There is no doubt that travel is one of the top goals of many people. One glance at any type social media shows an endless stream of friends and acquaintances relating something about taking glamorous trips to exotic locales. One of the best reasons to travel, however, is simply to focus on your own health and wellness. We’ve all heard that taking time off for a vacation is important to both your mental and physical health, however America is one of the countries that offers the least amount of vacation time. Long work hours, family to take care of, and the stress of modern life can distract you from taking care of yourself.


Traveling isn’t only about getting away from home anymore; it’s about creating time and space for you to practice your well-being, while focusing on those health aspects that you may be neglecting. Why should your next vacation focus on your well-being, rather than an ideal vacation destination?


Freedom of choice:

Wellness travel isn’t exactly a “right or wrong” type of activity. For example, there are structured programs that will take the details out of your hands, and have your entire wellness trip (a yoga retreat, for example) planned out for you – down to the hour. If, however, you’re just looking to go on vacation and incorporate wellness into it, this is just as much a valid form of wellness travel. The focus of traveling this way is to spend time on your personal well being, and to take the time to see your life in a new perspective. For example, if you sit at a desk 40 hours a week, but want to become more active, make activity a part of your vacation. Going on a hiking trip in Costa Rica could be a great choice to help you begin to form new productive habits. If you overschedule yourself and get a tension headache every time you look at your schedule, consider a place with no schedule and no place you have to be…. a cruise, for example, as a way to de-stress. If you are looking to reframe your current relationship with food, take a look at local cuisines before you book your ticket. A great way to decide the destination of your wellness trip is by making a list of goals, and using that to help you find programs or narrow down places that fit the bill.


You’ll establish healthy habits:

Let’s face it, we all know creating change takes both time and commitment; you can’t just wake up one morning and say you’re going to lose twenty pounds. Good habits require an organized plan that you can stick to. Whether you want to learn to become at peace with yourself through yoga or meditation, or you want to learn to surf or scuba dive, these things take time, commitment, and practice. By going to visit a new place in the world or sticking to a structured program, you have the power to focus on the steps you need to take to help you meet your goals. Getting away from your daily life allows for the chance to establish new habits without the demands of the “real world” getting in your way. If you want to wake up earlier, start this on your vacation, when you can go to bed without worrying about laundry, dishes, or the next day’s  work. If you want to get better about your fitness routine, use the gym on a cruise ship or stay at a hotel with an onsite gym, and plan your sightseeing around using that gym.


Alternative holidays:

Another option is using a vacation to both learn and help others. Many companies now offer structured packages that allow you to share in doing socially beneficial work in parts of the world where people can benefit dramatically from outside help and attention. This can be enormously satisfying to you as well – providing a sense of perspective and self-worth, and physically rewarding if you combine it with exercise and a healthy diet while traveling.


Putting effort into creating a trip that is grounded in the idea of betterment will help with your physical well-being, which is important for living a long life, and mental well-being, which is the foundation for making that long life a happy one as well.