Travel habits I need to stop, start and continue

Have you ever been to one of those workshops, usually in a workplace that’s undergoing some sort of change or transformation programme, where all the attendees are asked to consider what work duties, processes or tasks they’re going to stop, start and continue to make the transformation a success?

I have. I’ve been on both sides of the flip chart and it’s not much fun either way. However, the last time I went through this exercise it made me think that I could totally adapt this to travel habits. Because a bit of navel gazing is always good fun, right? So, having brainstormed with some brown paper and post-its (consulting in joke, sorry) I’ve come up with the following…

Travel habits I need to stop

Feeling stressed about how to blog about the places I visit. Anyone else get this or is it just me?

Case in point, that time when we went to Australia at the end of 2014. I didn’t write about it because I was mostly hanging out with family, but we did do other things from time to time. Like go paddling. I just had no idea how to begin to blog about it.

Overplanning. It makes my husband mad and it turns me into some sort of whirling dervish maniac yelling JUST ONE MORE *insert ‘must-do’ activity* IT’S NOT FAR AWAY I PROMISE and then we come home exhausted. Also, it doesn’t give us room to take advantage of those lovely spontaneous things that happen when you travel.

Underplanning. We went to Barcelona this past July, and I still haven’t posted about it because honestly it was quite a stressful trip. Beautiful, but stressful. Neither of us had had time to plan the trip properly, so we ended up faffing around with pointless things like car parking arrangements which should have been done (or at least thought through) in advance. Oh and that was the trip I booked us into two hotels for the same night… Not my finest moment. Basically, there’s no point going somewhere if you can’t enjoy it properly because you’ve failed to arrange the basics.

Panic shopping a week before we leave because I’ve convinced myself that I have absolutely nothing to wear. This way madness lies. Of course I have something to wear, and if I end up trawling around my destination in some horribly unfashionable get up, who actually cares? It’s not like I’m normally particularly trendy so what’s the issue?

Travel habits I need to start

Taking more videos or sound clips of our destinations. I found some very short, very rubbish video clips that I’d taken in the back of a tuk-tuk in Siem Reap and it all came back to me. Then I found clips of me playing with my niece. Watching those clips made me so happy. I can’t understand why I don’t take more – especially of my family and friends.

Even sound recordings can be great souvenirs. S recorded the sea organ in Zadar and on a whim uploaded it to Soundcloud. Not only can I listen to it’s oddly comforting tones any time I want, but others can, too. To date, it’s been listened to over 2 million times. Whaaa?

Taking more photos of S and I on our travels. You can download almost infinite scenic holiday-type shots via a quick google, but photos of you there are so much more meaningful. Also I need to work on looking less awkward in photos. See #1 up there…

Using social media to find great gluten free spots. Usually I just use t’google, but I need to remember that Twitter exists and has a fantastic gluten free community on it. People give great recommendations if you tweet a request, and I need to remember to do that more often. Also I should search Instagram for the relevant hashtags, and Pinterest probably has something for me as well. I have no idea, I never use it – and I need to start doing that.

Using travel apps properly. There are so many and I tend to use each one a bit – so far I’ve never found one really excellent trip planning app. Previously I’ve used Sygic Travel which is great for the planning what to do and see bit but not so great for the storing reservations bit. I’ve just downloaded TripIt which does the reservations bit well and Google Trips which does both (although how well I don’t know) so we’ll see how I go.

Travel habits I need to continue

Planning using spreadsheets. I love spreadsheets, they make me happy and I can’t properly plan and budget a trip without one.

Finding all the best gluten free places to eat. Travel through food is very important to me, as is staying safe and well whilst abroad so this definitely needs to continue. I still dream about these gluten free beauties in Paris

Putting my camera down and enjoying the moment.

Do you have any habits you’d like to stop, start or continue? Let’s do some group feedback Let me know in a comment or a post of your own…




  1. 19th December 2016 / 19:32

    I totally agree with all the STOP ones!! I do all of those!

    I need to stop trying to cram so much in… and also stop travelling and start saving or we won’t do a tenth of what I want to do on our way to Australia next summer (ie every country in SE Asia – well Thailand Malaysia Vietnam Cambodia Singapore China Hong Kong Bali etc etc – we can’t but I can dream!!!)

  2. 19th December 2016 / 21:24

    I’m soo with you with all of these (except the gluten free stuff lol obviously). I definitely sometimes worry about how bloggable (wut?) a trip is going to be, and that is a stress I don’t need on holiday lol. I do try also to spark a good balance between taking enough photos of sights and me and the boyfriend, but also of just appreciating the moment 🙂

  3. 19th December 2016 / 22:48

    I tend to go a bit mad before almost every trip so the habit I need to quit is pre travel anxiety. Packing lists helps, but even after all the traveling I’ve done I still get anxious. The pre trip shopping thing isn’t usually an issue for me. The trip itself doesn’t generally make me feel like I need to run out and get things. The issue is that if I truly do need to shop for one or two things I start overthinking and feel like I need to buy more and end up running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I agree with the video clip bit. I ended up saving some snaps from snap chat on our last trip because I really do forget about that option.

  4. Jen
    20th December 2016 / 00:00

    I love the idea of taking more videos when traveling, photos are great and all but videos are even better.

  5. 20th December 2016 / 00:44

    Oh I am such a panic shopper! I did this this past weekend because we’re going to the snow over christmas and I was panicking that I didn’t have enough to wear!!!

