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How to Choose the Perfect Wellness Retreat or Vacation Destination (10 Questions to Ask Yourself Prior to Traveling)

Wellness travel is on the rise, with more travelers seeking wellness over any other activity in the leisure travel sector. Even during our current state of travel affairs, I believe more than ever there will be a greater demand and need for well-being for travelers. Lucky for us all, there is no shortage of options out there when choosing a wellness destination. However, it can be daunting to figure out where to begin looking and then narrow down the choices! This guide will help as you search for the perfect wellness retreat or vacation destination.

What is Wellness Travel?

First things first, let’s define Wellness Travel. Then we’ll get into the questions you need to be asking yourself in order to choose the perfect destination for your wellness vacation or retreat. According to the Wellness Tourism Association, Wellness Travel is defined as, “travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance, or kickstart a healthy lifestyle and support, or increase, one’s sense of well-being.”

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Prior to Traveling

So, using that definition, let’s explore 10 questions to ask yourself when choosing a wellness travel destination to ensure your vacation time is going to be well invested.

Q1: What kind of wellness traveler are you?

Are you an adventure seeker, looking for mountain climbing or zip lining? Do you prefer a nature-focused destination, with beach walks or hiking? Perhaps you’re more into spirituality, and prefer mind-training, meditations or herbal treatments. If you’re a foodie, do you want a food-based indulgence, learning and experiencing the local cuisine? Or, do you want a trip that is purely educational, delving into the arts and culture of a land?

Q2: What are you looking to get out of this trip?

When you’re looking for something new, it’s always a good place to start with your why — your goal, or intention. Are you looking for connection? To disconnect? To learn something about yourself? We all have different reasons for wanting to take a trip. Best to start here — going in with an intention — so you can be sure to keep your planning (and travels) on track to get the best return on your investment.

Q3: What kind of accommodation are you looking for?

Do you want a large resort? Or, prefer more of a boutique-like feel? Maybe a bed and breakfast? Perhaps, you want to live like a local and Airbnb or home-share? With so many options out there today, you have the power to choose what kind of accommodation you want.

Q4: Want kind of programming do you prefer?

Do you want to come and go as you please? Or, do you need a little guidance? Many destinations will have a list of wellness activities available for you to partake. If you know yourself, and can commit to it, then that’s definitely an option for you. However, for many of us out there looking to create change, we may need to choose a program that has a bit more discipline in order to reach our goal. (Refer back to question 2 — told you that one was important).

Q5: What season is ideal?

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, it is time to start thinking of when. Where you’re going, what season is best? Best doesn’t always mean high-season either. You can find some incredible deals by visiting off season, and have a better experience by going when there are less tourists.

Q6: How far are you willing to travel?

Do you need to stay domestic? Can you venture international? Do you mind layovers and connecting flights? Are you thinking five days, or two weeks? Remember, if you’re traveling international, and have layovers, you can spend one to three days traveling just to get to your destination.

Q7: What does your ideal day on this trip look like?

This one may take a bit of meditation and visualization (or daydreaming): Close your eyes, and imagine what the perfect day on this retreat or vacation destination will look like for you. Are you near a beach, practicing sunrise yoga? Are you in the mountains, bundled up in snow gear hiking through the peaks? What do you see?

Q8: What does your ideal evening look like?

Similar to question 7, consider what the ideal evening will look like. Is it peaceful, and serene? Do you hear the forest outside? Or, do you need complete silence? What time will you go to bed? How much sleep do you want to get?

Q9: Are you traveling solo? With a friend(s) or partner? With family?

This question will determine a lot of the above, but consider if you’re planning to take this trip solo or with others. If you’re planning this trip with others, you may want to practice this list of questions with them as well to find a solution that will make all parties (somewhat) happy. 

Q10: What is your budget?

This may be the biggest factor when it comes to where you choose to travel. Know going in what you’re willing to spend to not put you in a bind for cash. Instead, planning ahead will leave you feeling relaxed and well throughout the entire trip — and after! Be sure to include all travel expenses, including airfare, transportation, food, incidentals, accommodations, and any other potential fees that may come along the way to avoid surprises.


Now is a great time to start planning your wellness retreat or vacation destination. This list of ten questions will help you choose the perfect destination. Where will you be heading for a wellness travel experience next?

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