My Little List Habit

When I travel, I sometimes create little lists in my mind. This place has the best food and that place has the friendliest people…

While these are crude generalizations, they do help me to remember little details of what those different places were like. And what’s the harm in a little list habit?

Uruguay

Uruguay

So just for fun, here’s a little collection of lists for you… They’re quite random, consisting of just the things that come to mind right now…

Best country for …

  • Argentina – the best empanadas (try the ones at Desnivel!)
  • Aruba – the most polite drivers ever
  • Australia and Hawaii – the best beaches
  • Finland – the best showers
  • France – the best selection of entertainment to choose from (whether it’s art, food, events… you won’t get bored)
  • Greece and Italy – the friendliest, most helpful people
  • Japan and Switzerland – the most punctual trains
  • Spain and the Canary Islands – the best coffee at hotels’ breakfasts (I’m picky about my coffee, but apparently I like it Spanish – even I’m learning about myself from this list!)
  • Sweden – the trendiest people, everyone is so pretty
  • Thailand – the best hotel breakfast ever (I’ll even name the hotel for free: Sofitel Krabi)
  • UAE – the best mall food (love Middle Eastern cuisine)

I’m curious, what you would add to this list?

Here are some things I like to do when I’m abroad:

  1. Shop at grocery stores like locals, rather than dining out (it saves money but I also love seeing what’s in the local stores’ shelves. I can imagine what it would be like to live there)
  2. Walk a lot! Everywhere I can! Then take public transport if possible
  3. Buy myself a little souvenir, even if it’s just a postcard or chocolate. Usually it’s clothes

Sweden

Some of my stubborn travel habits:

  1. I always buy a bottle of water before boarding a plane and another after the flight to take to the hotel – stay hydrated!
  2. I try to stick to hand luggage only – never pack more than you can carry without help! (You can quote me on that!)
  3. When packing, I write lists so I don’t forget anything (I guess you would’ve never guessed that I like lists?!) Then I pack at the very last minute so I don’t have to dig out my makeup and other things I’ve already packed but still need. With my list, I can pack quite quickly. It’s efficient and it gets the job done!

Things I never fail to pack – not that I consider myself any more of an expert than you guys, this is just for the sake of listing:

  1. Ear plugs
  2. Woollen socks for cold nights at hotels (I’ve noticed that hotels in warm countries can often be quite cold if you travel off-season). And for long-haul flights, I pack an extra change of regular socks, it makes me feel so much comfier
  3. Lip balm

What are your must-packs?

Greece

When I worked in aviation, I picked up some tips from my well-traveled colleagues:

  1. The flight attendants I knew had a rule: always pack a bikini. You never know if your itinerary might change – landing somewhere warm with a gorgeous pool and then to not be able to enjoy it would be just too annoying. A swimsuit doesn’t take much space, anyway
  2. Have everything you need in your carry-on luggage: the important things obviously, but also a change of clothes in case you lose your hold baggage. You wouldn’t want to hang around in the tropics in winter clothing while waiting for your bag…
  3. I used to have some colleagues who had a trick they thought was clever. They’d pack a water bottle in the side pockets of their cargo bags. Cargo compartments can often get quite cold and the reasoning was that when they’d arrive and get their baggage, they’d be able to quench their thirst with a refreshingly cold water bottle, easily accessible from the side pocket without opening the entire bag. They wouldn’t have to start looking for a kiosk selling water the first thing upon arrival, like I always end up doing. (This trick of course involves the minor risk that if the bottle opens, your bag’s contents will get wet…)
  4. Always carry a pen for signing customs sheets and organize your packing so you can find what you need quickly
  5. If you travel all the time, it’s actually worth having a double set of everything so you don’t have to constantly repack your toothbrush, hair brush, makeup, etc. Keep one set at home and one set permanently in your suitcase

Finland

PS. The photos represent a list of some of the places I’ve seen motorcycles parked photogenically…

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39 responses to “My Little List Habit

  1. A lot of very useful tips. I rarely make physical lists but I do organise things in my head. Probably not such a good idea as things tend to get forgotten that way. My husband is a champion list writer, so at least I have that to rely on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello hello! I feel like I haven’t seen posts from you for ages! They don’t seem to be showing up in my reader, I am not sure why? Love this post and looking forward to going back and checking out all the ones I have missed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I was just thinking the same when I saw your new post! 🙂 It’s pretty easy to accidentally unfollow, but I don’t know if that’s it… I never get your photo blog posts in my Reader feed though I follow both your blogs! Strange. Anyway, hi there! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we have a similar way of travelling. I have even gone back to a few shorter trips with hand luggage only – although that is dependant on the airline and allowance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. > Keep one set at home and one set permanently in your suitcase

