There’s truth in that old saying: “I need a vacation from my vacation.” In search of fun and relaxation, travelers end up eating, drinking, and doing too much, making time off less about winding down and more of an endurance test.
One way to truly benefit from a vacation is to take one that boosts your physical and mental health rather than one that wears you out. These types of trips are trending. Despite financial uncertainty, two in five high-income survey respondents say they booked a luxury trip or wellness retreat for the next 12 months.1 The market size of wellness tourism was
$470 billion in 2021, and that number is expected to rise to $1.5 trillion by 2030.2
Why are wellness trips so popular?
One big reason more people are opting for a wellness-enhancing getaway? The pandemic. The state of our health—particularly our immune system—is top of mind. We’re taking a proactive stance, even on vacation.
Wellness trips can have a transformative effect. They can leave you feeling more energized and balanced than a regular vacation might, says Samantha Lippiatt, owner of The Wellness Travel Expert in Sydney, Australia.
From Irish seaweed baths to Egyptian snake massages, the options for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing treatments combine cutting-edge science with alternative medicine and over-the-top indulgence.
“The wellness lifestyle has become very important since the pandemic,” says Sallie Fraenkel, owner of Mind Body Spirit Network. “People have a much greater awareness of maintaining their health and well-being.”
If you’re thinking of taking a wellness trip, Lippiatt recommends deciding what you want to focus on. Do you want to improve or maintain your wellness? And what area of wellness? Nutrition? Mindfulness?
A specific health concern? Then research destinations that offer what you want, consider the level of instruction they provide, and be sure to look at traveler reviews.
And don’t feel guilty about the indulgence. “Recognize that you deserve to give yourself this time,” Fraenkel says. “And if you can’t look at it through yourself, think about what you would say to the person you love the most who hasn’t taken a vacation in a year or two.”
Lippiatt offers one last piece of advice.
“A wellness trip is an investment in yourself, so be sure to plan accordingly and allow yourself plenty
of time to fully immerse in the experience,” she says. “With careful planning and a commitment to self-care, a wellness trip can be a truly transformative and life-enhancing experience.”
Four luxurious wellness destinations that will truly take you away.
Healthy aging in Ibiza, Spain
Immersed in functional medicine, Six Senses Ibiza’s longevity center, RoseBar, uses epigenetic data—which is the examination of how your behaviors and environment affect the function of your genes—to test your current health. It then creates a bespoke program to help you achieve optimum well-being as you age. You’ll receive a road map, with therapies, supplements, and more.
Sleep enhancement program in Thailand
If you’ve only been getting 39 winks, you’ll finally get all 40 at the wellness sanctuary Kamalaya. Located around a former Buddhist meditation cave on the island of Koh Samui, the program addresses the reasons you aren’t sleeping well and offers coaching on your sleep environment at home, traditional Chinese medicine, and even herbal hand and foot massages—all in the name of helping you achieve solid rest.
Immersion at Canyon Ranch in the U.S.
Perhaps there’s one wellness issue you’d like to improve. Canyon Ranch offers focused immersion programs that enhance different areas of you—strengthening your brain, spending less time online, or opening your heart to love. If that’s not your cup of tea, the resorts offer personalized treatments that include nutrition counseling, private mind-body instruction, and bespoke facial services.
Wellness analysis of hair in Greece
A complete health profile from a few strands of your hair? The resort Andronis Concept in Santorini partnered with a physician to assess 800 indicators of your health via your tresses. You’ll get a personalized report, including nutrition advice and spa services at the resort that will work best for you, like Kundalini dance or yoga therapy.