, head down into Quito, Ecuador, which is right next to the Galapagos Islands (famous for Charles Darwin) and well worth visiting if you fancy an interesting excursion off the coast.

The city of Lima in Peru hosts some fabulous architecture, and from there you can follow the Inca Trail and visit one of the wonders of the world – Macchu Pichu.

Lake Titicaca is the home to the world famous salt flats that have to be seen to be believed.

After heading all the way down through Chile you can turn around and start heading up the east coast through Argentina to Buenos Aires – one of the best cities in South America. If you’re a fan of salsa dancing and good food you might never want to leave.

From here, make sure to check out the Iguazo Falls – one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Notable beaches in Rio include Copacabana and Ipanema.

Amazon RiverMoving up Belem you’ll encounter the Amazon River (which is over 4,000 miles long) before moving into Venezuela for the final leg of your trip.

Venezuela is home to the world’s largest waterfall (Angel Falls), so be sure to visit that before ending your trip in Caracas.

This trip might sound short, so why is my estimated travel time of 4-5 months? South America is a huge continent meaning traveling from one place to another can take days (unless you’re flying everywhere), and because you’ll probably want to stop off at additional places to those that I’ve listed.

South-East Asia Travel Itinerary

This route contains the classic ‘loop’ around Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia that has become extremely popular in recent years, followed by a foray down Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

south east asia travel itinerary

BANGKOK (Thailand) > SUKKOTHAI > CHIANG MAI > VANG VIENG (Laos) > VIENTIANE > HANOI (Vietnam) > HUE > HOI AN > NHA TRANG > HO CHI MINH CITY (A.K.A. SAIGON) > PHNOM PENH (Cambodia) > SIEM REAP > BANGKOK (Thailand) > KOH PHANGAN (Thailand) > KO TAO > PHUKET > KO PHI PHI > KRABI > PENANG (Malaysia) > CAMERON HIGHLANDS > TAMAN NEGARA NATIONAL PARK > KUALA LUMPUR > SINGAPORE > JAKARTA (Indonesia) > YOGYAKARTA > BALI

Estimated Completion Time: 4 months

This route takes you on a tour around the highlights of South-East Asia, and can be done without having to fly (making costs transportation extremely cheap).

What You’ll See Along the Way
Starting in Bangkok, you’ll head up to Chiang Mai in the North, where you can do a bungee jump or ride an elephant through the jungle.

After this you can get the slow boat down the Mekong River (‘Apocalypse Now’ style) into Laos.

Full Moon PartyFrom there you’ll head into Vang Vieng for the infamous tubing experience (where you spend the day floating down a river in a tube, stopping off at bars along the way).

After that it’s up to the historic city of Vientiane before moving into Vietnam.

After visiting Hanoi, you’ll head down the Hoi Van Pass through Hue and into Hoi An, where you can get a fully tailored suit made for around $40.

Continuing down the coast to Nha Trang (where you’ll find perhaps the cheapest beer in all of South-East Asia) and into Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

Next stop Cambodia, where you’ll see the Angkor Wat and visit the Killing Fields (among other things).

After this you’ll return back to Bangkok, before heading south towards Koh Phangan where you’ll have the time of your life at a Full Moon Party, then go snorkeling in the beautiful bays of Ko Tao.

After this you can head West to Phuket (watch out for them ladyboys!) and then onto the paradise islands that make up Ko Phi Phi.

Taman-NegaraAfter doing some kayaking around the bays of Krabi, you’ll head down to Malaysia where you can visit the snake farm in Penang.

After passing through the Cameron Highlands (and stopping for a glass of tea or two) you can head to Taman Negara National Park where you can walk the amazing canopy walkway.

After this you’ll head down to Kuala Lumpur, where you’ll see two of the world’s tallest buildings – the Petronas Towers.

Experience the wonders of Singapore before heading over to Jakarta (Indonesia) and eventually Bali, where you can learn to surf in the sea warmed by the sun.

An Alternative Route
If you don’t fancy visiting Indonesia, you can cut your trip short at Singapore. Alternatively, you could start in Singapore, travel up through Malaysia to Bangkok, then complete ‘the loop’ through Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia before returning to Bangkok.

Australia Travel Itinerary

The Classic ‘U’ route straight through the heart of Australia and up the East coast to paradise!

australia travel itinerary

DARWIN > KATHERINE > ALICE SPRINGS > ADELAIDE > MELBOURNE > SYDNEY > BONDI BEACH > BYRON BAY > THE GOLD COAST > BRISBANE > FRASER ISLAND > WHITSUNDAYS > CAIRNS

Estimated Completion Time: 2 months

This is the popular ‘U’-shaped route that takes you through many of the highlights of Australia that most of the locals won’t ever see.

