The Wellness Tourism Association Describes wellness holidays or tourism as “a specific division of the global tourism industry defined by the common goal of marketing natural assets and activities primarily focused on serving the wellness-minded traveler and those who want to be.”
Wellness travel is on the rise around the world. Wellness specific holidays and fitness retreats, meditation and yoga retreats are becoming more popular too as people shift towards being more aware, more conscious both about themselves and the planet.
The term “wellness travel” is very general and quite honestly takes into account any kind of travel that has a positive effect on wellbeing, meaning wellness travel or combining travel with wellness can be anything you want it to be. Expensive retreats and workshops aren’t for everyone but wellness holidays don’t have to stop there. Wellness can be incorporated into just about any trip and it’s different for everyone. Your trip doesn’t have to be wellness centred. If your goal is to actually experience the country you’re going to- the culture, the food, the sights then small acts of wellness or a solid morning routine can also be incorporated into your trip. It’s all so flexible.
If you’re that person who loves to travel to all corners of the world but you’d also like your trips to be more centred around wellness then keep reading. I outline all my top tips for wellness holidays and how you can incorporate more wellness into your travels today.
#1 Base your wellness holidays around the activities you like to do most
It might seem obvious but, one of the best ways to incorporate more wellness into your travels and into your life is by really thinking about what it is that you enjoy most. Sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself. Ask yourself what wellness activities really interest you and incorporate those into your travels. If you love doing yoga at home every morning, consider a yoga holiday or maybe you live for hiking at the weekends so you might want to consider travelling to a mountainous destination. Are you a spa person? A nature-lover? A beach lover or a city break kinda person? Yes, wellness travel is still possible in cities! Consider the weather and seasons too. Are your favourite activities based around the beach or snowy mountains?
#2 Do more walking
It’s easy to forget about walking, but it really is one of the easiest ways to incorporate more active movement into your trips. Walking while travelling is beautiful- it’s free so you save money on transportation, it strengthens your cardiovascular system and builds the muscles in your legs without you even noticing and you get to experience the atmosphere and magic of the place that you’re in. While in some destinations private transportation can’t be avoided, walking is still something we can all try to incorporate more of into our travels.
#3 Drink more water
A healthy body starts with adequate hydration. Whatever you’re doing on your trip of a lifetime, make sure you’re hydrating well so your body can keep up with you. Aim to drink at least 3 litres a day or if you’re somewhere hot and humid 4. Making sure you’re hydrated is an easy way to make sure you’re looking after your body on your trip, wherever you may be.
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Check out the Best Ways to Rehydrate | The Top 5 Drinks for Dehydration.
#4 Do some destination research
How much wellness you can incorporate into a trip really depends on the destination. If you love yoga, for example, you’ll want to research yoga destinations around the world or on the particular continent you have in mind to make sure this destination can offer what you want. Some countries are better equipped for certain wellness activities, spas and healthy food than others. If your idea of wellness is sitting on the beach, reading books while eating açai bowls you’ll probably want to stay away from Denmark or Patagonia. On the contrary, if you’re leading decider for a trip is the destination itself and not the wellness activity then research the wellness activities and health options available- you might find some interesting customs or therapies unique to that destination that you’d like to try. I had never heard about a cacao ritual until I researched the wellness options on offer before my trip to Mexico.
#5 Get organised
Once you’ve done some destination research it’s time to get organised. There never is enough time for everything so why not plan your trip before you leave? Have you made sure there’s enough time for the activities you want to do most? Is there enough time for rest and relaxation? Do you need to buy any extra equipment before you go, perhaps a yoga mat? A beach towel? A book? Resistance bands?
#6 Assign time for pure relaxation or spa days
Wellness holidays should always include some time out for pure relaxation in order to destress the mind, detox the body and re-establish the connection between the two. Whichever way you truly like to unwind, be it a facial, massage or sauna, assigning time for those activities is a sure-fire way to get more self-care into your trip. After all, a vacation is all about unwinding and refreshing energies.
#7 Incorporate a wellness routine into your travels
Treat your trip like a wellness retreat and make your own wellbeing-based schedule or combine elements of a wellness retreat into your trip. This is something I always do when I’m not on a retreat as you really do get the benefits of both worlds. Write yourself a morning or evening wellness schedule that you are likely to keep, or better still continue with your at-home morning routine. Wake up early and have a glass of water, then practise yoga, journaling, meditation before getting showered and starting your day. Getting up just an hour earlier on your trip and giving yourself that time for wellness in the morning can really give you a sense of wellbeing on a trip, elevating your energy levels, mood and overall happiness levels, which, let’s be honest makes your trip go from great to epic.
#8 Choose a destination where wellness is easy
When it comes to wellness holidays, not all destinations are created equal. Some countries and places within those countries are heaven for healthy food, access to spas and treatments and have a pace of life that really complements rest and relaxation. Even some cities around the world such as New York, LA, London, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona have great food options as well as plenty of cultural and wellness things to do. If you’re looking for a destination that screams rest and relaxation destinations that spring to mind where wellness is just so easy are Bali, Tulum, Mexico, the Maldives, parts of Brazil, California, Koh Samui, Thailand, India, Ibiza or Mallorca and Costa Rica.
#9 Invest in wellness
While wellness travel can absolutely be done on a budget-I’m a firm believer in that, there are some costs involved or investments to be made. Healthy food is more expensive than local street food and yoga classes, facials, spa treatments and health club access all cost money. If you are on a budget then choose a handful of cheap or cheaper activities that you can do on your next trip that invite more wellness into your trip but remember that meditation and yoga in your hotel room using Youtube or Headspace, runs on the beach and relaxing by the pool come at no extra cost.
Do you have any comments or questions about these wellness holidays tips? Leave them in the comments below- I’d love to hear from you.
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