Planning a van tour as an HSP - and introvert!


Planning - and having your plans somewhat open - are keys for me as an HSP/introvert traveller. Therefore travelling with a van is ideal, as it makes it possible to change your plans whenever your energy level is not full enough for a city tour or when you "just don't feel like doing something you had planned". Neither are you not bound to airport or train schedules, routes or hotel reservations.

So what do I plan beforehand and how much do I leave open when I go travelling?

Sandvika beach, Lofoten
Sandvika beach, Lofoten

1. The area where I want to go - the plan.

Usually this is either a city and it's surroundings based on the fact there is a single place or a museum I want to visit - or a trail, National Park etc. I want to go to. It can also be a larger geographical area like Lofoten.

I Google and search on visit-websites, blogs and vlogs for interesting possibilities so that I have a vary of places to choose from in the area. Maybe one or two places becomes "must see" ones and the rest becomes "lets go if I have the time and energy". Then you can choose what to do based on you feeling and energy. 

Vacation is something during which I really want to do as I please, in everyday life there is enough musts!

2. Knowing where to stay

In travelling with a van the most stressful part is to know where to stay overnight. I do both free camping and campsites. I usually would like to free camp for maybe two nights, then go to a campsite for one and have a proper shower, service the van etc. 

Campsites are mostly fine and they have the silence times over night. I really need to feel safe and not disturbed to get a good night sleep. And as we know, sleep is essential for HSP energy recovery... Therefore a silent free camping site is the best you can get! To feel safe while free camping means to me also proper locks on the doors inside the van. They most likely prevent from anyone to enter and at minimum give time to react and drive away.

But to find good free camping sites where you don't bother anyone, and especially where anyone doesn't bother you, can be tricky. In Finland it is quite easy but for example in Lofoten I ended up using campsites as free camping is basically forbidden everywhere. I did not have the energy to search further away from main roads as driving in Norway is stressful enough for someone who drives flat roads on daily basis :D So I'm not the driver who takes any small trail to find magical places, my sites need to be on relatively easily accessible places. Also because I don't want to stress if the road is accessible also after a heavy rain during the night.

As many others I also use apps like Park4Night and Stellplatz but the best places are anyway hidden gems so you probably won't find them there. 

So, this part of planning is something I really would like to do more in advance as searching for a nice place while on the road - or even worse, when you really would like to sleep already - is very energy consuming. Something I need to find time to do before I head for the road - to have a few places here and there to choose from later.

3. Food and diesel - fresh and grey water and septic tank...

These need a bit of planning too, especially if I travel on more remote areas or I know I will free camp for a few days. 

Food: The fridge is not very big, so it is better to plan the meals and cook the right amount so that you don't end up with hunger or food waste.

Diesel: in remote areas I tend to fill the tank full where ever it is possible.

Fresh water: I do travel with full or near full tank. I know many don't to cut the weight of the car, but again, if I free camp for a few days, it is nice to know you have enough water. I only use the water for washing, for cooking and drinking I use bottled.

Grey water and septic tank: emptying at least every time I end up on campsites or if I find the services separate after free camping. In Norway it is easy to get rid of the waste but in Finland there is not so many possibilities. Many campsites let you in for a service stay even if you won't spend the night there.

Filling and emptying when possible is one way to also make it possible to change your plans. If you don't feel like going to a campsite with people for the night, you always know that even today free camping is possible. Full tanks become very stressful if you don't find services in the area where you would like to stay...

What do you plan in beforehand? I don't have a comment section in this blog yet so come to Instagram for discussion:

Luo kotisivut ilmaiseksi!