by Cricket Wingfield, MD

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough ."

~Mae West

So you’ve dreamed up your bucket list vacation, and you’ve identified some places you want to go, and things you want to see. That’s the first step to goal setting  — getting clear on what you want. Now you’re ready to make those goals and dreams come true. Creating a travel vision board is a great way of bringing your bucket list travel goals into reality, and it’s easy to make a free vision board with things you probably already have around the house. We’ll answer a few common questions and give you some vision board ideas so you can get started.

What is a travel vision board?

Making a travel vision board, or travel dream board is a creative process to bring your travel goals alive. It’s a place to create a travel vision for yourself, a creative form of travel goal setting. By finding images and words that represent what you want to see, do, experience, and feel, and pasting them on a board, you get focus and clarity, and set both your left and right brain in motion to make your dreams a reality.

How do you make a bucket list vacation vision board?

We like the process of starting with a physical board, poster board, or your Living Vision Board instead of a digital vision board, although there are resources available to make a digital vision board (more on that later). The tactile process of touching, cutting out, and attaching the words, images, and quotes gives a respite from screen time and engages more of your senses. However, printing photos of specific images, travel quotes, and some of yourself may help you get started when creating a vision board.

What should you put on your vision board?

When you create your board, it’s best to find images, quotes, and words that inspire you, and get you excited about your vision. Look for images of what you want to see that also suggest the feelings you want to have while you’re there. Are there flowers you want to smell, special foods you want to taste, parks or museums you want to explore? Add all of those in, along with words to express your feelings and specific places to visit if you have them. The more vivid you can be, the more powerful your vision board will be to activate your subconscious to help get you there. We’ve heard amazing anecdotal stories about vision boards and their power to make dreams come true.

“A mind that is stretched by experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

How can I make my vision board more powerful?

In addition to making your vision board as vivid as possible, there are a few other ways to boost the power of your vision board. One is to add a happy photo of yourself on your vision board. If you have a travel mate, add a photo of them too. 
Another way to make your vision board more powerful is to to add emotional elements to your board. Be sure it excites you, inspires you, and invites you into the narrative you’ve created.
A vision board party, where people gather and create vision boards together, can also make your vision board more powerful. When you share your vision with others before you start, everyone there can help search for images and words to support each other, and when you share the boards at the end, your vision is witnessed, encouraged, and supported by everyone in the room. 

Is a travel dream board the same as a travel bucket list?

A travel dream board and a travel bucket list are a little different, and they can overlap. Here’s how. A travel bucket list is just as it says, a list of places you’d like to go in your lifetime. It can be short or long, close to home or far away.
A travel dream board or vision board takes a specific place, or group of places you’d like to see, and becomes a collage of your vision, with more detail and nuance than the name of a place on your bucket list. On a vision board you create a feeling, a narrative that draws you closer to it, inspiring you into action to make your travel dreams come to life.

How do you make a secret vision board?

Maybe you have some dreams you’re not ready to share with anyone yet. You can still create your vision board in the same way, only keep it in a safe place. Be sure to look at it often to keep your vision alive.
Creating a digital vision board can also keep your vision in a private place. Applications like Canva or PicMonkey offer collage making options with photos, graphics, and text to build your vision board online. Canva has a free digital version available.

Is there a wrong way to make a travel vision board?

Heavens no, you can’t get it wrong! A vision board is all about making your dreams and your life sing. This creative process allows fine tuning, changes, revisions, and additions. The more fun you have creating your board, the more love and good energy you’ll put into it. Create with the joy and good feelings you’re looking to have on your travel adventure.
The key to making a travel vision board is to have fun, experiment, and explore where you’d like to go and what you want to do. Trust your gut, follow your whims, and let yourself dive into the experiences you’re after. You might find yourself having the feelings you want right in your living room at home as you’re planning and dreaming up your next great adventure!

“Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.”

~Dalai Lama