DREAMS – 6 Tools For Making A Dreamy Trip

A dreamy get-away, that’s what we all need. Just some moments of adventure, fun, and respite. But going from the daydream to reality requires rolling up the sleeves and making it happen. It also demands that we eschew the naysayer in our brain that starts in with the excuses of, “it’s too much money, too much time away, not enough ideas of where to go, no idea of how to pull it off”.

You deserve to seize moments that belong only to you and your loved ones and friends. In America we generally spend 50 weeks a year and receive roughly 2 weeks to call our own. If you truly sit with that, it’s pretty unbalanced. So what is the answer if that breakdown cannot be changed? Weekends. Days off. They are yours, take them. And this post is designed to get you started turning D.R.E.A.M.S. into reality with these steps.

1) D as in Design. Research has shown that the pre-planning time for vacations is good for the psyche and this is not anything we’d argue after seeing friends glow when talking about an upcoming vacation. So, get busy and DESIGN your trip. Be joyfully honest in assessing how you want to spend your time. Just because your Facebook buddy posted fantastic photos of river rafting class 5 rapids does not mean it’s the perfect fit for you. I personally love hiking – to what many people think are scary places – but I am not an adrenaline junkie. I like the Zen of being in the scary places but things like rock scrambling or jumping off cliffs into water are not my bag of tricks while hiking a solid, wide trail to high altitude and heavenly views, is. Figure out what you like and go from that point on.

2) R as in Reach. Reach for new terrain. In other words, if you are trying to travel within a budget that is more frugal than previous get-aways, reach for accommodations that aren’t as luxurious and then if you can shave money off the total, splurge on your final day. See our Big Sur breakdown for exactly how we did (and often do) this. If you’ve hosteled before, try camping, if you were strictly hotel material previously, try hostels. If you are in need of free lodging, try house swap or couchsurfing.

3) E as in Ease. Ease into a new plan for vacationing. Try couchsurfing for 2 days on a weekend away or house swap for a short period of time. Camp for a weekend and if you are intrigued by backpacking, a single overnight is a good plan and plenty of places are set up for 3 miles or less to hike into the backcountry. Yosemite’s Sunset Trail is 3 miles and it is stunning. It’s also uphill for a good part of it. Ease into new food choices. Eating out can blow out a budget in record time. Cook ahead and save eating out for a treat. Our camp-cooking article will aid in cooking in the wild and see the links at the bottom of that page for two amazing camp cooking websites.

4) A as in Aim. Aim for moments of wonder. Rather than focusing on pricey tourist destinations, shift the goal to one of aiming for wonder. Though the Grand Canyon charges $25 a car to enter the park, the multiple moments of wonder are too numerous to count. And Yosemite sees millions of visitors every year of which only a small percentage spend more than several hours in the park.

I suffer from the more is better affliction and used to be guilty of trying to cram as much as I could into a short amount of time. I still struggle with this but now strive to slow down and absorb moments of awe. Go ahead, hike 1/2-1 mile down into the Grand Canyon on the Kaibab Trail  or Bright Angel and just bask in the magnificence.

5) M as in Meet. Meet challenges with humor as often as you can. There will be unexpected moments, take it from a pro in this domain. From kids (with messy rooms) texting lectures on cleanliness (go figure) on a delayed 50th birthday weekend that had roared to a start with a migraine and high winds, to another kid breaking their 4th bone, ten minutes after arriving at the birthday location, well there will be unanticipated moments. And what was the solution to this upended trip? Not going to lie, tears, a cookout, and some ice cold beer and a giving-in to the chaos. And in the end, a decision to absolutely absorb the most stunning sunset ever, followed the next day by hours of warm sun and kids kayaking which brings us to…

6) S as in Savor. Savor every joyous second you are gifted with. When life gives you lemons, don’t just make lemonade. Make it, sip it slowly, take in the hue of the liquid, inhale the aroma, and all the rest. Wax poetic on that glass of lemonade or as it was in my case, the several hours that the entire motley crew were frolicking in boats and kicking back on the beach.

Too many get-aways are a frenzied, running of place to place when all that was really needed was to be present to a teeny-tiny moment that was unequaled in beauty. Savor the weekend, savor the day off, and savor the hours that you create. You are brilliant, like sun glinting off the early morning lake, when you sit at that lake, sipping an early morning java or tea, and fully own that moment.

It is our hope that you open up a travel book, spread out some maps, and start dreaming. Life Is In Session.

We’re dreamy grateful when you “like” and/or share to Facebook as well as Tweet.

Sunrise 2

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