Geothermal spa in Iceland with young woman enjoying bathing in hot thermal pool with hotspring water for wellness and skin treatment, icelandic experience
Wellness tourism is defined as travel connected to the pursuit of increasing or maintaining one’s health and well-being.

Taking a Trip for Your Health and Wellness

As the stress of daily life eats away at your health and happiness, it seems natural to seek out new opportunities to improve your well-being. Some people think that sitting on the couch and scrolling through social media are the best ways to recharge their batteries at the end of the week, but this form of rest is a mostly neutral experience.

To fully receive the recuperation and revitalization you need, you must actively invest in your wellness. Wellness is the state of being physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually healthy and happy.

For those interested in taking their wellness to the next level, wellness tourism could be worth exploring.

What Is Wellness Tourism?


Wellness tourism is defined as travel connected to the pursuit of increasing or maintaining one’s health and well-being. Too often, people feel a level of stress associated with travel and joke about needing a vacation after their vacation, but wellness tourism aims to create a soothing experience that leaves someone completely refreshed and invigorated.

Although the term wellness tourism is a recent notion, the idea of traveling to various locations to rest is nothing new. For hundreds of years, people would set out to specific destinations for their beauty, their culture, or their restorative properties. Wellness tourism is only a more coordinated effort between the tourism industry and the wellness industry to more efficiently meet the needs of their clientele.

The Wellness Traveler

At first glance, you may think of a wellness traveler being a social or financial elitist jet setting and crisscrossing the globe on extravagant and expensive trips, but this example is not the norm. Many wellness travelers make the most of their modest trips to achieve the desired result.

There are two main types of wellness travelers:

  • Primary wellness traveler – a person who plans the entire trip with wellness in mind
  • Secondary wellness traveler – a person who hopes to squeeze segments of wellness into the overall vacation or travel experience

Of course, a person who begins as a secondary wellness traveler can shift to a primary traveler during their next trip. Alternatively, a person could normally identify as a primary wellness traveler but slide to secondary wellness during a business trip.


What Happens During Wellness Traveling?

Any number of activities and experiences can be a part of wellness traveling. What happens during wellness trips mainly depends on where you are going and what you are hoping to accomplish.

Some wellness traveling involves serious retreats centered around teaching, seminars, exercise, healthy eating, and meditation. Other trips are an exercise in indulgence as people relax at the seaside while absorbing the peacefulness around them, eating fine foods, and resting their bodies and minds.

There are no right ways or wrong ways to execute wellness travel, but certain types of trips will yield certain types of results. Be sure to be mindful of your vision.

Benefits of Wellness Traveling

Again, the benefits of wellness traveling will vary by the type of trip, the destination, and the activities participated in while there. Possible outcomes of wellness traveling include:

  • New skills to improve your mental health like relaxation techniques, meditation techniques, ideas about self-talk, and stress management methods
  • New skills to improve your spiritual health
  • New skills to improve your physical health like modifications to your exercise routines, changes to your diet, techniques to receive better sleep

Some people have left wellness travel with improved weight, lower blood pressure, and a renewed motivation for life. Better yet, these benefits have been measured to remain weeks and months after the trip has ended.

Wellness traveling may be more than a time-limited getaway. It could be a decision that improves life in the long-term.

Wellness Traveling Destinations

Wellness travel can happen almost anywhere, but some locations noted for their place in the wellness culture include:

  • Colorado for its hiking, mountains, and yoga retreats
  • California with its weight loss and physical health detox centers
  • Arizona for its natural rock formations and destination spas
  • South America for its rain forests, thermal resorts, and thermal water parks
  • Australia with its surf and yoga retreats
  • Japan for the onsen and super sento (all nude bathhouses)

So many destinations have unique or novel forms of wellness to work on your recovery from stress. Any places with access to the ocean or large bodies of water are natural choices to escape and find wellness.


As mentioned, you don’t need to fly around the globe to experience wellness travel. Nearby options could provide enough to accomplish your goals.

The concept of wellness traveling may seem odd or excessive, but it is a wonderful option to expand upon the rest and relaxation you already hope to find on vacation. With this form of travel, you prioritize wellness over the other aspects, and your body, mind, and soul will be grateful you did.