As wellness travel becomes mainstream, new facets and experiences continue to emerge. Here are five of our favorites for the year ahead.
1. NATURE IMMERSION GETAWAYS
Mental health continues to be a hot topic, as rates of anxiety, stress, and depression continue to chart higher across all age groups. Probably not coincidental, we spend less time in nature and more and more time indoors, and in front of screens. Seems we needed science to figure out that being outdoors calms the body and mind, and actually results in both a reduction in cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for stress) and depression. Time in nature is being prescribed by doctors, and nature getaways provide much needed Vitamin D and an opportunity for your mind to clear and relax.
CRISIS HEALTH KICK
Forget sports cars and questionable tattoos – more men are choosing wellness holidays, showing the modern man is investing in their health now more than ever. While in the past most wellness resorts and retreats catered to women, we are seeing more male-specific programs pop up, offering everything from luxury spa to cross-training and surf. With people living longer, is 60 the new middle age?
3. FERTILITY TRIPS
One’s overall health can affect the chances of conceiving so if you and your partner are beginning the process or have already started trying for a baby, being mentally, emotionally and physically healthy can place you in good stead for conception. Focused on relaxation, procreation vacations propose to naturally increase fertility by refining nutrition, promoting gentle exercise, improving sleep, and reducing stress. And, the gorgeous surroundings can’t hurt.
4. SLEEP RETREATS
Arianna Huffington credits her success to one thing: sleep. So much so, she wrote an entire book about it: The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. Unfortunately, in our relentlessly “on” culture, sleep is not something people are getting enough of. Combined with noise and light pollution, it’s no surprise that people long for silence and tranquility to get some much-needed shut-eye. Many sleep retreats combine luxury accommodations and ambiance with holistic treatments and expert sleep tips, in calming locations that can help you reach optimum well-being … or at least shake that foggy feeling.
5. FLYING, WELL, BETTER
Gone are the romantic days of air travel, with in-flight cocktails, cozy slippers and full meals with actual silverware. Okay, maybe the smoking policies weren’t all that healthy, but today’s air travel can be a downright unsavory and stressful experience. Long security lines, flight delays, cramped seats, lack of hydration – thankfully, collaborations among airports, airlines, and wellness businesses are starting to emerge. Airports are experimenting with healthy design, such as adding natural daylight, plant walls, and outdoor and indoor green spaces, and spa, fitness and yoga offerings are popping up for pre-flight relaxation and movement. And many airlines are starting to offer more health-conscious food options as well as in-flight sleep and meditation programming. Now if only they would bring back those onboard sommeliers…