Health and wellness fads come and go (jazzercise and grapefruit diets are best left firmly in the 1980s), but the idea of wellness tourism, where we head off on holiday to focus on our health or wellbeing (or both), is showing no signs of slowing down.
In fact, in 2019 the Global Wellness Institute found that 936 million trips were made around the world for spas and wellness. Post-pandemic, rapid growth is predicted — and if all the new spa openings, wellbeing retreats, and popularity of dedicated health resorts are anything to go by, there'll be plenty to satisfy our wanderlust for wellness-based travel.
Frankly, we don't need much of an excuse to head out there in search of pampering, me-time experiences when it's all in the name of being good for us. And when there's always a new trend to try in the wellness sphere, it makes the idea of wellness tourism all the more irresistible.
With this in mind we're exploring the top wellness travel trends for the year ahead. From new ideas emerging like 'sober curious' travel, where we phase out booze to experience the world through an alcohol-free lens, to modern revitalisations of ancient practices like hammam and sound healing in beautiful corners of the world, there are many ways to put your mind and body at the forefront of your holiday this year.
Our focus on protecting and improving our mental health may have given rise to some of the more recent trends, such as meditative practices like forest bathing and drawing on the wisdom of ancient therapies, realising that our ancestors may have known more about prioritising mental health than they've been given credit for.
Others trends are based on modern science and nutrition research that's aimed at boosting our health by eating well. There are also cutting-edge retreats where diagnostics and blood tests track improvements throughout our stay in a less sinister version of Nine Perfect Strangers.
In the name of good health, take a look at the top wellness travel trends that are gaining pace and are here to stay for 2023 with ideas of how to incorporate them into your trips, whether you’re eyeing a staycation or planning something a little more far-flung.
Stock image. Anna_Om