According to a 2012 study published in Travel Pulse, 9 out of 10 Americans say they feel happier after taking a vacation. That’s not surprising, considering the negative effects a busy schedule can have on your mind and body. If travel is so good for your health, why not unplug with a wellness retreat? Put a healthier twist on your next vacation with the following ideas:
1. Babymoon: Taking a timeout before your bundle of joy arrives is great for your health and for bonding with your partner. At The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay in Northern California (photo, left), the Babymoon Package includes accommodations, pre-natal massage and a Cravings Menu of banana splits and s’mores.
2. Girlfriends: Kohler Waters Spa at The American Club in Wisconsin focuses on the healing properties of mineral-rich water. The two-night Girlfriend’s Getaway is both relaxing and fun, and features a 50-minute massage, discount on additional services, yoga on the lake and a three-course dinner.
3. Solo: Looking for a private retreat? Check out September Solos at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia, a wellness-focused resort. The annual event includes hosted dinners and dedicated fitness classes, as well as daily spa treatments, water and land sports activities and a sunset cruise.
4. Romantic: Few things are more tranquil than a vacation in untouched nature. Banyan Tree Mayakoba (photo, bottom) caters to couples with its Romantic Getaway special, which includes spa and relaxation sessions. The Mayan Riviera resort also hosts private lagoon “drifting dinners” on a traditional dining boat.
5. Adventure: Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of excitement at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts. The all-inclusive health resort draws thrill-seekers with its lineup of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, canoeing and skiing.PLAYLIST: 14 Ways to Travel Well
6. Yoga: With epic waterfalls and rainforest surroundings, Anamaya Resort (photo, right) is a quintessential Costa Rican experience. Derived from the Sanskrit word for “good health,” Anamaya hosts several yoga retreats throughout the year that are oftentimes combined with other activities like surfing and jungle excursions.
7. Spiritual: Off the west coast of Scotland sits Holy Isle, an escape with an ancient spiritual history dating to the 6th century. Founded by a Tibetan Buddhist, Holy Isle hosts meditation and yoga retreats and courses at its Centre for World Peace and Health.
8. Total Spa: The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa draws on Southwestern roots and time-tested Asian influences. The first of its kind in the United States, it offers spa and medical services, nutrition consultation and innovative fitness classes like aerial yoga.
9. Unplug: Three to five day Digital Detox retreats that take place in destinations from California to Cambodia offer total disconnect. No cell phones. No Facebook. No email. Just a group of folks looking to unwind through personal reflection, art workshops and fitness.
10. Families: The family that plays together stays together. Get your crew up and active with an all-inclusive vacation to Sandpiper Club Med in West Palm Beach, Florida. Golf and other standard activities can be supplemented with other surprising treats like trapeze lessons!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Katarina Kovacevic is a freelance writer specializing in travel, spa, and beauty and wellness. She’s the author of The Food Lovers’ Guide to Phoenix & Scottsdale and founder/editor of Style Jaunt, a blog about fashionable travel. Her work has appeared in publications like American Spa, The Knot, Unboudary by USA Today, SheKnows.com and more. Follow her on Twitter @Little_K