Good news, travelers: This is the year of taking care of ourselves—by taking ourselves on vacation. After what felt like eons of attempting to manage our physical and mental health at home, self-care is going on the road.
As Skift recently reported, wellness tourism is booming: In 2022, travelers took 819.4 million wellness trips all over the world—200 million more than they took in 2021. And that sector of the tourism market is expected to more than double from 2022 to 2027.
Which is exciting because it means that opportunities to renew, rejuvenate, and recalibrate are popping up almost everywhere . . . and not always in ways you’d expect.
For one thing, there’s a resurgence of hot springs and luxury hot springs resorts. (Michelle Baran tapped into her Romanian roots to help her enjoy the best ones in the U.S.) On top of that, destination spas all over the world are upping their game (Kathryn Romeyn rounds up the standouts in Bali and Indonesia to put on your bucket list). What’s really interesting to me is how the idea of wellness tourism has expanded far beyond the walls of the spa. As writer Fernanda Santos discovered, a week spent in Costa Rica trying not to face-plant on her surfboard was the emotional healing she needed after a difficult loss and life change.
So whatever your well-being goals are for the coming year—or years—travel might be a path to reach them. If you need inspiration, we’re here to help!
Happy and healthy travels!—Billie Cohen, executive editor, AFAR