Affordable Wellness TravelJul 31, 2023 09:45AM ● By Monica Grajales
For those looking to take a break from their busy life and rejuvenate mind, body and soul without breaking the bank, wellness travel is a wonderful way to do just that. It’s not hard to see why it has become increasingly popular in recent years. A well-deserved break from the busyness of life to relax, recharge and rejuvenate is the ideal opportunity to relieve stress, enjoy body movement and improve overall health.
Many people wrongly assume that wellness travel is a luxury reserved only for the rich and famous—that’s simply not so. There are affordable options that fit most every budget. Here are a few tips for affordable wellness travel and a sharing of two personal, recent affordable wellness experiences right here in Florida.
- Choose the right destination. One of the biggest costs associated with travel is simply getting there. Look for destinations that are easily accessible by car or public transportation to minimize transportation costs. For example, many national and state parks in the U.S. offer camping and hiking options that can be great for disconnecting and recharging. Also, you can use your flight rewards program and fly to nearby destinations that are more affordable than exotic destinations.
- Consider off-season travel. Traveling during peak season can be incredibly expensive and lead to overcrowded destinations that won´t offer the peace and tranquility you seek. By contrast, traveling off-season can be a fantastic way to save money and beat the crowds. Many wellness retreats and spas offer discounts during the slow season, so you may be able to find a great deal if you are willing to travel during less popular times.
- Look for packages and special offers. Many wellness retreats and spas offer packages or special offers that can help save money on your travels. For example, some wellness resorts may offer discounted rates for longer stays or mid-week bookings. Other resorts offer packages for in-state residents.
- Look for alternative accommodation options. Instead of staying at a resort, you can stay at budget hotels, hostels, and short term rentals such as Airbnb and VRBO that are close to healthy food options or areas known for their wellness activities.
- Create your own DIY wellness travel. Try booking a vacation rental with a kitchen and cook your own healthy meals. Take advantage of nature trails and explore the surrounding area on foot or by bike. Bring your own yoga mat and meditation cushion and practice your own mindfulness exercises in your own private space.
Another way to save money on wellness travel is to book packages that include multiple services. For example, you may find a retreat center that offers accommodations, healthy meals, daily yoga classes and massage all for a flat fee.
Be strategic about how you spend your money. Rather than splurging on lavish meals or expensive spa treatments that may not provide lasting benefits, invest in experiences that will truly nourish your body and soul.
Finally, consider doing a wellness staycation. Explore your own hometown or nearby city for wellness offerings, like meditation classes, nature hikes and local spa services.
Prior to becoming a travel agent, I was an aesthetician, thus I am very fond of spa services locally and when I travel. Safety Harbor Resort and Spa offers Florida residents a staycation package of which I recently took advantage. For a weekend stay, all breakfasts were included as well as my choice of spa treatment, not to mention that I spent my entire weekend soaking in the healing waters for which they are famous. It was a great weekend to decompress. The location was perfect; although there were not many healthy food options that I could see, there was a yoga studio at walking distance. During the weekend I chose to stay, there was a street festival for even greater enjoyment. When I got back to work on Monday, I felt renewed!
Another place for a wellness staycation is the Plantation Resort, in Crystal River, in Citrus County. An affordable resort, you can spend a lovely weekend or a mid-week stay, with senior specials, golf packages, AAA members’ pricing and more. Their spa offers mani/pedis, facials, body treatments, massage, reflexology and chakra balancing. To further decompress, they offer a host of activities to suit various preferences, including boat rentals, fishing and scalloping tours, diving, and my favorite stress-relief treatment—swimming with the manatees. This is an utterly unique experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime! Also on offer is a sunset weekend cruise.
As you can see, affordable wellness travel is possible and accessible for everyone with a little bit of planning. You can create a meaningful travel experience prioritizing your wellness and taking time to rejuvenate yourself without breaking the bank. Happy travels!
Monica Grajales was formerly in the health and wellness industry, first as a master aesthetician for 30 years via a holistic approach, and then working as a health educator for 10-plus years. Today, she is a Wellness Travel Advisor and founder of ZNG Cruises and Retreats LLC.