By Chere Di Boscio
Holidays aren’t what they used to be. Once a 7 to 14 day long scurry to anywhere hot and beachy, travellers are now demanding far more from their vacations than they used to – better weather and a breakfast buffet simply isn’t enough anymore. We want adventure, wellness, experiences we’ll never forget. In short, we want transformational travel. But what does that mean, exactly?
We spoke to Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, the leading specialists in wellness holidays worldwide, to get his take on the most influential travel trends in the spa and wellness industry.
1. Stop Smoking Retreats
If the thought of going cold turkey whilst dealing with work stress and daily temptation has you reaching for your lighter, why not combine your first steps towards going smoke free with a stop smoking holiday that will help you to break triggers and build new healthier habits. With the luxury of time, expert medical consultations and specialist therapies, you’ll return home renewed and fully equipped with the long-term answer to continuing your smoke-free journey.
Try: Marbella Club Anti-Tobacco, where your body will be reset to health, and your mind will be retrained to fully understand the damage smoking is doing to it – you’ll truly want to quit, so you will quit.
2. Optimal Health for the Modern Man
Following an increasing move away from the ultra-masculine man towards the more modern man, more men than ever are now going on spa holidays. Whilst we may normally think of women or couples heading out for a long weekend of spa wellness, more and more men are going out on their own for a break where they can take part in masculine activities, like boxing and HIIT, before recovering with a massage or spa treatment. With men, still significantly less likely than women to make time to consult a doctor, wellness retreats catering to men also offer a more approachable means of addressing health issues.
Try: Mountain Trek for Men. It has a focus on weight loss and fitness, just for dudes, and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
3. Healthy Mind and Emotional Healing Holidays
With more of us looking for ways to boost self-confidence or learn how to manage stress, it is little wonder that mind and emotional healing holidays are a rising trend in the wellness world. With a growing understanding that a healthy mind leads to a healthy life, retreats offering coaching in mindfulness, meditation and yoga, as well as workshops in creative writing, dance or music, are helping sufferers of modern-living burnout to reconnect their mind, body and soul. Given that such workshops lead to happier, more productive people, it’s not surprising that many companies are booking employees on these retreats, too.
Try: Set in Alberta’s stunning mountains overlooking a turquoise lake, Fairmont Lake Louise is a leader in this field, with workshops such as Mindfulness and Yoga, Zen in the Art of Writing, and Clear Your Fear, Live Your Best All Year.
4. Post-Cancer Recovery Retreats
No longer shying away from the complexities of treating a cancer sufferer, a rise in wellness spa retreats creating specialist post-cancer recovery programmes offers a sanctuary for cancer survivors to recharge and rejuvenate. Helping you to feel like the best version of yourself again, a range of holistic spa therapies and alternative natural medicine treatments, from acupuncture to Ayurveda, will nurture and resort your well-being. Combined with expert consultations from psychologists, nutritionists and physiotherapists, regain your appetite and your strength as you rejuvenate your mind, body and soul in a luxurious wellness sanctuary.
Try: Ti Sana Detox spa and wellness resort, which also features special detox diets that you can incorporate into your daily eating routine to ensure you stay healthy.
5. Full-Body MOT Holidays
Your GP doesn’t have much time for you, and it’s only when you’re really ill (and sometimes not even then!) that they’ll spend a bit of time doing proper medical tests to check your health. Enter full-body MOT intensive bootcamps where fitness training, wellness activities, spa treatments and diet plans are personalised to your body to ensure you prevent illness before it happens. Taking personalised wellness one step further, some even offer DNA analysis to really tailor the treatment plan to your health needs.
Try: Vilalara Longevity Resort, which offers all kinds of advice and testing from highly trained medical experts, including a GP, osteopath, and physiotherapist.
6. Zen Adrenaline Junkies
The idea of Zen and adrenaline might seem like an odd combination, but more and more of us are now embracing adventure holidays where we can satisfy a thirst for high-octane adventure with kite-surfing and paragliding, before relaxing with spa treatments, meditation and yoga. A great way to train your body and mind to let go of stress and enjoy living in the moment, embrace the mind-body cocktail of zen adrenaline and you’ll return home ready for anything.
Try: Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, Croatia. Here, everything from skydiving and paragliding to cable car riding can be arrange.
7. Family-Wellness Holidays
Following the rising realisation that the next generation of spa goers are the younger generation, more spa and wellness retreats are now offering family-wellness holidays. Whilst those with children in tow are not usually welcome at most spas, there are now specialised hotels offering an array of mini spa treatments designed especially for children. It will help keep them off their video games and iPads, as will the ranges of sports and creative activities, as they swap their smartphones for bicycles, tennis and water sports.
Try: Fusion Maia, Vietnam, where littler people can enjoy cycling, cooking classes, kiddie spa treatments and more.
8. Plant Medicine Holidays
Paul didn’t pick this trend, but it’s one we’ve been noticing here at Eluxe in recent years. These may not be for everyone – they sound benign, but plant medicine holidays usually involve a lot of psychic and physical discomfort, but deliver life changing results. From Ayahuasca retreats to ‘take you to the fifth dimension’ in Peru to detoxing Kambo medicine in Mexico, following the guidance of indigenous elders in South America could change your life.
Try: Munay Medicine in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Led by David Walton, here you can not only try plant medicine, but deep meditation and past life regression, too.
9. Eco-Friendly Wellness Retreats
With a rise in green conscious travellers in search of a wellness holiday that’s as kind to the planet as it is to you, there has been a growing emergence of eco-friendly wellness retreats offering a great trip without the guilt trip. Return home an expert on the local planets and animals with educational eco-forest walks, indulge with all-natural spa remedies and refuel with healthy organic cuisine from onsite gardens.
Try: Karkloof Safari Spa. Here, you’ll see the best of African game, all kept safe in the confines of a retreat that deeply respects the local flora and fauna it’s set in.
All images: resorts or Pixabay.
For further advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call +44 203 397 8891