Finnish travel blogger Annika learned to love travelling already in her early childhood.
”My first trip abroad took place when I was only four months old. My mother taught me that a vacation is not complete if you just stay at home. About a decade ago my travel fever got really intense: it feels like the more I see of the world, the more I want to see. Simply put, travelling makes me happy”, Annika describes.
”My first trip abroad took place when I was only four months old."
It’s easy to believe as she has already visited 108 different countries and spends almost a third of each year on the road. Her long-term experience has made Annika a comfortable and relaxed traveller. Here are her top tips for travelling stress-free:
1. Make a packing list before you pack
”Many struggle with packing and that hasn’t gotten easier for me either! On many trips, I’ve forgotten items that I would have sorely needed – like adapter cords for transferring photos. A pre-planned packing list helps you keep track of the essentials. And you can revise the list for next time while travelling: strike through items that proved to be unnecessary and add stuff you didn’t realize would be helpful”, she says.
2. Leave early for the airport
”I don’t usually make strict travel schedules but I always reserve extra time ahead of flights. Though waiting for your flight can sometimes be tedious, I’d rather hang out at the airport than stress about missing the flight. If you can, pick the later departure time, as a very early wake-up time might make you grumpy and tired upon arrival.”
3. Travelling solo? Make a plan for the first morning.
“I am not typical traveler in the sense that I rarely research my destinations from home. However, I’ve started to make an exception for the first day, as having a plan for the morning helps me kick off my holiday mode more easily. I usually check one great place to visit and the route to get there. Having a plan ready makes it easier to head out from the comfort of the hotel.”
4. Arrive before dark
”I try to avoid arriving in the night-time. It’s a lot easier to feel comfortable in strange surroundings during the day.”
5. Learn to travel at your own pace
”Over time, I’ve learned to take it easy and stop stressing about visiting all the new or ‘must-see sights or cities.
Exploring places slowly suits me best. I usually spend a few days at the same location because I want to take my time to enjoy it. Sometimes I’ll sit at lunch for hours, just watching locals go about their daily errands or wander on the markets full of colors. I find the smallest moments best – like sitting in the beach with a bottle of wine watching stars and listening to the sound of waves hitting shore.”
6. Don’t quit the vacation cold turkey
”Vacation soon turns into daily chores. I try to make the transition smooth and make the vacation mode last a little longer by treating myself to a new hairdo or a dinner. When I got back from a long trip in Southeast Asia I bought myself a prepacked and cut pineapple. I don’t usually ever buy those in Finland but after being able to eat them every day for four months, I wanted to enjoy that experience a little longer.”