There are elegant resorts where you can pay thousands for a week of carrot salad lunches and entertainments that require heavy physical exertion. But there are also those that provide the same reductions in weight, stress, toning of muscles and spirits and cost considerably less. Asian, African and Middle East locations are particularly renowned for their affordable options.
Besides, the 21st century definition of a health, wellness or spa vacation is not just about getting a massage or sitting in heated water. The options are very multi-faceted although all include relaxation and rejuvenation and are proactive in discovering healthier, less stressful lifestyles. There’s the type that focuses on nurturing and relaxing the body through health treatments or massage. Alternatively you could focus on the inner self and undertake yoga, meditation, spiritual retreats or art and dance therapy. Some vacations focus on developing appropriate fitness, challenge activities and leadership and maybe more energetic. Others emphasize lifestyle modification and undertake nutrition or healthy cooking demonstrations; engage in volunteer vacations where participants can serve others or highlight eco tours into wilderness areas, farm vacations and garden themes.
Options for beginners
Most people considering these vacations are seeking to balance out their life in mind, heart, body or spirit. Any vacation that takes you away from the routine and demand of your daily life can fit the bill, as long as you slow down and have space to reflect on your life and values so changes can take place.
For some it may simply be a time out experience, for others an imperative to get back on track. Think about what kind of break you need in your life. Do you need some time out indulging in spa treatments, a physical challenge to give you renewed confidence in your abilities or a real health transformation to lose weight or live better? Look through the tour options available and see what piques your interest and go from there. Take a guided option or package first over the weekend close to home before you jet off to India for a full on Ayuverda or meditation course.
Options for advanced
Once you’ve developed an area of interest or found a treatment that works for you, start experimenting in different locations. If you love the spas and bathhouses of the world make sure you visit these as you travel. Morocco, Turkey or even Taiwan have amazing public bath houses where you can be cleansed and pummeled for a fraction of the cost at home. If you enjoy massage sample that of India, China or Thailand. Eco tours and nature retreats are offered just about anywhere. You could go the Amazon to escape the pressures of the world or simply go camping out in the wilds of outback Australia.