Dreaming About Vacation is a Wake Up Call to Travel

Are your dreams filled with images and symbols of travel? Analyzing your dreams can go one of two ways. You can look up its symbolic meaning in a dream dictionary, but I prefer a literal approach. Unconscious thoughts about far away places could mean that you desire similar travel experiences in real life. Dreaming about being on vacation can offer inspiration and motivation to get out there and go travel. Whether you are waking up from sleep with vacation envy or just daydreaming about traveling (easily distracted at work?), learn how to turn vacation dreams into vacation time-off realities.

Dreaming About Vacation Wake Up Call (pillow)

Why am I dreaming about travel?

Do you often travel in your dreams? Are they recognizable places or are you only getting a sense of a type of destination? For me dreaming about travel is usually a pleasurable experience; at least if after I’ve awoken I remember it. 😉 Sometimes I’ll remember bits and pieces of a dream and know I was traveling, but the memory fades quickly. The first step after you wake up in the morning is to write down your dream. Have a pen and paper on your night stand table to jot it down.

An even better idea is to use the audio recording feature on your mobile phone to capture it. Add a shortcut icon to the voice recorder app so it is only one-click away. Talking about your dream immediately may help you to remember the fine details better. As you describe your dream follow these tips to document it before it is lost.

  1. Where did you go in your dream? List the places you visited starting from the highest to lowest level of specificity: country->state->city->neighborhood->tourist site.
  2. How did you get to your dream destination? Mention the form of transportation such as driving, flying, walking, or did you just “beam-in” to the location in your dreams?
  3. Who were you traveling with in your dreams? Did you travel with your partner or family, a friend or group of friends, solo, a person from your past, or someone who you can’t recognize?
  4. Describe your travel experiences. Include tourist activities, historic attractions, eating and drinking, weather, relaxing with a view, heading off on an adventure, hearing a foreign language, … as well as the physical and mental feeling you had being on on a vacation in your dreams.
Why an I Dreaming About Travel?

But what does dreaming about taking a vacation really mean?

Analyzing our dreams seems to be more art than science, but that doesn’t stop many “experts” from publishing a guide to their meaning. If you enjoy reading your horoscope and believe a bit in astrology, you would also appreciate the simplicity of dream definitions. Interpreting your dreams of traveling means identifying the symbols and elements and looking up what they CAN mean in general. You might be surprised by how a choice of destination, mode of transportation, or significant event that happens while dreaming can convey meaning in your own life.

Dreams are personal and what a dream about taking a trip means to you might be completely different from what dreaming about travel means to someone else. I’ll admit it can be fun to read travel symbol summaries in a dream dictionary to determine if they relate to our own problems in life or in work. Perhaps they will help you to resolve conflicts, find a calling, or make major decisions.

In my opinion the best analysis is always your own. After documenting your travel dream, take the time to think about what it means to you. How does it relate to what is going on in your life? Ask what actions can you take to improve your health, relationships, and happiness.

Daydreaming about taking time off?

Maybe you aren’t having actual nighttime dreams about travel but find yourself daydreaming about it at work. When I’m motivated to get things done and in the zone, thoughts of travel rarely enter my mind. However when I feel overworked, bored, or uninspired to do my job (we’ve all been there), my mind often wanders. Daydreaming about taking a vacation is a pleasurable activity. Who doesn’t want to be on vacation right now? Instead of dismissing the thought, take action to turn those daydreams into concrete travel plans.

Daydreaming About Taking Time Off

When you sitting at your desk, commuting to your job, sitting in a meeting (real or virtual), or taking a break at the office, do you:

  • Ask yourself how long its been since you last took time off from work?
  • Relive a memorable past vacation experience in you head?
  • Think about places to visit that are on your bucket list?
  • Feel jealous that your co-workers are going on or just returned from an exotic vacation?
  • Start fantasizing about what visiting a destination could be like after seeing or watching an ad promoting tourism .
  • Picture yourself relaxing on a beach, hiking in a park, exploring an ancient site, sharing a family adventure, embracing a foreign culture, backpacking from city to city, cruising the blue waters, or doing whatever you like to do when traveling?

Of course you want to avoid day dreaming when attending an important meeting or on a conference call that you need to pay attention to. It may seem obvious, but one study suggests a correlation between focus on a task and long term memory. Letting your mind wander and imagining travel is best done when you need a break and when it is a good time to take one.

Is daydreaming about travel the same as dreaming?