What You’ll See Along the Way
Starting out in Darwin you can visit the Kakadu National Park, where you’ll be able to see cave paintings by Aborigines and amazing landscapes.

Sydney Harbour BridgeAfter a short stop in Katherine, you can visit Alice Springs and an impressive rock formation known as ‘Uluru’.

Staying in Melbourne is often said to be like staying in a European city – with it’s fine culture and taste for all things good.

Next you can head down the Great Ocean Road (which needs to be seen to be believed) into Sydney, where you can see the infamous Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge.

Heading up the coast you’ll find Byron Bay (Australia’s hidden secret) where you can learn to surf or take some time to lay on the beach.

Heading up the Gold Coast will reveal yet more golden beaches and parties to be had.

Fraser Island is another amazing place to visit (and to camp at), and the Whitsundays is an excellent place to go sailing.

Lastly, heading into Cairns will allow you to dive in the Great Barrier Reef and visit the Daintree Rainforest.

Note that this route can also just as easily be done in reverse (where you start in Cairns and end at Darwin).

New Zealand Travel Itinerary

Taking a tour of both islands.

New Zealand travel itinerary

AUCKLAND > TAURANGA > ROTORUA > WAITOMO CAVES > TAUPO > WELLINGTON > NELSON > FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER > QUEENSTOWN > MILFORD SOUND > INVERCARGILL > DUNEDIN > CHRISTCHURCH > WELLINGTON

Minimum Completion Time: 1 month

This route includes a full tour of both the North and the South Islands of New Zealand.

What You’ll See Along the Way
From Auckland, you can head down to the bay of islands surrounding it before heading to the ‘glowworm caves’ (i.e. the Waitomo Caves) to the north.

New ZealandAfter this you can make your way back down the country to Wellington (the capital) on the south of the north island.

After taking the ferry across to the south island and arriving in Nelson you can south to visit the amazing Franz Josef Glacier, before then moving onto Queenstown (known as the ‘adventure capital’).

From Queenstown you can head to the southern tip (one of the southern-most points in the world).

From here you’ll make your way back up the east side of the island through Dunedin and Christchurch and back into Nelson.

It might sound like there’s not a lot to see in New Zealand (given the lack of ‘sights’ I’ve described here), but the natural landscape of the county is one of the most amazing things you’ll ever see (just think of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films that were shot there).

Africa Travel Itinerary

Cairo to Cape Town – One of the most iconic and rewarding travel routes of all. Few routes can be described as ‘classic’, but this certainly is one of them, and is THE travel route through Africa.

Africa travel itinerary

CAIRO (Egypt) > ALEXANDRIA > CAIRO > ASWAN (flying)> ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia) > NAIROBI (Kenya) > LAKE VICTORIA (Uganda) > NAIROBI (Kenya) > ARUSHA (Tanzania) > SERENGETI > MOUNT KILIMANJARO > ARUSHA > DAR ES SALAAM > ZANZIBAR > LUSAKA (Zambia) > VICTORIA FALLS (Zimbabwe) > CAPRIVI STRIP > GWETA (Botswana) > JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) > KRUGAR NATIONAL PARK > MAPUTO (Mozambique) > SWAZILAND > DURBAN (South Africa) > CAPE TOWN (South Africa)

Estimated Completion Time: 3 months

Cairo to Cape Town is a classic travel route that attracts the travel-hardened and the most adventurous.

You’ll travel the entire length of Africa; from Egypt in the North-East to the very tip of South Africa in the South, experiencing mountain ranges, dense jungles, tropical islands and safaris into the wild as you go.

What You’ll See Along the Way
Starting in Egypt, you’ll visit the Pyramids, the Valley of the Kings and you’ll cruise down the Nile River in a boat.

Serengeti SunsetAfter a quick flight to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia you’ll head down into Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda where you’ll go on safari, climb Mount Kilimanjaro and visit Lake Victoria.

After visiting Zanzibar (off the coast of Tanzania) you’ll head down into Zambia and then Zimbabwe, where you’ll see the amazing Victoria Falls.

After crossing the Caprivi Strip you’ll arrive in Botswana where you’ll sail down the Okavango River.

Next up is sprawling metropolis of Johannesburg before visiting the Krugar National Park.

After passing through Mozambique and the mountainous wonder of Swaziland you’ll arrive in Durban, South Africa where you can take some time to chill out before arriving in your final destination – Cape Town.

If you’re interesting in doing a round the world (RTW) trip, check out this post containing round the world itinerary ideas.


Related posts:

  1. Round the World Itinerary Ideas – A Look at 5 Great RTW Itineraries




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