What is wellness travel?
The health and wellness industry, ever on the rise, is expected to reach a market value of $179 billion in 2020. One growing corner of this market is wellness travel, which essentially means any type of travel which contributes to one’s physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing.
The Wellness Tourism Association defines wellness travel as: “Travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance or kick-start a healthy lifestyle, and support or increase one’s sense of wellbeing.”
Why is wellness travel so popular right now?
As our world becomes busier, travelers are recognizing the need to disconnect. Sometimes this is difficult to do at home. There’s something about getting out of your element, where the wifi is weak and the stars aren’t dimmed by the lights of the city, which allows you to fully unwind. While traditional, sightseeing tours are still fun and popular, we can often come home from these trips feeling just as, if not more, exhausted than before we left. A wellness trip is focused on rest: a slower pace and activities that recharge you.
A traveler might seek out a wellness trip as a way to move towards a healthier lifestyle. They might also take a wellness trip in response to a stressful season or a traumatic life event.
Related: Rising Travel Trends: These Are the Markets to Watch
What activities do you do on a wellness trip?
When it comes to recharging, there’s no one size fits all. Some want to break a sweat, others want a nap. Extroverts want to talk about it. Introverts want to think about it. Your wellness agenda is as unique as your personality. No really, the range of possibilities is really, really wide. One health and wellness clinic in Spain even offers “laughter therapy.”
Here are a few ideas of things you might try on a wellness trip:
- Art classes (painting, pottery)
- Breathing exercises
- Core classes
- Detox treatment
- Health classes/workshops
- Healthy cooking
- Healthy eating
- Massage therapy
- Mineral or hot springs
- Relaxation techniques
- Spa treatments
What is a wellness retreat?
Some wellness-seekers prefer to blaze their own trail, simply creating an itinerary based on activities that they find rejuvenating. But if the idea of planning your own trip is a stress factor all of its own, a wellness retreat might be just the thing! Wellness retreats are planned getaways hosted by a resort/spa, a wellness clinic, or perhaps an individual health advocate. They often have a focal theme such as yoga, clean eating, or more. If you really love the idea of minimal planning, take it a step up with a wellness cruise!
Best destinations for wellness travel
While there is no “wrong answer” for a wellness destination, most travelers seeking a health-focused trip are looking for a few common things. Moderate to warmer weather, beautiful scenery and an abundance of fresh, local produce are all popular features of wellness destinations.
These destinations are some of the preferred wellness getaways for travelers today:
As the wellness travel trend becomes more mainstream, you can expect to see more alternative destinations rising to meet the demand (and your budget).