    Ohh, really? Including dog? 😉 And amore? hihih. But yes, I see the point. And many good ideas for somebody who travels very often or very far. I travel to Roma by car (1.5 hours) once a month and to Slovenia by car (7-8 hours) twice or three times a year. The last time I was on a plane was… hm… to London for 5 days six years ago. I don’t know if amore agrees that I buy two sets of everything for these occasions. 😉 Also, please keep in mind that we have a LOT of motorcycles for you to shoot over here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, I think my photo album really needs more motorcycle pics from Italy! 😉 I was surprised I couldn’t find any. If I had a car, I think I’d be tempted to leave all sorts of stuff in it, like a second home… Emergency snacks and my woollen socks at the very least… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re most welcome! Few of my favourite outdoors, in winter & spring: snowshoeing, snowmobiling & cross-country skiing. In summer & autumn: hiking, canoeing & berrypicking.
        BTW I live in Tampere, north is our countryside escape.😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great tips! I’m not a list person, except when it comes to traveling. My list includes stopping mail delivery while we’re gone, pay bills which are due ahead of time, make sure we have outlet adapters for charging batteries, and of course packing very light! If I do forget something, I can buy it if I end up really needing it. I also read up on our destination to see what we might want to do and see.
    Happy travels! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great lists! I always keep a toiletry bag pre-packed with my favourite essentials, and that way I don’t have to worry about forgetting something or trying to find an acceptable substitute at my destination.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aw, I am a huge fan of lists too. I really loved this post! Great! ❤
    And if you ever come to Portugal you should try our coffee too!! You will love it (I'm also very demanding about it when I travel!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooooh! I love love love this post 🙂 Brings back so many memories and the tips are so wonderful. And I love the list you made for the countries too. I am totally with you on France,Italy and Swiss 🙂 (the rest I have not been to 🙂 ) I would add Belgium for having the best fries(they call it frites) 😛 Its SO yummy.
    We love collecting souvenirs too. What we do is buy a 3d magnet of every country we have been to 🙂 But now I am scared with all this moving in and out they do not get broken 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would add Bali to my most favourite holiday destination. But, I would stay away from their beaches and instead would go and live in Ubud. An ideal climate, a lot cooler than on the coast. An artist paradise. The coastal beach places are nightmares, full of bars, drunks and noise. Thirty years ago, Bali was unique. Now Ubud still thrives, but for how much longer?
    In Ubud one can also still find the unique Indonesian dishes. And then the yearly writer’s festival as well.
    Of course, the world’s best food is in Brussels, Belgium. We all know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another vote for Belgium food, interesting 🙂 I had clams and frites there but don’t remember if it was better than in France… Ubud sounds intriguing. Do you go there for the writers’s festival nowadays? I’ve never been to Bali but Hubby has. Sounds like I’d enjoy Ubud more than the tourist areas, since I like to try to see everyday life in places I visit

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  10. I love lists too! I also make lists of places I want to visit. I am quite manic about that actually 😉

    Walking at the destination is definitely a must too – in Florida it was so annoying how you had to go everywhere by car.. thankfully our rented house was in an area where we could walk a bit during the daytime – lots of steps for Fitbit too.

    The waterbottle trick sounds too risky for me! I also am obsessed with having water with me when going to the hotel, although I don’t always succeed in having some.

    For your best country for.. I would say that Denmark is best for the coolest people. As in attractive and stylish 😀
    xx

    Like

    • Now that you said that about Denmark, I remember seeing women there riding old, rusty bikes in high heels and carefully thought out clothes, smoking a cigarette and holding a riding light with one hand behind their back – they did look very cool. Maybe that’s where hipsters originated? Sounds like you and I have a similar travel style 😉 Is Fitbit good, btw? I’m thinking of getting a Garmin activity bracelet

      Like

  11. I am a list fanatic, and not just for travel. I have doubles of absolutely everything, and I never, ever check a bag, even if traveling for multiple weeks. I love to walk, walk, walk and shop locally, too. I never fail to pack reading material, my music, my laptop, and a cozy wrap for both the plane and destination. We are very similar travelers in many ways!

    Liked by 1 person

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