Planning a Healthy Vacation? 6 Questions You Should Ask
The start of a news season is the perfect time to launch that healthier lifestyle you’ve been thinking about. And, if your plans include getting away from the everyday to give you the time needed to focus on the objective, a healthy wellness vacation can be just what you need.
Finding the right “fit” depends on asking yourself the right questions. The answers will help you acknowledge your needs and wants and help you find a retreat that is perfectly suited to your goals and interests. You want the time away to be as stress-free as possible plus help increase your sense of wellbeing.
Here are six questions to get you thinking about what you truly want in a wellness vacation:
What’s the goal of the retreat or getaway?
It could be anything from weight loss, solo time for self-reflection, a reset on a fitness routine, learning to manage stress, discovering how to plan and cook healthier meals, or simply taking time out to simply “be.”
If you truly do not know what your goal or intention is, or should be, then perhaps “knowing your goal” in itself becomes the objective. To achieve the overall sense of wellbeing that we all seek, it helps to know the direction we should be heading. Shaping Purpose, a new Canadian company, guides workshops that help participants identify goals and the actions that could be taken to achieve them. The company has partnered with Crystal Cruises to offer two onboard retreats in 2015.
What type of environment and accommodation is most conducive for you to relax and de-stress?
Taking budget into consideration, would simply relaxing in a luxury city hotel with a full service spa, regular fitness classes, healthy food options, and access to shopping and cultural events help you meet your goal? Or, does a country inn or lodge embraced by the peace and quiet of a mountain setting or a retreat where the sounds of the ocean lull you to sleep each night, instill you with a sense of calm just thinking about it? Therein lies the answer.
What is your preferred food choice?
Because food is the foundation of a wellness lifestyle, food options are always important but especially so if the goal is to lose weight or to develop healthier cooking and eating habits. Fresh and healthy, whole foods is certainly one way to go, plus there are an increasing number of facilities that specialize in alternative cuisines. Fivelements in Bali, for instance, takes raw vegan cuisines to the gourmet level and has recently launched a Cuisine for Life program that teaches guests how to prepare and dine on “living” foods. Another example is SHA Wellness Clinic, in Alicante, Spain, where the cuisine is based on the ancient principles of macrobiotics.
Do you want access to medical testing and a range of wellness professionals?
(i.e. medical practitioners, massage therapists, nutritionist, experts in alternative healing modalities, fitness instructors)
If the answer is “yes,” then your list of retreat options will be confined to those facilities that offer a full repertoire of staff and whole-being programs. The California Health & Longevity Institute at the Four Seasons Westlake Village is one of a growing list of such facilities.
Do you want a structured program or more of a self-directed vacation itinerary?
Depending on your goal, you may want, even need, a program with a stricter focus. The Ranch at Malibu, for instance, offers more intense week-long or four-day guided and tightly structured programs with the focus on weight loss. On the other hand, if your intention is simple to find a quiet place to relax, rejuvenate and re-energize, perhaps you need less of a structured program and simply the right environment plus fit-focused optional activities to allow you to manage your own day-to-day itinerary.
What is the ONE thing your wellness vacation MUST include?
This can be anything from a comfortable bed, to peace and quiet, to a full-service spa, to daily yoga classes, to fitness activities surrounded by nature. You decide.
The answers to these six questions will help you acknowledge your wants and needs allowing you to plan a more ideal wellness vacation – one that suits your specific goals and interests and allows you to return home with a feeling of accomplishment and a renewed sense of wellbeing.