12 Emerging Wellness Spa Travel Trends for 2018

From mindful movement holidays, to happiness retreats and architectural wellness, these new trends are poised to influence the wellness travel world in 2018.

Preventative Health
As people become increasingly aware of how unhealthy habits and lifestyle can significantly increase the risks of illness, there has been an increase in preventative health holidays to keep well-being in check. Medi spas that offer a comprehensive health check-up, counselling and spa therapies are advancing to cater to disease prevention.

Architectural Wellness
Wellness architecture is reshaping the luxury travel sector, providing spaces that are not only structurally beautiful, but also comfortable, functional and sustainable. This includes “living” buildings, with greenery that grows inside, and design that encourages human movement and mindfulness.

Food as Medicine
An enthusiastically pill-popping culture has given way to awareness of the need to replace pharmaceuticals with more natural remedies. More people are in favour of treating their ailments with the right nutrients. This has led to an increase in nutrition-friendly holidays, where guests can discover the best diet for their body type and health concerns.

Break-up Breaks
The stress and anxiety caused by major life changes, like divorce, lead many individuals on a solo wellness trip in order to tap into the transformative power of travel. Retreats are responding to this growing trend, with an array of emotional healing therapies, stress management and life coaching services.

Mindful Movement
With increased awareness of the connection between the mind and body, a shift towards mindful exercise is occurring, bringing attention and focus to one’s workout, whilst reaping the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. Expect a significant emergence of such workouts, as well as more retreats offering wellness programmes with equal focus on being active and mindful.

Wellness Technology
Spa and fitness technology has become increasingly sophisticated, with traditional treatments and activities being adapted to enhance results using technical approaches, from measuring your body composition to high-tech anti-aging medi spa treatments. Despite the growing awareness of the need for regular digital detoxing, technological advances in wellness will only continue to accelerate to meet consumer demands.

Skip-Gen Holidays
2018 is set to be the year of skip-gen trips, where grandparents take grandchildren on once-in-a-lifetime holidays, leaving parents behind. Skip-gen holidays combine the family and travel, providing the opportunity for major milestones such as graduations and special birthdays to be celebrated in style.

Happy Retreats
According to recent studies, experiences, not things, make us happy; therefore, it’s no surprise that people are investing more in satisfying their wanderlust than buying material goods. Health resorts are highlighting the importance of wellness to achieve joyful bliss. The likes of laughter yoga, smile-asanas and inner-smile meditation will soon fill retreat schedules.

Now Age Holidays
More wellness retreats are beginning to tap into the healing powers of spirituality. The eclectic New Age practices of the 1970s are flourishing in these modern times, with the integration of holistic therapies into modern western medicine. From crystal energy healing to light therapy, wellness retreats are using such practices to achieve harmony of the mind, body and spirit.

Community Wellness
From championing locally-made commodities, supporting farmers by procuring home-grown harvests to arranging community exercises to nearby villages, schools or orphanages, resorts are spreading the essence of wellness to those who need it. The rise of eco-tourism complements these humanitarian efforts with a focus on community, environmental preservation and self-sustainability.

DNA Testing
Consumers are increasingly demanding tailor-made fitness programs and spa treatments to accelerate results. People can now discover the role their genes play in their overall well-being with the advancing science DNA testing. More spas and retreats now offer DNA analysis and consultations, to determine any predispositions they might have to certain types of diet, exercise and lifestyle choices.

Healthy Aging
It’s no secret that people are living longer, but want to look and feel younger, resulting in a boom of healthy-aging holidays to help maintain a youthful glow. From collagen facials and vitamin C injections, to non-surgical facelifts and menopause relief, spas and health retreats are offering consumers the opportunity to help slow down the clock.


Author: Paul Joseph is a wellness travel specialist and entrepreneur, and the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a luxury wellness travel company specializing in creating exceptional healthy holidays around the world.


by Paul Joseph | Winter 2017