Need to recharge? Try a wellness vacation

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When you are looking to get away from daily routines and stress, a vacation can be the escape you need. In 2024, wellness travel is a top trend in vacations, prioritizing mental and physical well-being. If you are looking for relaxation and balance this year, explore wellness vacations.

Discover the ultimate escape for mind, body and soul with a wellness vacation. Unwind, rejuvenate and return refreshed. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

What is wellness travel?

A wellness vacation is a way to travel that focuses on rest. By planning around your mental and physical health, wellness travel can help you feel more relaxed and ready to take on life after vacation ends.

Traveling for rest and relaxation is a trend in vacations. According to information from Hilton, rest is the top reason that travelers are booking trips in 2024. Their data reveals that over 55% of travelers are making this aspect of wellness their first priority on vacations they take this year.

Options for a wellness vacation

While relaxing vacations in the past centered on spa retreats or exercise classes, today’s wellness travel has trips for every taste. You can plan the type of trip that makes you feel most recharged, whether that means lounging around or being active out in nature. In addition to spa treatments and yoga, you can also choose from more unique options.

Elevate your sleep

Sleep tourism is surging in popularity. Skyscanner reports that 49% of travelers feel that they get better sleep on vacation. This year, 44% of people are even considering sleep retreats for vacation. Hotels with quality mattresses, sleep amenities and a quiet setting can help you catch up on your sleep during travel.

Savor foodie experiences

Indulging your taste buds can be restorative for your mental health and healthy food can boost your physical health. You can try restaurants and local cuisine, or join a cooking class to learn recipes that you can continue to make after vacation, like this healthy Italian dressing.

Connect with nature

If being out in nature recharges you, a wellness vacation can center around outdoor activities. With options for solo activities or guided tours, you can try hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, zip-lining and more.

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Top destinations for wellness vacations

Anywhere you can relax is an ideal location for wellness travel, but many people choose destinations that combine nature and amenities. Natural attractions like lakes, mountains, oceans, beaches and deserts can be a gorgeous backdrop for your vacation and provide opportunities for invigorating exercise.

Relax by the water on Hilton Head Island

If you want to relax to the lull of crashing waves and a gentle sea breeze, Hilton Head Island is a first-choice destination for your wellness trip. With miles of beachfront, the Hilton Head beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing and strolling along the waterline.

If you want to add more activities to your vacation, Hilton Head Island also has lots of options. Hiking trails throughout the wildlife preserve offer a chance to slow down and observe local birds and other wildlife. Kayaking tours let you explore the beaches from the water. And more than 60 miles of bike paths that can take you all over the island.

Plan wellness travel around nature in Jasper National Park

Spending time in nature is a great way to disconnect and recharge, and Jasper National Park is the perfect retreat. Situated in the Canadian Rockies, the park has a vast network of trails, abundant wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery. 

Set out on a hike or bike ride for restorative exercise through the park’s stunning mountains that will leave you feeling happy and refreshed. After a day of exploring nature, the town of Jasper has local spas and restaurants where you can wind down and rest your body. 

Emily Van Tighem from Tourism Jasper notes, “From spa visits to firelit cabins, Jasper is the dream escape where visitors can relax and embrace that slow, mountain-town pace.” The combination of natural surroundings, exercise and relaxation will help you return to real life with a new motivation.

Find balance among the rainforests and beaches of St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a picturesque island in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It boasts white sand beaches, volcanic mountains and rainforests. St. Lucia also has many all-inclusive resorts with spas, restaurants, pools, beachfront access and beautiful suites with rainforest views.

Because of the island’s unique environment, you can explore lush rainforests and natural flora. You can also relax in volcanic mud baths or on sandy beaches. This island retreat is the perfect place to focus on rejuvenating your mind and body.

Types of wellness vacations

With the growing focus on wellness travel in recent years, resorts and hotels have increased their wellness offerings. It is now possible to plan a trip that matches your travel style and fits your budget.

For those looking for effortless planning and extensive amenities, all-inclusive wellness resorts let you focus entirely on your well-being. You can find resorts at top destinations.

The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort resort balances indulgence and wellness with extensive amenities, including a 4-day/5-night sleep retreat where you can reset your circadian rhythms with a smart bed. The resort is also a beach club, giving you access to sunny South Florida beaches.

The wellness retreat at Hilton Head Health focuses on improving your overall health in a beachside setting with hands-on cooking classes, chef’s table experiences, and exercise classes. Located outside of Phoenix, AZ, Castle Hot Springs offers natural hot springs. Soaking in the water rich with healing minerals can center your mind, soothe aches and promote relaxation and better sleep.

Hotels now have many wellness-focused amenities as well. Dedicated wellness rooms, fitness centers, spa treatments and fine cuisine are available at many hotels. Hilton has also added special sleep amenities at many of its properties, like smart beds, pillow menus and sound machines.

Rest and recharge on a wellness vacation

While travel has always been an excuse to get away from it all, 2024 is the year that travelers and the tourism industry are prioritizing wellness. As you plan your vacations this year, plan a trip around well-being. 

You can plan for everything from indulging with spa treatments to immersing yourself in nature with a hike. However you choose to recharge while on vacation, wellness travel will let you return home feeling healthier, happier and more rested.

Lisa Wells is a travel, food and lifestyle writer and photographer who has traveled across 37 countries. As the founder of Coastal Wandering, she shares her love for laid-back beach living with stories, recipes and tips for a relaxed coastal lifestyle.

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