  6. 20th December 2016 / 10:13

    I don’t think yet about blogging when I’m actually on the trip even though I’ve had this little travel blog of mine for over a year now:) I do get the overplanning and underplanning points! I’ve done both too!

  7. 20th December 2016 / 13:14

    oh i like these! i know i have some bad habits (like underplanning – i leave it to whomever i’m traveling with bc i hate planning). and i need to just adult and do it haha. i was forced to when traveling alone for austin. i hate when i buy stuff before i leave too. even like travel bathroom stuff and i’m like DO i really need this? no. ha. good list!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  8. 20th December 2016 / 14:13

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that feels pressure to immediately blog about recent trips. I still have quite a few trips that haven’t been able to blog about, and it just feels like I’m writing too slow or something. And yes to using spreadsheets to plan travel! It’s my favorite way to see everything organized and to make sure I’m not leaving something out or that our timing is good.

  9. 20th December 2016 / 22:10

    Photos of me or my family on the vacation end up being a lot more important to me than photos of just the place itself–other people could do that better, take scenic photos, but I want to see the faces of my loved ones at this point in our history!
    I have never used a spreadsheet…for anything…let alone planning a vacation. Although I typically do all the planning. Usually I write down all of the info in a draft email on gmail and send it to Angel. Because my computer can’t print things and doesn’t have Microsoft Office. Poor, poor computer…
    I want to try to remember to take videos on our travels a little more, too. My family was big into video recording when we were small, we had all of these VHS tapes of family videos–and I’ve realized that the few, silly videos I have of Angel and I from years ago, like our honeymoon, or while we were out sledding with our cat in the winter (yep, with our cat) are precious to me now. It doesn’t have to be a great quality video to enjoy the memories of real life it brings back!

  10. 21st December 2016 / 02:24

    I think I’m the opposite.. I need to plan more. I hate planning and researching, so I always show up to a new place totally unprepared! But yes, I no longer worry about blogging about everywhere I go and just try to enjoy the moments more. And I hope to have more pictures of me in them too!! When I was traveling with D, I realized that there are hardly any photos of me (or of us) because he didn’t like taking pictures. But I really do love the photos where I’m in them more, so I want to do more of that, even if it means I have to ask people to take my picture!

  11. 21st December 2016 / 11:41

    So many thoughts from this post.

    1. I’m in the midst of simultaneously overplanning and under planning a trip. We are going to Hawaii in February and I have everything scheduled. Like crazy. But, before that, we are going to Montreal/Quebec City the day after Christmas. I literally JUST booked the flight to NYC and the Amtrak train from NYC to Montreal yesterday. And I have two more hotels to book before we go. #STRESS

    2. I’m also wanting to shoot more videos from where I’ve been. I just received a GoPro, so that should make it easier, right? The video from this blog post inspired that –

    3. TripIt! Yay! It’s the only app currently keeping me sane. I almost booked one hotel for the same night as another, and TripIt set me straight. Then, two weekends ago we were headed for a weekend away when I decided to check TripIt; turns out we were headed to our hotel a week early (no flights, just driving). Oops. 😧 As for apps to use that help you plan? I’m currently using VisitACity and it’s ok. You could try it and see what you think? You do have to input your reservation info though, so that’s not so great. I did try Google Trips, but I didn’t like it. :-/ If you try anything particularly great in the near future, I’d love to know about it!.

    and 4. Spreadsheets. I actually was thinking about analyzing my travel to an even greater degree than I currently do. I thought it might make blogging about it easier? So I’m right there with you! Bring on the spreadsheets!

    I hope you are able to pull off all of your travel goals in the new year. But do be sure to go easy on yourself since you are also moving and becoming an expat. 🙂

  12. 26th December 2016 / 18:45

    This is such a great, reflective post! I really enjoyed reading it as it’s always interesting to get to learn a bit more about how others travel, and it made me think about my own travel tendencies too.
    I also agree that not everything has to be blogged about. Sometimes, I find that I just have a random assortment of photos and not really anything to write about that would fit with them all. It’s great to embrace the moment!

    Happy 2017 😀

  13. 28th December 2016 / 20:43

    seriously yes! i always stress about how to blog about australia, because to so many people they are like omg australia, and i’m like… it’s home/family. do you really want to see my local shops or the mall? it looks like your mall. lol. and yes to overplanning. i am trying so hard to stop but all the things want to be planned!
    speaking of planning, i couldn’t without spreadsheets. they are my life blood.
    i need to take more videos. i have taken like 2 or 3 of previous holidays and they are my absolute favourite to look back on.

  14. 8th January 2017 / 02:27

    I love this post!! I might have to steal this idea. 🙂 I’m with you on the underplanning – I had never realized how much planning I do until I got to China and had not really done ANY planning. Granted, I was there for work so it wasn’t the same type of thing, but I was so overwhelmed by my lack of planning. It really put a damper on the trip.

    I also need to stop stressing about how I blog trips. One of the things I did on the last trip was take a notebook and write extensive notes when we finished something (or on the train). I’m hoping that might help me tailor my posts to the things I really want to share… but that whole editing photos bit? I need to do WAY better at that.

    And I need to get more pictures with people in them. My mom HATES that I don’t make that a priority… and so do I, really… so let’s all do better. 😉

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