Since I launched Travel to Wellness in 2004, we’ve been defining “wellness travel” as “travel that allows the doer to maintain, promote or kick-start a healthy lifestyle.” And, when travel is planned with a particular wellness intention — such as to loose a few pounds, give oneself an overall reboot, learn how to manage everyday stress, discover new ways to make better food choices, even, Me Time to rebalance your life and connect with “self” — well, that’s a Wellness Vacation. Beyond the specific “intention” there are also your own unique interests and preferences to consider.

So, how to start the planning process? Here are six questions to ask yourself:

1. Do I want a guided and structured program? Guided programs can be anywhere from three days to two weeks and, in some cases, even longer. If you answer “yes” to this question, it will help you by narrowing your options.

2. What is my ONE “must have?” This could be anything. You decide.

3. What type of accommodation will help increase my sense of well-being and ensure I feel comfortable? This could be, for instance, a designated wellness spa, an intimate country inn, a boutique hotel, a family resort, an adults-only luxury resort.

4. What kind of food do I want? Consider, for instance if you want international gourmet, basic but nutritious, vegetarian, gluten free, other special dietary menus, or a cuisine that will help you totally change the way you eat.

5. What type of activities do I want access to? Designated spa/wellness retreats have long offered an extensive list of daily activities from fitness sessions to health-focused lectures and workshops, and today many mainstream hotels and resorts also offer optional activities. So, decide on the activity that is a “must have.”

6. What’s my budget? If this is a Wellness Vacation, the last thing you want to do is stress yourself financially. There was a time when taking a Wellness Vacation was associated with luxury travel but not so much anymore. There are now options available in all categories of travel. Budget, of course, will determine how far you travel from home, how long you stay and the type of accommodation you choose. Remember you do not have to necessarily travel far to find the type of Wellness Vacation you seek. Depending on where you live there could be a “great fit” within an easy drive.

A few other things to keep in mind:

• If you are looking for a cleanse/detox do you want a licensed restaurant on the premises to tempt you? Maybe not.

• Do the rooms have TVs, telephones and Wifi? Or, do you prefer a digital detox?

• How far is the inn/resort/hotel from the nearest town/city/airport?

• Do you want access to medical testing? Heart, blood pressure, body fat ratio, for instance.

• Do you want a cultural immersion opportunity?

Be well. Travel safely.

Originally published at

Originally published at