By now it’s common knowledge that getting a good night’s sleep, exercising, and eating your veggies is important, but did you know that taking a vacation can go a long way towards improving your mental, physical, and spiritual health?
Travel has been shown to decrease stress, improve brain health, boost your immune system, and make you feel happier over time. Modern travelers are planning trips with their health in mind, which means wellness retreats are on the rise.
Curious about the benefits a wellness retreat can offer? I’ve got the lowdown for you right here:
What is a wellness retreat, really?
By definition, it’s travel for the purpose of promoting health and wellbeing through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities.
For me, it means stepping back from the busyness of day-to-day life and slowing down, relaxing, and unwinding in solitude.
Taking time to focus on our health is important because it’s easy to get so caught up in our daily lives that we start to neglect what our body is telling us. (Maybe that cold you have isn’t from sleeping with the fan on, after all. It might just be stress!)
We all need to decompress, get away from the constant demands of technology, and enjoy some peace and quiet every now and then.
What do people do on these retreats?
Wellness retreats can be anything you want them to be! Thanks to popular demand, they’ve become super diverse.
While a trip to your local spa is great, it’s no longer the only option available—no matter which aspect of your wellbeing you’d like to focus on, there’s a wellness retreat out there for you! Think healthy hotels, holistic programs and cruises, silent and meditative retreats, wilderness adventures, nutritional resets, creative discovery trips, and more.
The best part? Unlike some other forms of travel, these retreats generally promote—not distract from—a healthy lifestyle. So if you already have great health habits but need to get away, you can rest assured that your routine won’t be thrown off course. And if you’re looking to establish a new healthy routine, chances are you’ll go back home inspired and ready to create one!
Even beyond health and fitness, a wellness retreat gives people the opportunity to do the thing we all want to do when we travel: seek out meaningful experiences—whether through exploration, relaxation, self-improvement, or simply a little fun in the sun.
Most of all, it’s your big chance to recharge before returning to regular life fresh and ready to go. According to Forbes, vacations are linked to productivity in the workplace. The study revealed that people who consistently take time off from work actually end up being more productive when they’re at work.
So, don’t feel guilty about taking a mental health day (I’ve been there too) or even a mental health week! People who use their vacation time to decompress and start fresh ultimately work smarter and feel happier.
So where should I go?
You might have heard of the Breakers Palm Beach in Florida or the Greenbrier in West Virginia, which pride themselves on their world-class spas. If you’re looking for a rejuvenating getaway that will really change your life, however, consider one of these fabulous escapes:
This hotel is about as far from a Spring Break hangout as you can get. This little piece of paradise is known for its incredible yoga lessons and private thatched huts. At Haramara, there’s no electricity allowed—that’s right, not even in the rooms.
Haramara Retreat is perfect for anyone in need of a digital detox and a daily dose of meditation and yoga. Leave your smartphone at home and give yourself the chance for some real peace and quiet.
Parrot Cay & COMO Shambhala Retreat
Turks & Caicos
For those that want to get away, but not fall too far off the grid (yes, they have electricity). This all-inclusive resort is located on a private island that can only be accessed via a 30-minute boat ride.
IMHO, this is the most romantic and luxurious option in the Caribbean—but don’t take my word for it, go experience it for yourself!
You deserve to refresh, refocus, and re-energize—The BodyHoliday does just that. There’s a reason it’s racked up rave reviews from visitors. And not only does the BodyHoliday offer solo packages, it’s the perfect place for a girls getaway, too!
There are tons of sports and activities to do and there’s an organic garden right there on-site (my personal fave).
Canyon Ranch Tucson Spa Resort
Canyon Ranch goes beyond health and really focuses on overall wellness and happiness. Get away from the constant buzz of social media and your overflowing email inbox, and really spend time getting back to the basics.
With the option to customize your wellness program to suit your needs, it’s an absolute dream come true.
Who has time for a retreat?
I know what you’re thinking: “A wellness retreat sounds great in theory, but who has the time?”
Turns out, now is actually the PERFECT time for a getaway.
Summer is objectively the best season to escape the daily grind and experience something new and amazing—festivals, outdoor patios, boating, long days at the beach, trips to the market, sunny afternoons and warm evenings… I think we can all agree that these are the kind of things that make life worth living no matter where in the world you go.
And you gotta admit that a wellness retreat spent communing with nature outdoors sounds a lot better than one spent sitting inside because it’s too snowy to do yoga on the verandah.
Whether you take off on a month-long getaway to a remote jungle retreat in South America or just take off for the long weekend to a relaxing spa Stateside, all that matters is that you’re taking time to focus on YOU. Your body will thank you later.
Need a little wellness inspo to jumpstart your planning? Check out these awesome travel companies focusing on health and happiness around the world: