Guide To Writing A Detailed Schengen Visa Travel Itinerary
What Is A Schengen Visa Day-To-Day Travel Itinerary?
A “Schengen Visa Day-To-Day Travel Itinerary” is a schedule that contains details about your travel plans, such as your travel dates, flight and hotel booking/reservation, destinations you plan to visit at specified times, and means of transportation to move between those destinations.
For some Embassies/Consulates, this document is mandatory while others consider it optional and request only the travel ticket and hotel reservation/booking.
However, we recommend you submit it even if the Embassy/Consulate where you are applying to get your Visa does not request it specifically.
Submitting it is important because it can speed up your Visa processing times and increase your chance of approval.
Flight Itinerary Vs. Travel Itinerary For Visa Application – Is there Any Difference?
A Schengen Visa travel itinerary is not an actual flight ticket booking or hotel booking that you spend money for, but a detailed plan of your trip to the Schengen Area.
It does not require any money in advance. It should include details regarding your flights and accommodation as well as your day-to-day activities.
The Embassies/Consulates allow you to submit flight reservations and hotel reservations which are not the same as flight and hotel bookings – and the “travel itinerary” is where you list those reservations and other activities.
Below you will find the differences between “reservations” and “bookings”:
● Flight & Hotel Reservations
When you reserve your round trip travel tickets or hotel room it means that all of your information will be stored in the system of an airline company or on the website of a hotel (such as your full name and the details of your passport).
The airline tickets or the hotel rooms are being held for you for a specific period of time without you actually paying their full price.
Please note that your airline ticket reservation cannot be a one-way ticket. The Visa officers also request a return ticket as proof of your intentions to return to your home country.
Typically, the hold option for an air ticket allows you to hold a flight for 7 days.
The colloquial term used to describe a Visa ticket reservation is “dummy ticket”. However, this doesn’t mean, as the name suggests, that they are “fake tickets” but, instead that they are a reservation where you don’t need to make the payment in advance.
For a few airlines (and most hotels) the reservation is completely free of charge. Other airlines can charge you a certain percentage of the fixed ticket for your flight confirmation.
However, making a reservation doesn’t mean you are going to pay the whole price of the plane ticket or the hotel room.
If you need assistance with your flight and hotel reservations, please do not hesitate to contact our team, as we would be more than glad to help you out.
● Flight & Hotel Bookings
The flight booking is the confirmed flight ticket that you actually pay for, and that most of the time cannot be refunded (there are only a few airlines that offer refundable plane tickets).
The same rule can be applied for hotels – Once you pay, the amount can be refundable or not, depending on the hotels’ policy.
But the main difference between an airline and a hotel is that most hotels allow you to reserve a room without paying (only a few hotels might ask you to pay in advance).
No Schengen Embassy/Consulate requires you to get a booked flight or hotel room and pay in advance prior to getting an approved Visa (you must do this only if you are applying from the United Kingdom), as they cannot guarantee your Schengen Visa approval.
If you pay for the flight and the accommodation and your Schengen Visa gets rejected you may lose a large amount of money. However, in case of Visa denial, a few airlines may agree to fully reimburse you.
Therefore, Embassies and Consulates allow you to submit only flight and hotel reservations, which means you do not need to pay 100% upfront (they allow you to book a flight/hotel room and pay in advance, but they did not recommend it).
You can populate the details within your trip itinerary using only flight and hotel reservations as well.
To sum up, the Schengen Visa detailed day-to-day travel itinerary doesn’t include only your flight and hotel itinerary details but also the daily activities that you plan during your journey within the Schengen Area (even if on some Internet websites you may find that the Schengen Visa travel itinerary is the same as a flight itinerary).
Important : If you’re planning to stay at a friend or relative’s house and not at a hotel during your trip, you can simply add in your travel itinerary their home address instead of a hotel’s address.
If you are part of a tour or cruise, make sure you ask your travel agency or local travel agent to provide you with a letter indicating the cities and countries you are planning on visiting.
We also suggest that you ask them to provide you with an official letter on a letter headed paper containing the logo of the tourism agency. The letter must be addressed to the Embassy/Consulate where you are submitting your documents.
The Importance Of A Schengen Visa Day-To-Day Travel Itinerary
You may ask yourself why it is so important that the Embassy/Consulate officers check your flight itinerary and the daily activities you plan during your trip. Below you will find the answers:
● It provides strong evidence that you are who you say you are
Your Visa travel itinerary provides additional evidence that you are a tourist who wants to visit the top-rated attractions of the cities located in the countries within the Schengen Area.
Remember that their main purpose is to ensure that Visa applicants intend to return back to their countries of residence.
Therefore, if you really are a tourist, it means that you have no intention to stay illegally in the Schengen Area.
● It helps the Embassy/Consulate officers find more consistency between all the documents you submit
The Embassy/Consulate officers will check your itinerary to see if the flight dates you mentioned match the dates on your other documents (e.g., the dates on your flight reservations, the leave dates written on your No Objection (NOC) Letter from your employer or your school, etc).
