By Jackie Roby
Jackie Roby is the founder and CEO of Inspired Journey Consulting and a trusted friend of CIRE Travel. A 20-plus-year travel and hospitality industry veteran, Jackie has been on her own healing journey for more than two decades. We asked her to share a bit about healing travel and how you can incorporate it into your own vacations, honeymoons and business trips.
During this busy and sometimes stressful time of year take a moment to check in with yourself. Are you feeling joy? Sadness? What about nothingness? Life has a way of building up our stress to a point of distress when we let the pain linger. If we don’t unpack this, the impact will continue and could manifest as burnout, depression, anxiety or even physical ailments. But what if we could do this emotional work while on vacation? Travel can support your healing journey and the team of expert travel advisors at CIRE Travel is a resource for your self-care.
Adding Wellness Elements to Your Travel Plans
Did you know that you can experience wellness travel without solely traveling for wellness? The Global Wellness Institute’s research shows that 80 percent of wellness travelers are adding wellness elements to their vacation itineraries versus committing an entire trip to wellness and well-being. The industry has prepared for this by providing many options to meet you where you are.
The Specifics of Wellness Versus Healing Travel
You may have heard of wellness travel, though perhaps you haven’t heard of healing travel. Let’s look at the differences and how to explore what best serves you.
Wellness travel supports your mind, body and soul. This can look like nutritious food options, mindful movement, spa treatments and being in nature, to name a few. You can find aspects of these at a wellness resort or even in an urban setting.
Healing travel is designed for emotional and physical healing with the ultimate goal of healing your soul. The most important things to pack are the intention of being open to receive support and the willingness to go deeper within. It can be difficult to put ourselves first, especially when it means taking time to be better versions of ourselves. The new version of you who will be found through healing travel is who you are meant to be. The person filled with self-love, joy, confidence, and an understanding of your authentic self. Rather than relax on the beach with a cocktail, consider an intentional healing trip that will revitalize your mind, body and soul.
As you know and appreciate, with CIRE “it’s handled.” One way they secure this commitment with wellness and healing travel is through a partnership with Healing Hotels of the World, the only global healing hospitality brand. Healing Hotels thoroughly vets each hotel and resort member with 292 qualifying checkpoints. This provides authenticity to your experience.
Both healing and wellness travel are available to enhance your wellbeing and provide a variety of habits for you to take home. This kind of travel rejuvenates you in a way that makes you excited to get back to your life and implement what you learned. The direction you choose is based on what you need.
Your Guide to Healing Travel
This article will walk you through a variety of healing travel experiences starting with dipping your toe in the water to diving into the deep end. But because those phrases feel overused, we’ll stick to spa treatments to show you the level of intensity of each option. You’ll also see romantic courting stages in each category as a mainstream reference. After all, the travel planners at CIRE are healing travel experts so you don’t have to be.
Swedish Massage (First Date)
You’re ready to try incorporating more wellness elements during your travels, but not keen on committing to a whole wellness vacation. No problem! Venture to Italy’s southern shore of Lake Garda for a stay at Grand Hotel Terme, where a biological nutritionist vets each restaurant menu to ensure wellness at the table. The options are color-coded to guide you on what dishes are recommended daily, weekly, monthly or for special occasions. All the guesswork is taken out while savoring dishes like halibut with pumpkin, artichokes and truffle, and Iberian pig with masala spices, chestnut cream and kumquat chutney. There is a full bar, too.
Speaking of wine and cocktails, not all immersive wellness resorts are alcohol-free. If that’s an important part of how you unwind or enjoy your holiday, let your CIRE travel planner know. Accommodating this, while still experiencing a healing trip, is a dream they can make come true.
Grand Hotel Terme is known for thermal water and how they use its healing properties. This is a great time to try a thermal treatment. Enjoy a therapeutic mud treatment with a cleansing shower and balneotherapy (a mineral water bath).
Looking for a surprise on your bucket list adventure? An African Safari at Londolozi Private Game Reserve offers wellness through nature. In the heart of Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa, this luxury camp emphasizes emotional healing by reconnecting with nature. Take some time to visit the Healing House early during your stay to support slowing down. There is a guided meditation and breathwork session, which will deepen your connection with Mother Earth. If you haven’t used the great outdoors for your wellness, this is an extraordinary way to start.
In between game drives, visit Londolozi’s Futuristic African Village to see the Flywheels of Sustainability and be part of an Ubuntu Hut Talk. Learn about wellness for the planet and for community through these unforgettable moments. Post safari, head back to the Healing House for a contrast treatment. This full body massage incorporates both warm Himalayan salt stones and ice-cold marble stones. This will soothe your muscles and invigorate your senses.
