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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Weller

What Type of Wellness Vacation is Perfect for You?

Here we are in the midst of the holiday prep. Is this typically a stressful time for you? Have you launched yourself fully into the mood of the season? At my house, we decorate minimally, only because of the ever-present and frequently destructive curiosity of our two cats. They notice every little thing, and should you relocate an item, suddenly it becomes new and novel and worthy of exploration. The most mundane object inspires new fascination if you move it to a new spot in the house, even if that object is visible to them every day of the year. Therefore, the shiny sparklies of Christmas really throw them into a frenzy of exploration, sniffing, swatting and irresistible playtime. There’s nothing more detrimental to fragility than feline frolic.

So I do my holiday mood-setting in other ways…baking, in particular. I’ve noticed that the problem with baking is the eating that follows (my eating, that is), so I disperse my baked goods among those that don’t mind the consequences. Bad friend, I am! However, if tasty treats brings comfort and joy, who am I to withhold them? Everyone gets to make their own choices about such things, but sometimes the decisions are hard enough in the moment, and harder to maintain in the long run.

That’s what often happens to our well-intentioned decisions about our wellness and fitness. It can be difficult to uphold them, so that’s one of the reasons I have written this series on wellness travel, of which this is the third episode. We WANT to be healthy, we’re GOING to travel again, and I know that most people have not thought of combining these two. In fact, when on vacation it often happens that our fitness regimen, and our normally thoughtful habits regarding our food and alcohol intake go out the window. A vacation may actually be a good time to get on track, if we’re de-railed. Why? Just like memories, new information (and habits) find an easier foothold when we are relaxed and in a positive (dare I say happy?) state of mind. Here’s a run-down of the types of wellness vacations, and some ideas as to which might suit you.

If you are a hotel aficionado who loves five-star luxury with occasional spa treatments, then the hotel spa is perfect for you. A sprawling countryside retreat, a dazzling beachfront resorts, or embedded in electric urban capitals, hotel spas are frequently led by household-name wellness gurus. At these hotels, the spa is just as important as the Michelin-starred restaurant, and the space usually offers a menu of treatments that are well worth traveling cross-country (or even farther) for. You can opt for golf or tennis lessons or book a personal training session in the fitness center. Delicious food and ample wine are the rule, not the exception.

If you are a spirituality seeker or solo traveler ready to commit to wellness, then for you, a wellness retreat like Rancho La Puerta Resort and Spa or BodyHoliday in St. Lucia that focuses on rejuvenation and mind-body balance by promoting a holistic lifestyle highlighting mindfulness and fitness. Beyond treatments, spa menus here also include an array of classes and expert-led sessions on meditation, healthy eating, astrology, and even beekeeping. You may find a healthy dose of native indigenous treatments and energy work as well, but unlike at a spa resort, alcohol might be limited. Though some retreats offer weekend packages, longer stays help you get the most out of the experience.

For mother-daughter duos, girlfriend getaways, couples and honeymooners, the Spa Resorts' menus have a seemingly endless list of facials, scrubs, mani-pedis, add-ons, and massages to choose from. Some spa resorts feature “Journeys”: multi-hour, multi-treatment extravaganzas that combine massage with other feel-good offerings, such as scalp treatments or reflexology. This is not about de-tox; quite the opposite, since many spa resorts specialize in offering you multiple indulgent treatments during the day, followed by a couple glasses of red wine and a decadent dessert at night.

If you love the allure of the open ocean and the sense of adventure that comes from exploring multiple destinations on one trip, you’re probably a cruise lover. No cruise is complete without a little pampering, right? Undoubtedly, you’ll find your way to your ship’s spa. These once-upon-a-time windowless cubbies have entered the 21st century: all-suite yachts and luxe ocean liners are now dedicating large parts of their vessels to relaxation and fitness. Cruise spas are complete with all the must-have amenities you’d find on land – steam rooms, saunas, relaxation areas – as well as an extensive list of treatments. However, the real beauty of a cruise-ship spa is the location: everywhere. Where else can you have shiatsu in view of Antarctic icebergs or reflexology in the sunbaked shadow of Italy’s Amalfi Coast?

If you are a lean, mean, fat-burning machine or want to be, then choose the

fitness camp option, where the name of the game is shredding and shedding: muscles, pounds, and excuses. Early-morning wake-ups and workouts, detox menus to rid you of the sugar, caffeine, and alcohol cravings (Wait..those are bad?). After a few days of you’ll return home stronger and more focused on your fitness goals.

Together, you and I will ensure that the program you choose is one that meets you where you are, for starters. Would you rather wear a pair of hiking boots than a spa robe and slippers? Then you’re tailor-made for wellness travel. If you want the chill vibe of relaxation interspersed with pampering, a few classes to boost your activity level or knowledge base, nutrition counseling, cooking for health and wellness, novel treatments not easily found where you live, or complete immersion in the right program, you are the perfect wellness vacationer. What about a private cultural and wellness tour like this one? Your trip can be mindful or exciting – rock climbing, horseback riding, long walk or hike through beautiful scenery will appeal to those seeking light adventure; massage, jetted hot-tub or sports massage – it can all be part of your first, or next, wellness vacation.

'til next week


Did you miss any of my blog episodes? They are all here.

I create expertly designed, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you’re too busy to take time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.

-Juliet Weller, Founder

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