As a Certified Travel Advisor an ASTA Verified Travel Advisor and a CLIA Master Cruise Counselor, Zac Wilson is the owner of Daydream Vacations Travel Agency in Granbury, www.DaydreamVacations.com.
The best part of your travel experience is looking forward to it. I know that seems odd.
Wouldn’t the actual trip be the best part of traveling? After all, going on vacation is why we booked the trip in the first place. Surely, wandering around Paris is better than thinking about going to Paris before the trip begins. While that makes sense, veteran travelers and scientific studies share with us the value of anticipation.
I named my travel agency Daydream Vacations because I specialize in the types of trips that we spend time daydreaming about long before we get to go. There is a joy that comes with daydreaming and planning. Sure, there are hassles and headaches of planning a trip, but your professional travel advisor will handle those issues for you. Let’s focus on the excitement of looking forward to your next vacation and why it’s important to book far in advance.
I think everyone should always have a vacation countdown. It’s important to have a trip to look forward to. In 68 days, I’ll be boarding a plane for Budapest to enjoy a river cruise on the Danube River. Just knowing that I’m going to board that plane calms my stress during a hard day. It’s amazing the power that anticipation has on our stress level. I close my eyes and envision my journey and it brings me peace and excitement.
Here are some ways having a vacation countdown will bring you joy:
Talking about your upcoming trip with friends and family will generate many joy-filled conversations. Travelers love to share their stories with one another.
Read a book about your destination. An upcoming trip will bring this book to life as you envision yourself participating in the sites, tastes, and activities described in the book.
Watch a movie that takes place in your destination. Families traveling to Walt Disney World love watching Disney movies prior to taking the kids to meet the characters in person. Imagine watching all the Harry Potter movies before traveling to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
Get a cookbook and make some recipes from your destination of choice. Learn to make crepes before going to France or celebrate Oktoberfest at home and then in Germany.
Shopping for the upcoming trip creates a lot of happiness. Buy a special outfit just for your trip. I had a lot of fun with my son picking out our winter wear before we traveled to Alaska.
I think the most important pre-travel experience is the actual countdown. I have a countdown on my phone and my wall that tracks the number of days until the trip begins. Just knowing I’m only 68 days away from Budapest brings a smile to my face every day.
Science is on my side. In 2007 a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that people are happier during the planning stages of a vacation than they were after taking one. Another study in 2010 published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it! Daydreaming is an important part of your vacation.
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