Why making future travel plans can help boost your mood

Even if your travel plans are currently on-hold it doesn't stop you from dreaming about future trips. In fact, looking forward to a something can be beneficial to your mental health. Here's how to make exciting plans without spending a penny...

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The feeling of looking forward to a future holiday or event is called the Joy of Anticipation. Researchers discovered that people have more intense emotional feelings about an event before it happens. Sure, you’ll also feel super happy when you’re in the midst of it AND can look back on it fondly, but the excitement BEFORE the event might even provide a greater mood boost than actually living it!

This is precisely why it’s a good idea to take this time to make some plans for your future life, albeit without committing to anything until it’s safe to do so.


If you’re hoping to have a lovely holiday in the future, there’s nothing to stop you doing your research now. In fact, it’ll help you feel super-organised and prepared – and you don’t need to spend anything to do this. There will no doubt be important things to investigate like whether you need to fill out an ESTA visa form if you want to travel to the US, or whether you need travel vaccinations to visit far-flung countries. You can even look into prices of flights, but there’s no need to book anything or commit to anything – all this planning is totally free.

Want to make sure your dream holiday becomes a reality? The best way to do this is to get extra specific with your travel plans. This could include choosing the exact hotel you’re going to stay in when you visit New York or even finding out the details of Geneva to Morzine transfers during your future ski break. You might even want to figure out what restaurant you’re going to eat at on your first night in Italy.

This allows you to project yourself into the future and imagine you’re already on your dream holiday – what it will feel like to be there, what the weather will be like, what the food will taste like. The more you add precise details to your travel plan, the more likely it is to happen. And you’ll be fully prepared for it when it does happen!


Planning ahead not only allows you to boost your mood with the Joy of Anticipation, it also lets you get your finances in order, ready for the holiday. If you already know the cost of your planned travels, you can start putting aside a monthly payment to save up for those expenses. That way, you’ll already have the money ready to go whenever you’re able to finally make that trip. And having the money means that any worries about being able to afford the trip will be gone – all you have to do is relax and enjoy your long-awaited break.


Here’s the fun part – it’s time to make your vision come to life. You can make a mood board or ‘vision board’ of your trip to help you focus on the good times to come. You can get creative by cutting pictures out of magazines and adding a photo of yourself, or you can use Pinterest to virtually pin all those vacation hotspots to a board titled ‘dream holiday’ or similar.

The physical mood board is particularly good at boosting your mood if you keep it somewhere that you’ll see it regularly. Plus, you can pin up savings goals whenever you put cash into your holiday fund, so you can feel like you’re one step closer to it happening. If visuals aren’t your thing, put it in a journal and write our your bucket list of future plans. Just getting it on paper will make it feel more real and give you a solid idea of how your future will look.


But it’s not all admin – you can also investigate locations to visit on your trip, or ask friends for recommendations of places to eat or must-see sights. You can gather together a list of things you want to do when your holiday eventually happens. This will not only give you another mood boost of reconnecting with friends and it’ll also mean you don’t miss out on any of the wonderful experiences you want to try while you’re there.

Let me know what you are doing to boost your mood? Are you making future plans? What holidays and trips are you looking forward to for next year? Let me know in the comments below.


This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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