The hottest new trends in wellness travel

Booking a summer break or winter getaway? How about a divorce retreat, painmoon or mumcation?

They are just some of the wellness travel options Aussies are taking up as they ditch “fly-and-flop” holidays for health-enhancing retreats.

There’s now a travel experience to meet every need, whether it’s adrenal fatigue, the loss of a loved one or reaching a special milestone.

The global wellness industry is now worth $4.2 trillion and wellness tourism is also big business, growing at 6.5 per cent annually, more than double the rate of general tourism.

Samantha Lippiatt, managing director of wellness holiday specialists Health and Fitness Travel, says this type of travel is well and truly here to stay.

aguas de ibiza
Aguas de Ibiza offers wellness programs as part of their resort in Spain.

A new focus for holidays

“It used to be that holidays focused on overindulging and lazying about, but now most of us are focusing on improving our quality of life and embracing a healthy lifestyle,” says Samantha.

“This is trickling over to our travel plans, or even becoming the focus.

“Australian holidays are reflecting this trend with an increase in enquiries and bookings for de-stress breaks, emotional change programs, fitness kick-starts and weight loss retreats.”

Here are just a few of the hot new wellness travel trends:

Nature immersion getaways

There are numerous studies confirming the link between time spent in the great outdoors and a reduction in anxiety, stress and depression.

Great Walks of Australia’s Arkaba Walk will take you through 600 million years of geological activity in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, all while you are improving your fitness and immersing yourself in the natural local beauty.

SHA Wellness Clinic Spain
SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain offers a range of preventative wellness programs.

Preventative wellness

Retreats that can help us break the bad habits we accumulate in our day to day lives – like smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating junk food – sound too good to be true.

The SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain offers treatments like macrobiotic phytotherapy, acupuncture and relaxation techniques, designed to help you quit smoking for good.

kamalaya koh samui
Kamalaya’s Embracing Change program in Koh Samui is designed for individuals going through a relationship breakdown.

Divorce retreats

Anyone who’s been through a divorce, no matter how amicable, will tell you it can wreak havoc on your health.

This has led to a trend in people planning solo wellness trips to tap into an array of emotional healing therapies, stress management and life coaching services.

Thailand’s Amanpuri Resort’s Awareness Program is described as a highly meditative experience that aims to renew your internal focus and comes complete with holistic treatments such as cranial sacral therapy, reconnective healing and reiki.

Ananada Himalayas
Ananada in the Himalayas offers ‘painmoon’ retreats.


“These authentic wellness retreats help people who are going through difficult periods of their lives treat their issues in an environment where it’s truly OK not to be OK,” Samantha reveals.

“Whether it’s the passing away of a loved one, a bad break up or a period of depression, painmoons allow you to get specialist treatment and time away to help you restore happiness and normality.”

Set in a castle in beautiful Puglia, Borgo Egnazia is one such retreat and with its exuberant Southern Italian wellbeing approach and range of programs, should have you back to joy in no time.

como shambhala bali
Como Shambhala in Bali offers yoga as part of their wellness programs.

Get active

For those more into embracing the endorphins that come from activities like mountain trekking, kayaking and abseiling – an exhilarating wellness experience will give you the kick you’re looking for.

Many of these adventure holidays come with a luxury twist, where you’ll also benefit from day spas and holistic treatments at the end of your action packed day.

At Bali’s Como Shambhala Estate you’ll take part in circuit training in the outdoor jungle gym, mountain biking through the rice fields and rock climbing, along with the more gentle yoga, pilates and meditation.

But that’s not all

There are also wellness mumcations offering short, healthy breaks for mums who need to recharge their batteries, menopause retreats, fertility trips, silence stays and even specialised wellness travel for men, offering everything from anti-ageing to golf and spa.

So break out the passport today for a holiday that may bring you more than a suntan!

Written by Liz McGrath.

Lead image: Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat and Spa offers tailored rejuvenation packages for all their guests.