You deserve a vacation. It’s true! With all that’s happened, and continues to happen, in the world, we could all use some time in a space that will help us reconnect with ourselves and rejuvenate our minds and bodies.
Sure, you could try to live vicariously through all those romanticized vacay posts on Instagram, but, we promise you, nothing will feel as good as the real deal. “But planning a vacation is super stressful!” Don’t worry. We’ve got you.
Here are 6 easy steps to help you build, and finally take your dream vacation:
1. Create a Vision Board
Take a moment to really imagine the location of your dream vacation. Are you at the beach? Wandering the streets of a brand new city? Luxuriating on a top-tier cruise ship? Or, are you simply at home, sipping your favorite drink and enjoying the sweet sounds of silence (for once)?
Wherever you are, the ultimate question you must ask yourself is this: how do I want to feel? Do I want to feel the sand between my toes and smell the salty sea air? Do I want to feel the buzz caused by cacophonies of sound from foreign tongues and beeping horns in a busy market square? How do I feel rooted to the earth in ways I’ve never been before while exploring the jungles of far-off lands?
Another important question to ask yourself: “how far outside of my comfort zone am I willing to travel?” If long flights trigger any mental and/or physical condition you may have, consider visiting a nearby beach town or bustling city which you’ve yet to explore. Camp at a site that received rave reviews. Rent a sailboat and hire its sailor for the weekend. The thing to remember most in this step is to simply relax. We’re just dreaming. No pressure, no stipulations, just awareness of what you most desire.
2. Together vs. Alone
Believe me, I know. If you’re anything like me, the word “alone” can be triggering; however, there, behind the fear of being alone, anywhere, exists liberation. How? Why? How liberating must it feel to be in a space where you can fling your arms out wide and prove to yourself that you are your best friend, parent, and guide—that you can trust yourself, care for yourself, and love yourself, no matter where you are. Who knew a simple vacation enjoyed alone could provide such healing for you? But don’t fret, we each travel at our own pace and heal in our own time.
Besides, traveling together can be just as healing and liberating as traveling alone. After all, you are in control of who may and may not accompany you. Not every buddy can be co-labeled a travel buddy, and that’s okay. You and your true travel buddies can fill them in on your adventures upon your return. So, what makes a good travel buddy?
Well, do they often make you laugh until your cheeks hurt? Do they look on the bright side when situations and circumstances don’t turn out exactly as desired or planned? Are they secure in their independence and don’t make a fuss when you need your space for a few moments? Do they often pitch in and help you when the real work begins and times get rough? Do they value silence when silence is needed, and music at a ten when it’s time for another jam session? Are they compassionate, considerate, and calm when in the presence of people from cultures different from their own?
Your travel buddy is someone with all of these qualities, and then some. Choose wisely, and remember, this is your dream vacation and you are in control.
3. What Can I Comfortably Afford?
The time has come for the dream to flow seamlessly into reality. This happens by taking stock of your finances before making any decisions. With your vision board visible, and your potential list of travel buddies handy—should you decide not to travel alone—continue this momentum of bliss and excitement for taking your dream vacation by ensuring your finances are in order. Start by creating a list of your potential expenses: airfare, food, housing, transportation, emergency, and entertainment.
Of course, no one wants an emergency to occur, but the goal is to enjoy your dream vacation, not worry about your finances should an incident occur. Now, back to the question at hand: what can you comfortably afford? If you desire to take a vacation sooner rather than later, ask yourself, which of the locations on your vision board will best match your current vacation fund? Which travel buddy(ies) can best help me offset some of the total cost? Should you decide to save up for your dream vacation, the sky’s the limit on affordability my friend!
The dream is slipping further and further into reality vacay friends! How exciting! This is the part where we start hammering in some nails about which airline to take (and in which class), in which hotel or vacation rental to stay, what kinds of cuisine to try, in which experiences to partake, and how you’d like to get to and from points A, B, and C. Time to block off those calendars and prepare your OOO emails, you’re only two steps away from your dream vacation!
5. Marie Kondo Those Bags
Yes! It’s finally time to pack! And as the title says, I do recommend organizing your vacation-ready belongings into a carry-on and a backpack. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t voluntarily checked a bag in almost ten years. Too many variables for misplaced, broken, or possibly stolen items. If you can, invest in luggage packing cubes and a day hiker’s backpack (for function and comfort) and learn to Marie Kondo those bags!
6. Sail Away
You did it, vacay friend! You have officially brought your dream vacation into your reality. Have fun, be aware of your surroundings, and be sure to take lots of pics for your custom Pixiediary travel video diary!