Remember that the Embassy/Consulate officers are trained to spot any kind of irregularity.
Therefore, you can also expect them to check if the money on your account is enough for all of the activities you included in your plan.
Please do remember that submitting your bank statements for the last 6 months is mandatory, meaning that they will know exactly how much money you can afford to spend within the Schengen Area.
How To Create A Schengen Visa Day-To-Day Travel Itinerary
Once you’ve decided on the time frame of your trip and what country or countries you intend to visit you can create your travel itinerary.
To create a detailed day-to-day itinerary for your Visa application, follow the steps below:
1. Make all flight reservations
You can learn more about making a flight reservation and getting a flight ticket without paying 100% upfront by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can purchase your flight ticket for Visa with free cancellation within 24 hours of booking.
Flight reservations are not only important for your day-to-day travel itinerary, but they are also a mandatory document, meaning that you must submit them together with your travel itinerary.
2. Make all hotel reservations
It might be easier for you to reserve a hotel room than to reserve a flight ticket because most hotels will not ask you to pay in advance.
You can click here to learn more about reserving a hotel room for your Visa application.
Just like in the case of your flight tickets, hotel reservations are important not only for your day-to-day itinerary but also as a separate document that you must submit.
3. Decide your daily activities during your journey/trip within the Schengen Area
Use a guidebook or search on the Internet and make a list of all the places and tourist attractions you plan on visiting during your trip to the Schengen Area.
Gather all the information you may need such as ticket prices (for example, ticket prices for museums and art galleries) and the approximate number of hours you might take visiting them.
You can create a draft of your Schengen Visa trip itinerary by writing on paper at the beginning, as you might change ideas a few times and then transfer it to the computer once you have finished.
4. Download a travel itinerary template for your Schengen Visa application and start filling it
You can download our template and start creating your day-to-day travel itinerary (for more details, please contact us).
Or, you can download a travel itinerary template from any of the websites where it is available.
However, please note that most websites will provide you with a “sample flight itinerary” that includes just a few details about your round-trip flight itinerary for Visa (e.g., flight number, airports, etc.).
Once you make all of your flight and hotel reservations and you also decide on each of your day-to-day activities, you can start filling the template and submit together with all the rest of your documents to the Embassy/Consulate.
Important: Visas Association can provide you with a full package including flight and hotel reservations and travel medical insurance.
However, details about your travel insurance are not requested for your day-to-day travel itinerary when applying for your Visa (even though your Visa insurance is a highly important document for your application).
For further details about the trip reservation package we can provide you with, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Schengen Visa Travel Itinerary
Below you will find a list of common mistakes that you must avoid when submitting your Schengen Visa travel itinerary to the Embassy/Consulate:
● Using a generator to create dummy tickets
Some websites allow you to create fake flight tickets.
Be careful – if you search on Google you might find that “dummy tickets” are allowed to be submitted for the Schengen Visa application. But despite the name “dummy”, this expression usually refers to the flight tickets you reserve without paying on the official websites of the airline companies.
Therefore, if by “dummy tickets” you understand the flight reservations that airlines allow you to make – then yes, you are allowed to use dummy tickets for your Schengen Visa application.
But we do not encourage you to submit “fake dummy tickets” created with an online air ticket booking generator, as they are not able to be verified by the Embassy/Consulate.
Also, do not create your day-to-day travel itinerary using “fake dummy tickets”.
● Getting confused between travel itinerary and flight itinerary
The flight itinerary includes details about the airport(s), flight name, travel dates, etc. without mentioning information about your day-to-day activities or your accommodation.
Submitting a flight itinerary instead of a travel itinerary will not necessarily cost you the approval of your Schengen Visa but does not meet the requirement of a day-to-day travel itinerary.
You should not take the risk of not providing the day-to-day itinerary, especially for the little effort involved in building it.
● The activities you planned for a specific day require a lot more money than the amount you have in your account
The price required to enter some of the most famous museums in Europe can be quite expensive.
If you plan to visit too many tourist attractions in just one day and you have the minimum amount required for your Schengen Visa application in your bank account, this can raise some suspicion to the Embassy/Consulate officers (the amount depends on the country you visit but you shouldn’t have less than 60 EUR a day – for further details, please check out our Financial Means Test).
● Lack of consistency between the details you provided in your travel itinerary
If you plan on travelling to more countries and you book a 5-stars hotel in Paris and a very cheap hostel or bed & breakfast in Spain (that might not even have a website), this could raise suspicions too.
Of course, this does not mean that you must book only 2-star hotels (or 3-star, 4-star, etc.) in each location you visit. But it is important for you to provide consistent information regarding your itinerary.
Also, the details in your travel itinerary must match the answers you give to the Embassy officers during the Visa interview.
● The information on your travel itinerary does not match the one on your other documents
You should double-check all of your documents before submitting them.
You are not allowed to make mistakes and provide documents that contain different information. The dates on your travel itinerary must match the dates on your reservations and all the rest of the documents.