6 ways to have a wellness holiday on a budget
Looking for a getaway that is good for your health but won’t break the bank? Here are our expert tips to help make your next wellness holiday affordable.
Forget expensive celebrity-backed retreats.
If you’re dreaming of a break with health benefits, the good news is you can enjoy a getaway and keep your savings firmly in the bank – but before you pack your bags, read on.
Choose your travel mates carefully
Some friends will lead you down a cabernet-lined path to hedonism, while others will help you stick to your health goals.
Long before you book your wellness getaway, it pays to consider who you plan to holiday with, personal trainer Ricardo Riskalla says.
“If you’re not travelling on your own, I always recommend inviting your fittest friend to travel with you,” Ricardo, of Ricardo Riskalla Training, says.
“You’ll learn so many great health tips, and you’ll be able to better stick to a diet filled with nourishing foods and keep to a regular exercise regimen while you’re away.”
Select your holiday accommodation wisely
If you’re keen to lock in a private rental, keep in mind the real estate adage: location, location, location. “Renting a holiday home in a remote place close to trails and the ocean is an excellent idea,” Ricardo says.
“This way, you can easily fill your day with wellness holiday activities that are free of charge, such as long bushwalks, swimming in the ocean or even walking to the nearest shops instead of taking the car.”
Ricardo also recommends looking for something that’s self-contained so you’re more likely to cook your own nutritious food rather than eating out and, preferably, one that’s in an internet dead zone.
“Going on an internet-free holiday will force you to be more active,” he says.
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Search for an affordable option
Prefer a specialised health retreat?
There are options that are kinder on the hip pocket if you’re prepared to search far and wide.
For example, Happy Buddha Retreats in the Blue Mountains offers everything from yoga classes and homemade meals to meditation talks and drumming circles, and is priced from $299 per person for a two-night midweek stay – a rate that includes all meals, classes and workshops.
And Daintree Ecolodge – yes, it’s nestled in the Daintree Rainforest – is suitable for all manner of nature-based activities, with prices starting from $380 a night for two people.
Look for experiences nearby
Found yourself a bargain Airbnb that doesn’t exactly offer a wellness holiday?
Do a quick Google search to see if there are any tours or experiences nearby that could help transform your trip into a retreat-style getaway.
In the Barossa, a region traditionally celebrated by gourmands, you’ll find a range of activities run by Barossa Wellness, including yoga classes, morning and evening hikes, and weekend health retreats for those with a little more cash to burn.
Should you prefer to fill your break with a range of massages, facials and health consultations, inexpensive sessions can be booked at Endeavour Wellness Clinics, which conveniently have locations across the country.
Since the clinics are staffed by senior students from Endeavour College of Natural Health, you can book in naturopathy consultations for as little as $25 per session, and massages for $35.
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Make every day count
When it comes to health getaways, remember that you don’t need fancy equipment, classes or diets to enjoy the benefits, Soul Alive: The Mindful Life founder and meditation teacher Luke McLeod says.
“The easiest and most affordable thing that anyone can do at almost any time is meditation, which is like taking yourself on a mini holiday each and every day if you so choose to,” Luke says.
“Sure it’s fun – and needed – to go on a holiday to recharge, but what’s more important is to integrate wellness and recovery into each day.”
Whether you’re staying put or going away, download your favourite mindfulness app and give yourself space each day to clear your mind and unwind.
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Work for it
If you’re not already exhausted doing your day-to-day job, Ricardo recommends opting for a paid experience rather than a traditional getaway.
“If you spend a couple of weeks picking fruit, working on a farm or volunteering with the SES, for example, this will be a holiday with meaning and lots of physical activity, which will force you to get fitter,” he says.
“Depending on what you do, you might even make a little money!”
Written by Dilvin Yasa.