Beyond the Spa 1

Wellness vacations for the new year

‘Tis the season of resolutions…the yearly ritual of taking stock and vowing to make better life choices. Most of the time these include goals of weight loss, fitness training and meditation, but rarely do we promise to be more indulgent or treat ourselves better.

However, resolving to give yourself gifts of reinvigoration can do wonders for the soul and pay dividends for the future. And these aren’t mutually exclusive goals; perhaps there is a way to do both!

Travel can be the perfect combination of both desires–a special treat you give yourself and a renewed effort towards healthy living. Here are some of the many opportunities that inspire both.


Historically, cruise vacations haven’t been synonymous with health and wellness, but those days are long gone. Cruise lines have added circuit training, yoga, healthy food choices and more active shore excursions for folks that want to stay fit while at sea. Spa offerings have also been enhanced on many major lines for travelers that want restoration along with their relaxation. River Cruises are also beefing up their active options–biking excursions, exercise classes and new active itineraries are becoming the norm on all of these smaller, intimate ships.

Biking and Hiking

There is no better way to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the outdoors than biking and hiking. Luxury travel companies such as Backroads offer trips around the world including several in the U.S. National Parks. Hopping on two wheels is an amazing way to visit a destination and see small towns and villages that can get missed from a bus or train window. And, of course, it helps to enjoy the culinary delights in many foodie destinations if you have biked for hours before eating!

City Stays

If you prefer a city vacation, there are still ways to incorporate activity into your getaway. Most large hotel brands are making it easier for guests to get a workout while visiting. In addition, metropolitan walking tours help keep travelers active and allow an up close and personal view of the destination. Small groups that provide bespoke and themed experiences with local guides are a wonderful way for the curious traveler to experience a destination and not abandon a fitness routine.

Family Fitness

Vacations are also a great time for the whole family to focus on wellness and many travel companies are appealing to multi-generational clientele. Adventures by Disney has special itineraries that might include zip lining in the Alps,  hiking in Yellowstone or soaking in the Costa Rican hot springs. Tauck Bridges also creates fitness-friendly opportunities for family vacations. Treasure hunts in Ireland, hiking among giant tortoises in the Galapagos and kayaking off the California coast keeps everyone active. 

Side bar: 

G Adventures is one of many travel companies launching a brand new collection of wellness tours. They are centered around the three pillars of mindfulness, movement and nourishment. The new small group itineraries are starting to roll out this year and range from an ashram satay in India, to hiking in Iceland and cycling through Bali.  G Adventures offers a variety of tour options around the globe. For more information, visit them and dozens of other exhibitors at the Travel & Cruise Show on January 26, 2019. at the Charlotte Convention Center.  

Roni Fishkin is the Marketing Director of Mann Travels, which, with local ownership in Charlotte, has been serving travelers with personalized service for more than 40 years. Contact them at or call 800-343-MANN.