Trip planning as a Novel Travelist is a whole new ballgame!
There are three strategies:
1. Book forms Itinerary: I love Pride & Prejudice and want to feel like Elizabeth Bennett for a week.
2. Itinerary Forms Quest and Future Book: I'm taking a trip to Italy. What can I hunt for that will make the trip more interesting?
3. Quest Forms Itinerary and Novel: I'm obsessed with Scotch and want to write a fictional book that revolves around the history of the whisky industry.
The breakdown and how to plan your trip:
1. Book Forms Itinerary: Go through Pride & Prejudice and write down all the towns and great houses Elizabeth visits. Feel free to take inspiration from the movies, because at least you know those great homes exist. For example, a quick google search of Pemberly gives several websites referencing the locations used in the 1995 Colin Firth BBC series, Lyme Park for exteriors and Sudbury Hall for interiors. The same search also yielded the P and P tours website which might be helpful in booking a visit to those homes.
2. Itinerary Forms Quest and Future Book: Due to family "negotiations," or other reasons, a vacation itinerary is often handed to you. The easiest way to create a quest that will offer mental stimulation is to learn a little about your destination and then focus on a certain aspect. My favorite way to learn about a new destination are the DK travel guides. They're dense on pictures, maps and history. Give the book an hour and see if something piques your interest. Like in the DK guide to Rome, I read about a 15th century statue where for centuries people have posted notes of secret meetings (in code) and letters of government protests. The book spoke about 4 of these statues existing at different points in the city. I made it a quest to find the location of all four and post a note on each one. I was forced to speak with locals and heard a fabulous story of grandparents arranging an amorous rendezvous. What a great short story!
3. Quest Forms Itinerary and Novel: If you've become obsessed with a subject, or have written a novel where your protagonist travels to a far off location, then planning a "Research" vacation is great fun! First, buy a map of the country, city or area. Then mark all the locations you want to research. Like if you're Dan Brown and you've written the first draft of Angels and Demons and you want to see the 4 churches of Rome wherein you stage the book's murders. Then plan your days around those locations. Walk the path of your characters. If your hero is spying on Michelangelo, then research where Michelangelo lived and worked. What buildings, piazza's or infamous family homes might the great artist have passed by on a daily basis. Who might he have met, what art did he pass that might inspire him, or who/what might cause him to alter his route. Finding (and writing) the details will make your novel come alive.