How are the New Year resolutions going? Have you joined the gym? Given up alcohol for Dry January? Or committed to new, good habits? More importantly, did you book a holiday yet? It seems concern with our general wellbeing is not just a New Year’s fad, with the global health and wellness industry now estimated to be worth $4.2 trillion.
And guess what? Travel has a big role to play in our physical and mental health. According to ABTA, over two million UK holidaymakers are planning to take a wellness trip in the next 12 months, with one in three people planning to take part in activities on holiday that are focused on improving their wellbeing. Here are five different ways to enjoy a healthier holiday in 2020:
Seek inner calm in the Kasbah
With its melee of snake charmers, spice merchants, donkeys and motorbikes, Marrakech’s medina may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of wellness travel. But White Owl Retreats has chosen the colourful heart of Morocco’s Red City for its escapes, incorporating mindfulness meditation, rooftop yoga and nutritional cooking workshops. Chartered psychologist and founder Lucie Andersen-Wood believes that the exotic setting plays a huge role in helping participants renew and rediscover themselves.
Hug a tree in Sweden
Described as the practice of immersing oneself in nature through the five senses, forest bathing is a form of preventative medicine and therapy first introduced by the Japanese. Tapping into the organic compounds produced by trees is believed to boost the immune system while also reducing stress. In fact, a simple stroll in the woods has also been proven to lower blood pressure and accelerate recovery from illness. The opportunity to reconnect with nature and enjoy a digital detox can only be a good thing, so why not max the experience with a stay a treehouse? The Treehotel in Sweden has six quirky treehouses to choose from, the perfect spot to re-wild, gaze out at the spectacular forest canopy and marvel at the Northern Lights.
Catch a wave in Sri Lanka
For those who prefer a more active and adventurous approach to wellness, there are plenty of challenging retreats to help unlock a healthier you. London Girls Surf Club is on a mission to get more city-based women into the ocean, using surfing to calm chaotic minds. Their trips are geared at everyone from absolute beginners to experienced surfers. Choose from Sri Lanka, Morocco, Fuerteventura and even Devon. Other activities on trips range from skateboarding to camel riding.
Take an icy plunge in Finland
Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for two years in a row, so it stands to reason they’re doing something right. Many locals start the day with an ice swim during the winter months, the glacial water said to invigorate and give a healthy energy boost. The country boasts numerous public saunas and sea pools where tourists can take the plunge, or book through one of the operators offering to dig an ‘avanto’ or hole in the ice for the ultimate dip.
Go the full spa in the Algarve
Not all spas are created equal. The new Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel in Portugal’s western Algarve boasts a wellness centre and medical spa offering everything from detox retreats to sleep-better therapies and a chromotherapy hammam with an Epsom salt room. Packages range from a three-night holistic dental health check to a 21-night ‘new life’ programme including skin cancer screening, genetic testing, intense detox and traditional Chinese medicine consultation.
Wherever your travels are set to take you, make sure you’re covered. Contact us for more details and a no-obligation quote.