Have you heard about the latest trend in holidays? Sitting on a beach somewhere, sipping on sangria, idly flicking through a novel, is one way to go, but what about booking a break that actually has a wellness purpose too?
Health and Fitness Travel, who are experts in forecasting the next big trends in wellness travel, have rounded up some of the best places to book for mindful movement holidays, happiness retreats and architectural wellness for 2018. Here are some choices that have caught our eye.
Preventative Health to Eliminate Disease
With preventable diseases responsible for approximately 70% of premature deaths worldwide each year, it’s more important than ever that we start to take our health in our own hands. As people become increasingly aware of how unhealthy habits and lifestyle can significantly increase the risks of illness, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer, there has been an increase in preventative health holidays to keep your well-being in check.
Top 3 Destinations: Palacio Estoril Preventative Health (Portugal), Kurotel Healthy Longevity (Brazil), The Farm Heart Health & Stress Reduction (Philippines)
What on earth is ‘wellness architecture’, we hear you ask? A growing trend in the wellness industry, is reshaping the luxury travel sector, providing spaces that are not only structurally beautiful, but also comfortable, functional and sustainable. With guest welfare at the forefront, more ‘healthy-for-human’ hotels are emerging, where both the design and materials used address the physical and mental health of the people inside. This includes ‘living’ buildings, with greenery that grows inside, and design that encourages human movement and mindfulness.
Top 3 Destinations: Aro Ha (New Zealand), Soneva Kiri (Thailand), Santani Wellness Resort (Sri Lanka)
Food as Medicine
A worrying seven in 10 people take prescription medication, and this unhealthy pill-popping culture has led to an awareness of the need to replace pharmaceuticals with more natural remedies. There is a trend towards ‘food as medicine’, with more people ditching the drugs in favour of treating their ailments with the right nutrients. This has also led to an increase in nutrition-friendly holidays, where guests can discover the best diet for their body type and health concerns.
Top 3 Destinations: SHA Wellness Clinic (Spain), Samahita Candida Detox (Thailand), Sianji Master Detox (Turkey)
The reality is that not all holidays are reserved for celebratory events such as honeymoons and anniversaries. More people are planning wellness holidays following the breakdown of a relationship too. The stress and anxiety caused by major life changes like divorce, lead many individuals on a solo wellness trip, in order to tap into the transformative power of travel. Retreats are responding to this growing trend, with an array of emotional healing therapies, stress management and life coaching services.
Top 3 Destinations: Phuket Cleanse (Thailand), Kamalaya Embracing Change (Thailand), BodyHoliday September Solos (St Lucia)
Mindfulness has been a major buzzword in the wellness world over the last few years, and 2018 is set to be the year of ‘mindful movement’. With increased awareness of the connection between the mind and body, a shift towards mindful exercise is occurring, bringing attention and focus to one’s workout, whilst reaping the physical and psychological benefits of exercise.
Top 3 Destinations: Marbella Club Mindful Triathlon (Spain), Epic Sana Mindfulness Retreat (Portugal), Shreyas Silent Retreat (India)
Skip Gen Holidays
While last year saw a rising trend for family and ‘multi-generational’ holidays; 2018 is set to be the year of ‘skip-gen’ trips, where grandparents take grandchildren on once-in-a-lifetime holidays, leaving parents behind. Sounds good to us! The reason for this shift can be attributed to the fact that the baby boomer generation are now retiring, with their top priorities being family and travel. Skip-gen holidays combine the two, providing the opportunity for major milestones such as graduations and special birthdays to be celebrated in style.
Top 3 Destinations: Zighy Bay (Oman), Sun Gardens Dubrovnik (Croatia), Kamalaya (Thailand)
The enlightened among us realise that experiences, not things, make us happy; therefore, it’s no surprise that people are investing more on satisfying their wanderlust than buying material goods. English author Leigh Hunt writes, “The groundwork of all happiness is good health” and in the same vein, health resorts are highlighting the importance of wellness to achieve joyful bliss. Activities like morning hikes and beach circuit training all foster the production of serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’) and the likes of laughter yoga, smile-asanas and inner-smile meditation will soon fill your retreat schedule.
Top 3 Destinations: The Mind Coaching Retreat at MacDonald Monchique (Portugal), SwaSwara (India), Shanti Maurice De-stress (Mauritius)