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Body + Mind

The Wellness Trends Defining Travel This Year

As our managing editor‘s extensive trend report ‘The Future Of Travel’ emphasised, wellness is going to change how we travel in 2024 like never before.

Here, we dive a little deeper into the exact wellness trends that are causing such a change within our travel itineraries, leading us to book different locations for a wide range of wellbeing-boosting activities.

From fitness beginners taking their first workout steps – not at the back of a crowded gym, but on the beaches of their favourite destinations – to short-and-sweet stays to supercharge your mind, body and soul despite a busy schedule, these are the biggest wellness trends set to define travel this year and beyond.

Super Beginner Retreats

Retreats can be a truly transformational experience, but the concept of booking in for a three to seven day experience when you haven’t even stepped foot on a yoga mat or tried meditation before is (understandably) sometimes viewed as rather daunting. A new generation of retreats are aiming to change that. The concept is simple: you don’t have to choose between an indulgent holiday and a health retreat – both are equally possible on the same trip. One example is Wildlife & Yoga, which aims to softly introduce you to retreat concepts, with a unique combination of safari experiences and yoga practice in Kenya. Or, there’s the iconic offering at Greece‘s Peligoni Club‘s annual PACE Wellness Weeks in May and October. These aim to place uber-beginners in the safest of fitness-boosting hands, including those of ex-pro ballet dancers, Olympic swimmers and even the world’s most successful cyclist, Sir Christopher Hoy.

Vitamin-Sea Therapy

Water has long been considered the most healing element, with an influence spanning far beyond the ability to make us physically clean. And in 2024, it looks set to take centre stage. Convalescence at the sea has been a travel trend since the Victorian era and, over the last year or so, wild swimming and cold water bathing have risen exponentially in interest as we look to reconnect with nature and the world around us through the calming influence of lakes and pools. With mineral-rich springs, thermal baths and balneotherapy experiences now available across the globe – from Iceland to the USA and Budapest – wellness travel to the water has a wealth of options for every interest. Fittingly, the holistic therapy of sound healing actually works by using notes at the frequency of the water in our bodies, and that is growing in demand too. Plus, you could even argue that going for a dream snorkelling trip during your favourite beach holiday fits the criteria.

Quick-Fire Retreats

We all want to live better, healthier lives, but sometimes life – and definitely work – just seems to get in the way. Luckily, wellness retreats are now responding to the demands of the modern woman (and man) by bringing the flexibility we need to adapt to our busy schedules, this year and beyond. That includes mindfulness retreats delivered over Zoom so you can travel virtually to any corner of the world, helping you connect with leading experts from your living room; Michelle Roques-O’Neil’s Inner Light Micro Retreats are a beautiful example. Or, why not try a short half-day experience at leading hotels like The Mandrake for tailored workshops, such as reiki, crystal healing and astrology. There’s even micro-detoxes on offer, such as at The Glass House Retreat, which mean you don’t need to be OOO for too long to feel the wellbeing benefits.

Meet A Wellness Robot

We’ve embraced tech in almost all aspects of our lives, so it should be no surprise that 2024 is the year that it really influences our wellness travels. As the longevity trend continues to prosper, the clued-up wellbeing connoisseur is looking to the very latest cutting-edge developments to not only live longer but to live better, and simple spa treatments will no longer be enough to fit the bill. As such, traditional and new wellbeing retreats alike are rising to meet the demand, and offering the very best technologies in the process. From hyperbaric oxygen chambers that supercharge healing, to ozone heat domes to supercharge your weight loss results, the devices may seem to be taking wellness firmly in the direction of robotics, but you can expect their use to be closely linked to an equally growing trend: personalisation. In fact, with a doctor’s ability to help tailor your retreats based on blood work as well as continuous heart rate and blood sugar monitoring, wellness tech is likely to help you see better results even faster.

Get Sleep Wise

As mentioned in The Future Of Travel report, sleep tourism has caused a huge spike in wellness travel of late, and what’s more you can embrace the trend simply by booking into your favourite hotel for a cosy nights sleep. However, to reap the biggest benefits, why not go one step further? Many leading hotels, including Six Senses, now have resident sleep doctors to help you improve your sleep in the long-term, with rest-enhancing programmes based on real science – not just lavender room mists (although they’ll always be on hand for your pillow too). With options available to help you break up with technology before bed as well, and plenty of mind-soothing therapies such as aromatherapy massages on offer, our favourite sleep-boosting destinations will not disappoint.

You Are Never Too Young To Start

The Citizen Enfants‘ team are predicting a surge of interest in child-friendly wellness breaks in 2024; after all, what’s good for an adult’s mind and body is often just as restorative for your little ones too. There’s been a really positive up-take in schools offering wellbeing-boosting sessions over the past year – from yoga to meditation – so your next family trip can build on that education and help kids of all ages relax and unwind, as well as splash and run around. Whether its in the form of adapted yoga classes, child-friendly spa treatments, forest bathing walks or family-focused cooking courses, hotels are providing experiences that will set your whole family up for a healthier approach to stress, fitness and overall wellbeing for years to come.

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