Spa and Wellness travel has been growing strongly in popularity over the past couple years. To find out why and to get the very latest tips and trends for you to incorporate into your own travels, I went straight to the expert for Travel Maestroâs July interview. Jackie Burns Brisman is the Senior Editor of Spafinder 365, the most comprehensive source for wellness-related products and services. Iâm sure youâll find new spa insight and travel inspiration in Jackieâs words.
The way I understand it Destination Spas are immersion environments where all activities are focused on personal growth and getting healthy in body and mind. Can you share some tips for choosing a destination spa and recommend any favorites? Destination Spas offer personalized programming in which guests become fully immersed in their spa and wellness experiences. Often times the package includes everything from beautifully appointed accommodations, healthy spa cuisine, spa treatments, educational lectures, and unique fitness classes touching all areas of your mind, body, and soul. A large part of a Destination Spa experience lies in being mindful, so to me, selecting the right Destination Spa takes a bit of mindfulness prior to starting said experience. Sit and set your intention for your trip â what do you hope to get out of it? A little R&R? A slimmer waistline? A sense of healing? From there I would look at the offerings and find experiences that intrigue you and then look to locations that speak to you.
Are Destination Spas analogous with âWellness Travelâ or is that a separate category of spa travel? What kinds of services fall into âWellness Travel?Â All Destination Spas fall under the category of Wellness Travel, but thatâs not where Wellness Travel ends. According to recent research conducted for the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is one of the fastest-growing travel categories and, thanks in large part toÂ travelersÂ seeking out ways to keep well even when they are away, that growth is both for business and pleasure. This runsÂ the gamut from choosing a property that features nutritious cuisine and fitness classes, to being sure to spend some time relaxing your body and mind at the spa. While it certainly qualifies, wellness travelÂ doesn’tÂ always have to mean going to a retreat;Â keeping well while travelingÂ isn’tÂ a luxury, itâs an accessible option for everyone.
Resort spas, on the other hand, have a wider appeal, offering a range of activities that include spa and wellness services. What traveler types enjoy Resort Spas? Going back to my previous answer, a Resort Spa could be a great Wellness Travel destination option, depending on the nature of your trip. There are times where you want to indulge and go for that extra glass of wine, decadent dessert, or spend their morning sleeping in and skipping the gym but thatÂ doesn’tÂ mean that the same resortÂ doesn’tÂ have guests that are taking advantage ofÂ their fitness amenities, the lighter fareâand any trip to the spa qualifies asÂ keeping up with your overallÂ well-being. To me, wellness means feeling good on the inside and looking good on the outside.Â SpaEvidence is a great site to showcase the medical evidence behind the benefits of many of our favorite spa treatments.
Cruise lines and hotels are investing in their spa facilities in a big way. What are some trends in cruise spa offerings?Â One big piece of news in the cruising world is the new Celebrity Cruises/Canyon Ranch partnership to bring Canyon Ranch SpaClubÂź at Sea facilities aboard a fleet of 10 Celebrity cruise ships.
I think the cruises are most definitely noticing travelersâ desires to âsail well,â if you will. Offering more fitness classes and lighter fare to accommodate the guests that aren’t âon boardâ for the all-you-can-eat decadence.
It seems that one thing all types of spas incorporate is something called âmindful living.â Can you explain to us what that means and in what ways it is incorporated into spa services?Â Being mindful means being present in the moment, in the here and now â and in todayâs day and age itâs a practice that is paramount to our overall sense ofÂ well-being. With emailÂ chains, deadlines, being connected 24/7, often times these days our minds are everywhere but in the present moment so mindfulness whether practiced on your own through meditation or within a spa treatment is key to mental health. Many spas are incorporating mindfulness in pre-treatment rituals, whether itâs as simple as selecting an aromatherapy that best matches your intentions for the experience or starting your experience with aÂ foot bath. Many other treatments incorporate mindfulnessÂ throughout the experience.Â And of course there are spa services thatÂ aren’tÂ âtreatmentsâ at all, but rather genuine experiences which teach mindfulness; ones that try to help you to findÂ your true self, that inner voice that often times gets drowned out by all the technology and noise and allows you to better connect with you.
Iâm intrigued by the recent popularity of âsuspending gravityâ for stress relief. Tell us about some of these new anti-gravity activities.Â The popularity of Suspending Gravity is definitely linked to the desire to disconnect from the world we are so hyper-connected to at all times, in all ways. Leading back to mindfulness, going âweightlessâ and practicing Aerial Yoga, going to an in-water spinning class, or going to float in a floatation tank at a spa that offers such services allows you to leave everything but the present moment behind, the âweightâ of the world melts away and you are able to de-stress the mind and body.
âTaking the watersâ in natural hot springs has been a healing experience for centuries. Whatâs so great about it and why are more people suddenly searching out this ancient spa experience?Â Hot Springs are really heating up as we showcased in our 2014 Global Spa and Wellness Trends Forecast, and thatâs mainly due to the amazing benefits of taking the waters. AÂ soak will help you achieveÂ The 7 âRsâÂ as we like to say at Spafinder: to relax, release endorphins, reduce stress, raise body temperature (which helps to detoxify), reinvigorate blood circulation, relieve aches and pains, and reopen nasal passages.Â
Hot springs also offer world travelers a unique and authentic experience at their destination. And, with hot springs existing in virtually every corner of the world, governments and developers alike have taken notice and are funding hundreds of new, exciting projects around the globe.
Jackie, thank you for sharing your vast knowledge of wellness destinations and services with us!
If you are inspired to take a spa vacation, contact our travel experts at Covington Travel for help customizing the perfect trip.
Jackie Burns Brisman, Senior Editor of Spafinder Wellness 365 offers readers useful, inspiring, and healthful information on all aspects of how to live a wellness focused life. She covers a wide range of topics including travel, fitness, beauty, spa, and healthy eating. She regularly shares the latest news about workplace wellness, cutting edge products, spa destinations, wellness trends, and exciting getaways. Prior to joining the organization, Jackie spent time at Womenâs Health Magazine. She has been featured on The Couch on WLNY-TV in New York and Good Day Baltimore on WBFF Fox Baltimore.