Wellness Trips are on the rise, and it isn’t a huge surprise given the amount of stress that’s overwhelming almost everyone. “The Stress in America survey results show that adults continue to report high levels of stress and many report that their stress has increased over the past year – American Psychological Association.” This is just one of the reports about America, but it’s also happening on a global level.
People have tried many methods of coping in the past, but a popular option (certainly one of my favorites) is taking a vacation. Typically, it’s a good way to relieve yourself of the problems back home, but perhaps it isn’t quite enough anymore. Maybe, even with the separation from home, we cannot quite free our minds from our own prisons of stress. This is where wellness trips come in. There are countless options, but a few involve yoga retreats, spa retreats or a health and wellness retreat—all very real ways to free your mind.
I’ve compiled a list of some of the best wellness retreats for you to check out. I also threw in a few of the most affordable retreats so that you don’t stress yourself out getting there.
Batangas, Philippines | Year-Round Retreat | Rates start at $2,225 for a week
Set in the verdant Batangas region of the Philippines, The Farm is a luxury wellness retreat like no other. Famous for its back-to-nature approach the staff at The Farm seek to create a relaxing atmosphere and offer healthy detoxifying treatments, nutritious raw food and emotional guidance and support throughout your stay. The ideal destination for a rejuvenating anti-ageing holiday you can enjoy a wide variety of treatments and therapies, many of which are performed using locally sourced organic products. No stay at The Farm is complete without a trip to the award-winning restaurant Alive!, which serves only the freshest raw vegan food and detoxifying juices to help you on your wellness journey.
Ko Samui, Thailand | Year-Round Retreat | Rates start at $176 per night
Thailand’s award-winning sanctuary and holistic spa is nestled in a valley that overlooks the coast of southern Koh Samui and is the perfect destination for a revitalizing detox holiday. Buddhist monks once used the cave temple as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat, which gives Kamalaya a particularly calming energy. Not simply content with offering a quick-fix solution the staff at Kamalaya strive to provide a stimulating environment which encourages personal growth and long-term health transformation. With a wide range of dedicated wellness programs, luxurious grounds, accommodation and dedicated staff you are sure to reach your specific wellness goals.
Bail, Asia | Year-round Retreat | Starting at $4000 per week
A gorgeous unspoiled destination with an award-winning holistic spa Como Shambhala offers healthy cuisine and outstanding accommodation to help you escape from the stresses of daily life. Surrounded by lush tropical jungle this beautiful Balinese wellness retreat calms and nurtures with its holistic approach and excellent wellness programs. Enjoy yoga, Pilates and tennis, cycling and hiking around the neighboring mountains and rice fields before treating yourself to an indulgent spa treatment on this luxury healing holiday. The peaceful atmosphere and spirit of sharing at Como Shambhala also help to make it a popular destination for solo travelers seeking some pampering and relaxation.
It’s very obvious that the above options are not very budget friendly, however, cheaper options do exist. They will not be as extravagant but they will be equally rewarding.
Nassau City, New Providence, Bahamas | Year-round Retreat | Rates range from $20 to $32 a day
Sivananda is an Ashram yoga retreat in the Bahamas. You can combine yoga and beach sand at this full-service retreat with multiple discounts, depending on the type of healing package you prefer. For example, for $116 a night, you get a private view of the ocean, a private bathroom and shower, and air conditioning and you can participate in yoga classes, satsangs, and workshops while you are there, and find yourself refreshed and energized at the end of your stay.
Boone, North Carolina | Year-round Retreat| From $178 per day
While you won’t be sweating through asanas during your stay at the Art of Living Retreat Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this weekend course will teach you meditation and breathing practices to help you focus on the present. You’ll learn Sudarshan Kriya, a breathing technique that helps you sync with your body’s natural rhythm to eliminate stress, fatigue, and other negative emotions. As you let go, break away to wander through the outdoor labyrinth—a metaphor for a pilgrim’s journey—to maintain that sense of inner balance.
Chiang Rai, Thailand | Year-round Retreat | From $143 a day
The best part about booking a yoga retreat at Museflower is that you can do it on your own terms. Consider visiting in September or October, after the rainy monsoon season, when the weather cools and nature is at its greenest. Plus, the airfare isn’t as high as the peak season which starts in November and goes through January. Each holistic retreat package—whether it’s three, five, or seven days—includes two daily hatha yoga classes, organic vegetarian farm-to-table meals, and a massage. Amenity not to miss: the Himalayan crystal salt pool. You’ll stay in lakeside cottages surrounded by misty hills and have easy access to hill tribe villages, cultural excursions to temples and bazaars, and even elephant trekking tours.
These are trips that would involve some extensive planning and budgeting, but I would imagine the benefits would significantly surpass the struggles. Regardless, it’s something to consider, and it’s great that these organizations see the people’s need for a place to refresh, and are doing their best to meet that need. I will definitely be adding a wellness retreat to my travel bucket list.
Today’s article was contributed by Maddie Mercer.