Can you remember the last conversation you had when there wasn’t a single mention of the pandemic? We can’t either. It’s been a stressful year, and we’re all still trying to figure how to live with a virus that continues to upend our lives.
But the key here is learning to live with the virus while still living our lives. We’ve all been dreaming of travel — why else would you be on Skyscanner?! — whether it’s a visit to the majestic Parthenon in Athens, a glimmering Caribbean beach or the enlivening bustle of Marrakech’s famed night market.
Travel is important for personal growth and also yields serious mental health benefits. Even planning and looking forward to an upcoming trip will make you happier. Although the dream vacation you were planning for this year may be on hold, it doesn’t mean you have to hit pause on other emotionally rejuvenating experiences.
A wellness vacation might be just the stress-buster you need. Although wellness vacations aren’t the product of the pandemic — remember when yoga retreats were huge? — they’re going to see a resurgence as a result of it.
Here’s how you can plan your own wellness vacation and ensure it leaves you feeling refreshed.
Why travel for wellness now?
Your stress and anxiety are not going to magically melt away while the pandemic rages on, no matter how many bubble baths or exercise breaks you take. What you need is to practice self-care while disconnecting from everyday stressors like worrisome news headlines and the pressures of work. A wellness vacation is a perfect way to achieve this while also satisfying your wanderlust.
What will wellness travel after COVID-19 look like?
Think of wellness travel as a cleanse for your mental and emotional health. It puts you first. By disconnecting from the toxins in your life, you can clear your mind for healthier thoughts and, hopefully, return home feeling better and more refreshed than when you left.
How you choose to unwind is up to you. Wellness vacation activities can include yoga, meditation, hiking, cycling, jogging, and horseback riding. You might even decide to focus on hobbies that clear your mind, like reading, writing, knitting, cooking, and completing puzzles. If you can force yourself to give up internet as well, a digital detox will work wonders in helping you disconnect from the outside world.
The concept of wellness travel isn’t changing in a post-coronavirus world, but the destinations most likely will. This is part influenced by restrictions barring non-essential travel to certain countries, part by people seeking destinations that are secluded yet easy to reach, and part by a general appetite to maintain physical distance between ourselves and strangers.
Secluded getaways in the U.S., whether they’re actually nearby or just a short flight away, check all those boxes. And activities that used to cater to large groups will be replaced by limited-space experiences.
Where should I travel to boost my wellness post-coronavirus?
When considering where you should travel, start with your risk tolerance. If your anxiety spikes at the thought of being on shared transportation like a plane, train or ferry, then you should consider closer-to-home destinations that you can drive to. Otherwise, research some getaways that are a little more remote like a secluded island, a lesser-known beach or a national park across state lines.
Here are a few coast-to-coast destinations with wonderful options for a relaxing wellness vacation. 👇
Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
These barrier islands are known for the wild ponies that traipse their shoreline. Located partially in Maryland and partially in Virginia, the islands are the perfect destination for a nature-focused escape. Besides admiring the wild horses, visitors can swim, surf, hike and bike miles of trails, enjoy kayaking or canoeing, and go horseback riding.
Resorts make it easy to relax by providing everything you might need onsite. Located between LA and San Diego, Carlsbad is home to oceanside luxury resorts that make it easy to forget the outside world. The area also offers many options for golfing, hiking, and beach activities like surfing, fishing and just relaxing.
The majestic beauty of a mountain resort will surely convince you to power down your phone for a few days. Serenity and picturesque views await in Marana’s Dove Mountain community, located in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains north of Tucson. There are plenty of activities that will help you get out of your head, like golf, hiking, biking and stargazing the cloudless desert sky.
Treat yourself to a secluded retreat like The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.
Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains
The Poconos are well-known for its many lakes, gorgeous vistas and world-class resorts. It’s an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts to visit, and it’s especially stunning in the fall as the leaves change colors. If you need an adrenaline rush, you can raft the rapids, go downhill mountain biking, or drive off-road on an ATV. Those who want some peace can enjoy activities like bird watching, disc golf and horseback riding.
How can I boost my wellness from home?
Being at home instead of on a wellness vacation is not an excuse to let self-care take a backseat. Before starting any wellness-boosting activity, it’s very important to disconnect from the online world and rid yourself of unnecessary distractions. Turn your phone off and put it out of sight so you aren’t tempted to power up and check notifications.
Here are some ways you can practice self-care at home:
- Spend quality time with your family
- Spend quality time with yourself through exercise or meditation
- Rediscover an old hobby
- DIY spa day, complete with relaxing scents and soothing music
- Start a new project, like painting a room or crafting home décor
- Teach yourself a new skill, like cooking without a recipe or playing an instrument
- Travel from home to continue learning about the world
Want to read more?
Until you can take that wellness vacation, disconnect from the outside world in the comfort of your home. Here’s some inspiration: