People normally take holidays to relax and take a break from everyday life and while previously, holidays used to be a time of indulgence and partying, nowadays travellers are choosing healthy juices over cocktails and morning nature walks over nightclubs.
Wellness holidays have become increasingly popular with single travellers, friends and families alike, where people can travel and improve their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing at the same time by making healthier food choices, better exercise options and self-reflection.
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness tourism as ‘travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing. With so much unwellness embedded in today’s travel, wellness tourism brings the promise of combating those negative qualities and turning travel into an opportunity to maintain and improve our holistic health.’
With our daily lives becoming increasing busier with less down-time to practice self-care and unwind, it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to incorporate a wellness aspect into their holiday where they can maintain, enhance or kickstart a healthy lifestyle and return home feeling healthier and happier.
Wellness holidays can vary dramatically, from spa hotels to purpose-built facilities, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand which kind of wellness holiday will be best for you. We’ve put together a guide of the different types of wellness holidays so you can find the best one to suit your health and fitness goals.
A wellness hotel, also known as a spa resort, is a hotel with wellness facilities such as a spa or fitness centre. This is ideal for travellers who would like to incorporate a wellness aspect into their trip such as pampering spa treatments or personalised fitness classes and these can usually be tailor-made to suit your goals for your holiday. You will also be able to choose your level of activity and still have time to go sightseeing, discover the local restaurants and have a glass of wine. The hotel may also arrange a schedule of group activities such as morning walks, aqua sports or yoga classes.
Who’s it best for?
For people travelling alone who might just want some time to relax and arrange their own schedule with as many wellness activities as they’d like, as well as families and friends who might have different interests to cater for their holiday.
A destination spa, also known as a health retreat, is often a purpose-built facility centred towards its wellness offerings. They are usually in a relaxing location surrounded by nature and will have experts specialising in medical or holistic therapies and activities in order to offer a range of wellness programmes such as weight loss, anti-stress, detox, fitness, Ayurveda or healing. Days are usually filled with appointments and so, most daytimes are usually spent in your gown or fitness wear. There are also group classes and educational lectures to help enhance your wellbeing further. The menus are healthy and can be personalised to your health goals and some don’t serve alcohol or caffeine, which is ideal for those looking to avoid temptations.
Who’s it best for?
A destination spa is ideal for travellers looking to achieve a particular objective which can be anything from weight loss to improving fitness, recalibrating your lifestyle or adopting a healthier routine, including addressing medical conditions. You will have access to expert advice and will be given follow up support in order to ensure a sustainable wellbeing journey back home.
A wellness retreat offers a blend of relaxation and education in health and wellbeing in the form of a structured programme with a specific focus such as yoga, fitness or healing. Guided by a team of experts, the program may include learning and lifestyle workshops such as meditation and healthy eating, as well as fitness activities such as yoga, nature walks, and hiking. Travellers often leave a wellness retreat feeling enriched and inspired with a new perspective.