Clearly dreaming while awake is not really dreaming as when you are asleep, driven by your unconscious brain. Daydreaming is pure fantasy that you control. Plus you are less likely to forget it afterwards. Like dreaming, daydreaming about travel is a sign that you need to take a vacation or at least a day off and soon. Do you live to work or work to live?

Studies about the virtues of daydreaming have shown they lead to bursts of creative insight. Harness this power to come up with thrilling and novel ideas to add to your bucket list. Instead of taking the same vacation as last year (boring!) because you don’t think you have the time to plan a unique trip, let your daydreams inspire your travels. That is why you have to write them down when you let your mind wander.

So when you find yourself getting distracted by images of travel, put those thoughts into action. Get out your calendar and start planning your next vacation. That way you can daydream about an upcoming trip – one that you are actually taking – and turn your travel dreams into real vacation experiences.

How to Document Your Vacation Dreams

It’s important to write down your dreams, especially when it uncovers your travel wishes and desires. Taking vacations is a proven necessity that enhances everything from your well-being to your career. Studies show there are even happiness benefits for planning and anticipating a trip. Besides scheduling regular time off, it also helps to keep a bucket list to track your once-in-a-lifetime travel goals. So whenever you are dreaming about places you’d like to visit or experiences you’d like to have, document them so you are reminded to use your time off per your wishes.

There are endless ways to document the list of travel experiences and places you want to visit before you die. It’s entirely up to you how you maintain a travel to-do list, but here are several practical suggestions.

  • Keep one list of annual vacation ideas and a separate bucket list for vacations you hope to take in your lifetime.
  • Document your paid time off from work and coordinate it with your partner and family members in order to maximize free travel opportunities each year.
  • Use a shared document or app so the whole family can participate in listing all the places they want to go on vacation some day.
  • Set a reminder to review your vacation dreams list every 3 or 6 months to see about planning dream trips in the coming year.
Count your vacation dreams with VacationCounts

The free VacationCounts web app is one tool to consider for documenting not just your past vacation but also your future trip ideas. It lets you enter new vacation details without a start or end date so you can plan ahead. Using travel hashtags you can mark potential trips as #bucketlist or #dreamvacation to group them and view all at once. Since VacationCounts runs in your web browser without download or installation, it works exactly the same on both desktop and mobile phones.

Dream then Do Your Travel Bucket List

It’s OK to dream about travel, but it is much better to make plans to take a vacation of your dreams. Create an action plan for your bucket list so you can organize a plan to meet travel experience goals. While a bucket list is supposed to be aspirational, it shouldn’t be all fantasy. You may not be able to travel right now due to financial reasons, health reasons, world events or work reasons. That shouldn’t stop you from planning dream trips that you will eventually take.

Turn your Bucket List into a Dream Vacation (follow the road to travel)

So how do you turn a bucket list trip into a dream vacation? Follow this step-by-step project plan to do just that! Just like you workout to stay healthy and save money to afford to retire, you should dream then do your travel bucket list.

  1. Rank and sort your bucket list by: priority, affordability, and difficulty.
  2. Schedule your top 10 bucket list trips by entering tentative years that you hope you’ll be able to go.
  3. For each place on your bucket list, research and document your ideal itinerary to build a trip outline. For privacy and security reasons, use trusted software like Google Docs, DropBox, Microsoft OneNote, or Evernote.
  4. At least 1 year in advance, select one of your top bucket list trips to be your next dream vacation to take.
  5. Set reminders for 1 year, 6 months, and 3 months in advance to budget for your trip, get approval to take time off, and book your bucket list vacation. (adjust based on your own home and work situation).

Bonus Tip: Simplify challenging bucket list travel experiences into ones that are more affordable, safe, and doable given your finances and work-life balance. For example if your dream is to see the Northern Lights in Norway, try for a more budget friendly version in Alaska or Canada. Or if you have your heart set on hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, consider taking the train to Machu Picchu plus day hikes to save time.

Don’t Just Dream About Work-Life-Vacation Balance

This is your wake-up call to:

  1. Take your nighttime travel dreams seriously
  2. Focus when daydreaming about traveling
  3. Document your dream vacation experiences
  4. Create a trip plan to turn your dreams into reality

Are you ready to rethink and redefine work-life balance to include vacation time? Don’t take your time off for granted by dreaming big about your travel wishes and goals. We all travel in our dreams from time to time. The meaning of those dreams are personal so it is up to you to listen to what your mind is telling you and go travel in the real world. By planning and embarking on bucket list trips of a lifetime, you’ll feel like you are only dreaming when actually on vacation. And when you return, capture those travel memories so you you never forget that you can live your dreams.