Wellness Travel: What it Means and How it Benefits You
Your mental health and well-being is an important, especially during this pandemic the past year and a half. Why is it important, you may ask? It’s important because you need to remember to take care of yourself to reduce stress and possible burnout.
With that being said, one of the best ways of maintaining your mental health and well-being is to practice self-care. Self-care can come in any shape or form, as long as it’s positive and doesn’t hurt you in the long run.
Some people may pick up reading, writing, cleaning, music, exercise or walking as a form of self-care. These are all amazing options for reducing stress, burnout, and enhancing your health.
If you’re like me, you also like to travel often throughout the year. Not only is traveling a passion but it’s also a great form of self-care. Especially when juggling a full-time job and a part-time hobby (like this blog and my YouTube channel), it’s great to travel and get away for a while.
What if you were to combine travel and self-care together? What would you get? The answer is wellness travel.
What is Wellness Travel?
Have you ever traveled to a location where you performed an activity, either hiking, walking, zip lining, anything to just take your mind off the stresses in your life? Or have you gone on a yoga retreat? Maybe you traveled to the mountains to just relax, enjoy your own company, and to feel rejuvenated again?
If you’ve answered yes to either one of these questions, then you have practiced wellness traveling at least once in your lifetime. Once you’ve traveled like this, you’ve officially traveled just for your own health and happiness.
Wellness travel is where a person travels as a form of self-care to enhance their well-being. One travels to a location to perform activities to practice self-care in order to reduce stress levels and come back feeling refreshed.
When a person practices this type of travel, they’re not just traveling to improve their mental health. Although that’s a big part of wellness travel, there are other aspects that a traveler can work on as well.
These aspects can range from your mental health to your physical, spiritual, emotional health and more. You don’t have to neglect other areas of yourself to focus on one element. And vice versa, you can travel thinking you’re going to work on all of these elements but find that you really want to just work on one aspect on that trip, and that’s ok.
Needless to say, wellness travel is a great form of self-care that has many benefits for a traveler.
Benefits of Wellness Travel
Wellness travel comes with so many benefits! Of course, traveling all over is a benefit in and of itself. However, when you are traveling for your own personal growth, whether it’s mental, physical or something else, it’s an added bonus. There’s something about traveling to practice self-growth and self-care that makes wellness travel extra special.
1. You’re Practicing Self-Care
First and foremost, with wellness travel, you are practicing self-care as a way of dealing or coping with the stress and demands of your daily life. This type of travel is meant for you to take some time, whether by self or with others is up to you, to take care of yourself.
It’s also ok to take a normal trip and have it turn into a wellness trip. Sometimes, you don’t even know you need a trip like that until you’re away from everything and start to see how stressed and uneasy you are.
As long as you are doing things that are a positive and safe form of self-care, you’re on the right track with improving your health and well-being.
2. Mental Health Benefits
This is a huge aspect of wellness and self-care in general, but working on your mental health while traveling is a bonus.
Wellness travel can be very therapeutic and detoxing for your mental health. Having your time and space to focus on you, clear your mind, and focus on fun activities is all part of what wellness travel aims to do.
3. Physical Benefits
We can’t forget about the physical benefits as well. Your physical health is just as important as your mental health, emotional or spiritual health.
Of course, activities like walking, running, or hiking are great examples of active activities that bring a lot of physical benefits. When I took my solo trip to Utah, I did a lot of hiking and walking around Zion and Arches National Parks. You burn a lot of calories, get lots of exercise, and overall increase your cardiovascular heath.
At the same time, wellness travel can also provide physical benefits to those who need to get away from environments that have a negative effect on their health (i.e. pollution). Being in the mountains with fresh air, on the beach, or in an area that doesn’t have much air pollution provide healthy physical benefits to travelers.
4. Spiritual Benefits
Spiritual development shouldn’t be neglected in wellness travel as well. Whether you’re traveling to find your own spirituality or traveling to a spiritual or sacred location, wellness travel is a great way of getting in touch or strengthening your spiritual health.
5. Personal Development
Personal growth and development is something that never stops. It doesn’t only apply to people who are in tough situations or don’t have the best character in the world. This area applies to everyone in every aspect of life.
Anything from the points listed above (mental, physical, spiritual, etc.) to skills such as problem-solving, organization, communication, or adaptability fall under personal development.
Wellness travel is a great way of growing and developing as a person. There are different ares of growth and development that people can work on. The activities you do, the change in location, even the people you meet can impact your personal development. It’s a good thing to see development within yourself as a human being.
6. Relaxing and De-Stressing
One of the primary goals of wellness travel is for the traveler to feel more relaxed and less stressed. It wouldn’t be a wellness trip if you didn’t try to find ways or activities which could leave you feeling refreshed and stress free.
Relaxing and de-stressing varies between people. We’re all different in our own ways, so what might be relaxing to one person may not be relaxing to someone else. When you take a wellness trip, plan out some techniques or activities to do that’ll relax you and take all your tensions and worries away.
7. Learning Something New
One of the benefits of traveling, in general, is learning something new along your adventure. This can be applied to wellness travel as well. Whether it’s learning a new language, a fun fact, or discovering your love for a new activity, wellness travel allows you to explore new things and learn. Not only in a physical sense but in any sense such as mental, emotional, spiritual, and more.
When I took my first solo trip to Utah in April 2021, I learned new things about myself, my travel anxiety, and about solo traveling overall. Although my primary purpose for the trip was to experience solo traveling for the first time, I also used this trip as a form of wellness travel to relax and learn new things.
8. Trying New Things
Maybe you don’t exercise or stretch in your normal life but decide to go on a yoga retreat in the mountains. You go to that retreat, practice some yoga for a few days with stunning mountain views, you feel refreshed and energized. Not only that, you’ve taken a liking to yoga and plan to incorporate it into your daily routine back home.
It’s not that strange to try things you’ve never done before, especially when you’re traveling. When you’re going about your daily life, it’s hard to break out of that routine and try new or different things.
However, with wellness travel, that’s your chance to try something new. Not only will that new activity or change in scenery be exciting but it’ll also benefit your health as well.
Wellness travel has always been around. The concept itself isn’t new but nowadays it’s gaining more traction; in part because of the pandemic but also because people see the benefits of this type of travel.
In addition to the wide range of benefits, people are starting to see that taking mini trips or vacations often for self-care is beneficial. Taking smaller trips here and there, even if they’re just staycations or weekend getaways, is beneficial to one’s health and well-being.
Whatever you’re going through in life, take the time to practice self-care through wellness travel. Do those activities you thought you couldn’t do, go to places you thought you couldn’t go to, and nourish your mind, body and soul.