Wellness Travel: How to Actually Feel Rested After Vacation

In many ways, vacation travel represents indulgence. It’s an experience to take a break from eating healthy and staying active and treat ourselves to whatever we want to eat, drink, or do. Often, this is fun while traveling, but when you get home, you end up feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation when the whole point was to relax and refresh. Sometimes, it can take our bodies a few days to bounce back. Especially if we spent the entire vacation eating junk and cramming too much into the itinerary.

If this sounds familiar, you’re in good company. But it doesn’t need to stay this way. There really is a way to feel rejuvenated and refreshed after vacation. You can find it by applying travel tips from health-conscious, wellness travel. Thankfully, we’re not talking about hardcore fitness-oriented travel -–just a greater focus on self-care and wellness. Here’s what it looks like:

woman relaxing in a hammock after hiking through the woods

blue outline of arrow pointing right You can define what relaxation looks like. 

  • Create a smaller, more intentional itinerary. 
  • Schedule intentional time to rest on your vacation.
  • Choose thoughtful activities to engage your mind and your body. 

Too often, travelers feel even more tired after returning home from vacation. That’s not exactly how we’d want to feel after a trip! As we mentioned above, some use vacations to let loose, indulge in unhealthy foods, and veg out. Others make long lists of things they plan to do and create ambitious agendas that require a lot of energy.

Vacations are precious and limited. And they usually require us to get back to work afterward. That’s why we want to return from travel feeling well-rested and rejuvenated. To achieve this, many travelers have started realizing this and are starting to look at vacations differently. 

So, instead of seeking indulgence or trying to pack a ton of activity into a short time period, they’re looking for experiences that will allow them to take care of themselves. 

Pro Tip: Want to travel somewhere that makes wellness travel effortless? Here are a few of our favorite wellness vacation destinations to fully unplug and focus on your self-care.

woman enjoying a healthy meal inside a cozy lit restaurant

blue outline of arrow pointing right Seek out healthy choices in airports.

  • Instead of scrolling Instagram, use your time to stretch or meditate.
  • Forgo the overpriced burger and fries for a healthier Mediterranean dish. 
  • Enjoy healthier in-flight snacks or pack your own.

Sometimes, the most unhealthy part of the travel experience is the length spent at the airport. Your options for how to use your waiting time to board or during a layover used to be slim. It basically included eating at an overpriced chain restaurant, sitting somewhere and reading a book, or aimlessly scrolling Instagram. Unless you walked the length of the terminals, you wouldn’t find much for fitness, health, or wellness activities during your airport visit.

These days, many airports offer yoga rooms where you can stretch, meditate, workout, or join a class. Healthier food choices are also more readily available in airports. Together, this makes it easier to pursue wellness on your trip, even during transit to your trip destination. These options are great if you experience a flight delay. However, they won’t reimburse you for any additional hotel, meal, or transportation expenses! The good news is that if you purchase travel insurance, you could be reimbursed for those unexpected travel delay costs.

green button that reads quote and compare travel insurance

Similarly, airlines seem to have taken notice of travelers’ desire for healthier options in tandem with wellness travel. Where peanuts and cookies used to be the only items available on many airlines, you can now often find healthy snack packs available, including foods like nuts, cheeses, and dried fruit. You can also be thoughtful about what travel snacks you decide to pack in your carry-on.

On Singapore Airlines, for example, you can order their Deliciously Wholesome meals, created in conjunction with nutritionists. We also have an article about how to take care of your body on a long flight, so take note of those tips as well! 

woman relaxing in a spa tub holding a glass of wine, enjoying the view of a rocky, outdoor landscape

blue outline of arrow pointing right Hotels offer creative ways to unwind.

  • Take a yoga class or enjoy outdoor activities, like biking.
  • Treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa experience.  
  • Slow down and “smell the roses” in outdoor garden spaces.

What comes to mind when you think about exercising on vacation? You probably imagine a tiny fitness center on a random floor of your hotel. In our experience, only the super dedicated to fitness end up using those facilities. And, let’s be honest, it doesn’t really look like much fun.

Thankfully, you don’t necessarily need to “hit the gym” to stay healthy and pursue self-care on vacation. Yes, many travel suppliers have upgraded their workout equipment. You have more options than a set of free weights and a treadmill—but more also offer additional ways to take care of yourself. Two accommodation options that have taken incredible strides in wellness travel are Westin Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels.

Many hotels nowadays offer healthy room service benefits, fitness and yoga meditation classes, and equipment for outdoor activities like biking and surfing, depending on your location. Spas are becoming more and more common with an emphasis on health treatments. 

Being outdoors has such a positive effect on your mind and emotional wellness. That’s why some hotels invite nature into your room, provide lush outdoor garden spaces, or let you sleep under the stars.  

group of women doing a yoga retreat at the beach on a cloudy day

blue outline of arrow pointing right Wellness travel tours are more abundant.

  • Book a wellness retreat focused on self-care activities. 

This trend toward wellness travel has caused agencies and tour companies to create tours specifically for wellness travel. For example, Virtuoso Wellness has dozens of luxury partners, including cruise lines and resorts, all of whom are focused on health and wellness. 

Beyond networks like Virtuoso Wellness, you can find a plethora of cruise and tour options that are wellness-themed. Check out Intrepid Wellness Travel & Tours and Lindblad Expeditions cruises, which offer wellness cruises in partnership with Exhale. If you’d rather plan your own wellness trip, check out these amazing wellness retreats around the world.

These are just a few creative ways you can pursue wellness travel and return from vacation feeling rested. Are you into wellness travel, or have you taken part in it before? What intrigues you the most about focusing on wellness and self-care on your next vacation? Share with us on Facebook, X (Twitter), or Instagram!

Get an instant travel insurance quote!

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Where are you going?

If you're traveling to multiple countries, select the country you're spending the most time in.

Departure MM/DD/YYYY
State of Residence
Trip Cost Trip Cost ($USD)
Deposit Date MM/DD/YYYY
Travel Style