What Is Wellness Travel? Five Things To Expect

Image of a woman in tree pose on a rock cliff. Learn about wellness travel with The Travel Yogi.

You finally took that vacation. Rejoice! So, why do you feel more exhausted than when you left? Maybe it was the blur of an itinerary, an overindulgence of food or alcohol, or the lack of regular exercise. Regardless, it doesn’t feel great. Now you’re returning to the rigors of everyday life without that restorative holiday “ahhhh” that you needed. Your depleted, post-vacay feeling isn’t unique. In fact, it’s all too common. It has led (happily) to the proliferation and popularity of a different kind of tourism: wellness travel. What is wellness travel? Keep reading! We’ll fill you in on some wellness travel background and five things to expect if you decide to try it out. 

What Is Wellness Travel?

Wellness travel is spreading like (a good) wildfire. Maybe that’s because it is a form of tourism that focuses on maintaining, enhancing, or beginning a healthy lifestyle to promote mental and physical wellbeing. Instead of feeling stressed out or depleted after a vacation, wellness travel is about helping you feel refreshed, rested, and changed. You’ll return home feeling like a better, healthier version of yourself.

Mind and body are linked, so why wouldn’t you travel in a way that refreshes and rejuvenates both? We all strive for balance in our daily lives, so why wouldn’t we look for it on vacation as well? Wellness travel, in its myriad of forms, is here to answer that question. 

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness travel industry is growing twice as fast as regular tourism. In 2017, it was a $639 billion global market. It hit $735.8 billion in 2020 and is estimated to surpass $1.2 trillion by 2027.

Why is it so popular? In part, it’s because it appeals to so many people. Who doesn’t want to feel great during and after the travel experience? Who doesn’t want to learn how to incorporate vacation vibes into everyday life?

The Two Main Paths for Wellness Travel

Let’s break it down. There tend to be two main paths for wellness travel. One road is for those who are actively seeking a travel experience that is centered strictly around wellness. This path is along the lines of the traditional yoga retreat: gorgeous locale, yoga two or three times a day (or pilates, running, etc). 

The second road is for those who want to explore and adventure, all while maintaining their wellness throughout. Here you can think of an adventure trip that incorporates wellness. Maybe it’s biking one destination to another or yoga bookending a day of immersion. Think: a mash-up or balance of adventures and wellness activities throughout the trip.  

While we at The Travel Yogi focus on the second path discussed above, wellness travel isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of trip in our book. ‘Balance’ looks different for different people and the pace of each destination. It can look like waterfall-hopping and rye-bread-ice-cream eating (trust us, it’s delicious) in Iceland to riding rapids and hiking mountains through stunning Patagonia. It can look like kayaking the secluded bays of the Galápagos or slowing down and sipping some vin in the French countryside. Yoga, and plenty of action and immersion, included. So wellness travel for one person might look like path #1 and, for others, #2. Luckily there are plenty of options and companies out there to offer these different options to different travelers. Long live wellness travel and adventures!

Adventure Travel and Yoga Retreats

How do adventure travel and yoga retreats compare to the term ‘wellness travel? They can both be subsections of wellness travel (hurrah!). People interested in adventure travel are, naturally, seeking adventures. They are seeking out experiences in remote places off the beaten path. Adventure travel is the breeding ground of spellbinding stories, the kinds of memories that don’t fade with time and can get an entire table of dinner guests hanging on your every word. The experiences can be intense, rewarding, and totally unlike your experiences at home. 

Yoga retreats, like adventure travel, come in all shapes and sizes. At their very core, yoga retreats are a space where people who love yoga gather to focus solely on their practice. Whether that’s for five days or five weeks, yogis come together to deepen their practice and reconnect with themselves.  A yoga retreat might involve daily yoga, meditation, healthy and delicious cuisine, all while staying in a remote and beautiful location.

If only there was a way to combine these two kinds of wellness travel….

At The Travel Yogi, that’s exactly what we do! Yoga Wellness Adventures that balance physical and mental wellbeing as well and immersion and adventure have arrived.

The Travel Yogi: Yoga Adventure Retreats

As the Original Yoga Adventure Company, The Travel Yogi has been a pioneer in the yoga adventure retreat industry; the first company to balance truly immersive adventure travel with yoga and wellness.

So, how does it work? The Travel Yogi curates yoga adventure retreats for experience-hungry yogis. The days are filled with activities tailored specifically to the region you are visiting, be it hiking, kayaking, exploring, biking, snorkeling, wine tasting, or horseback riding while getting under the skin of the local culture and nature. 

Five Things To Expect From The Travel Yogi Yoga Adventure Retreats 

1. Carefully-Cultivated Cultural Immersion

Yoga adventure retreats are not about traveling to a new place only to do things the same way we do them back home. In order to grow, we know that we need to learn how things are done in different cultures and communities. Through respect, curiosity, and humility, our travel yogis experience the customs, food, culture, and language of our adventure destinations. 

2. Expand Your Brain

Travel is food for your brain. It can enhance your cognitive performance, create dendrites in the brain, boost creativity, strengthen personality and improve wellness. We know that travel isn’t just about getting away, but now there’s proof that all the travel-giddiness is truly (brain) food!

3. “Adventure Is Out There!”… 

As we all started saying in our best ‘kid’ voice after seeing Up. And, it’s true. Adventure IS out there, so embrace it! Travel isn’t just about learning about new places and customs, it’s also about getting out of your routines and getting that adrenaline pumping! The Travel Yogi’s yoga adventure retreats offer up the chance to see how capable you are of doing things you never thought you’d do.

Ever thought of spending some vacation time feeding and scrubbing down baby elephants in Kenya? Or maybe walking along an old pirate defense wall in Panama? And for the real adrenaline pumpers, white water rafting the world’s most extraordinary rivers in Patagonia. These experiences are the kind you remember (because you grew your brain, remember?) forever.

4. Deepen Your Yoga Practice

Of course, these are ‘yoga adventures’, so you will absolutely deepen your practice and hone new skills. With The Travel Yogi’s amazing teachers and their crazy breadth of knowledge, it’s truly impossible not to. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned practitioner, your yoga practice will ground you, help you shake off that jetlag, reinvigorate you, and help you absorb the amazing countries, people, and experiences all coming your way.  

5. You Can Relaaaaaaaaaax…

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed when planning, packing, and traversing through a new country. When you’ve got a long destination bucket list, it’s easy to get wrapped up trying to do it all. We don’t blame you. You want to get the most out of your travel experience! But here’s the thing… ticking off boxes from a travel guide won’t get you under the tourist sheen of a location. We guarantee you that joining the monks in Bhutan for prayers and tea will teach you more—and give you a deeper connection to the country—than seeing every museum and temple. 

We do the research and work with our in-country teams to make sure you are experiencing the most interesting, and unique, parts of each destination. Leave your FOMO at home and explore, adventure, yoga, and relaaaaaaax… We got you.

Find Your Next Adventure

So, now you know there’s something for everyone under the wellness travel umbrella. Whether that’s a traditional yoga retreat (or running trip, or biking trip, etc.) or traditional adventure travel, picking the right type of holiday is key. For those who zeroed in on ‘yoga adventure retreats’ in dreamy locales, The Travel Yogi’s got you covered. Regardless of the destination you choose, you’ll know we’ve consciously crafted your trip. We’ve worked to balance impact and immersion, travel, and environmental concerns. So when you’re ready for your next, or first, yoga adventure retreat with The Travel Yogi, you can find your next adventure here!