Deep Tissue (Going Steady)
If movement brings you joy, run, walk or skip towards healing travel. First melt into the flow of Tuscany at Palazzo BelVedere where you’ll receive a purifying foot ritual during check in. This is considered a way to enter the resort by walking on water.
For cyclists, there are a variety of routes available, distinguished by level of intensity and a menu of bike rentals, including Muscular MTB city bikes and racing bikes. This mindful movement supports your physical wellness and allows you to connect with nature. Another way to be one with the elements is through the Earth Routine, a gentle walk through the woods with movements designed to encourage the bond of humanity and the planet.
Play golf differently at Camiral in Costa Brava, Spain. This resort focuses on the well-being aspects of golf: emotional, physical and social. The course was designed with intention to focus on biodiversity, spatial variety and light patterns. Visit the Golf Hub for another way to connect with others through private coaching or entertainment experiences.
After time outdoors, retreat to the Wellness Centre for whole-body cryotherapy to reduce inflammation. Try hyperbaric oxygen therapy to enhance athletic performance and heighten brain function.
Lymphatic Drainage (Engaged)
It’s time to increase your intention and focus on rest. Eco Hotel Saltus in the Italian Dolomites has a Relaxation Programme included in the rate that prioritizes the important relationship between mind and body. Here you’ll find guided introductions to proven relaxation techniques to discover what best aligns with your authentic self.
At Forest Spa in Eco Hotel Saltus, try a stress-relieving ear candling ritual (considered a massage for your ears). It gently balances pressure between your forehead, ears and sinus area. Then choose between a Finnish sauna or Hay sauna to release any remaining stress; or try both to see which you prefer. The Finnish sauna is a wood-lined space warmed to around 170 degrees, whereas the Hay’s temperature ranges between 142 and 155 degrees. Both have been found to decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, levels.
Cupping Massage (Married)
Waiting for you in the mountains of Switzerland is Kurhaus Cademario Hotel and the anti-cell acupuncture treatment at Dot Spa. This combines cupping and acupuncture to stimulate cell regeneration in the body and face to combat skin imperfections. Cupping therapy has many benefits including removing toxins and supporting relaxation. Note that there will be some lingering bruises (especially on your back), so plan your outfits accordingly.
La Cucin at Kurhaus Cademario has a menu free from sugar, gluten, lactose, soy and processed foods, which means it supports the immune system, doesn’t raise the glycemic index and is anti-inflammatory. There also are clearly marked vegan, vegetarian and Keto options. Delight in the flavors of beef cheeks with celeriac puree and cardamom reduction or risotto with porcini mushrooms, Castelmagno cheese and blueberry powder.
In another scenic mountain spot, travel to The Retreat Costa Rica in Alajuela. This resort also offers an anti-inflammatory menu with all locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. The focus is on prebiotic and probiotic gut health. There is an open kitchen so guests can see what they’re being served. Many of the stays include a cooking class to make, sample and take home nutritious and delicious recipes. The menu shifts daily with the chef’s inspiration. He searches the local farmer’s market and the freshest ingredients from the garden to thoughtfully plan each meal.
When you stay at The Retreat, hikes around the crystal mountain and two yoga classes are available daily. Make time to nestle into Vida Mia Spa and try one of the signature crystal healing therapies. There’s a self-love treatment using garnet and amber to promote emotional healing. These are applied through a body scrub (also beneficial for exfoliating), rinsed with a massaging Vichy shower, and followed by a garnet, blue tansy and bergamot oil blend to restore energy and increase self-love.
Wasu (Everlasting Love)
You’ve made it! The desire you have for healing travel is all in and sealed with a kiss. You are ready for a stay on a private island in the British Virgin Islands at The Aerial BVI. This is the space to experience equine therapy, a chance to engage with horses guided by equine specialists to decrease anxiety, combat depression and isolation, feel a sense of peace, grow impulse control and connect to your emotions. This takes place at Redemption Ranch, where all these majestic horses have been rescued from kill shelters or abusive situations. Together, you will heal each other.
If you’re ready to heal in community, consider the five-day events Aerial hosts throughout the year. They are aptly titled Abundance, Presence, Strength, Love, and Dream as each itinerary focuses on those areas of your life. During these events, you will do things like conquer a limiting mindset, gain a deeper level of clarity and learn conflict resolution skills.
In this space of full love for healing travel, look to Golden Door in Southern California. All stays begin on a Sunday, last five to seven days, and are fully inclusive. This consists of a schedule of guided hikes, spa treatments, Tai Chi in the meadow, and even a stocked closet full of workout clothes. Those are just a few examples of what’s in store. It’s a journey of rediscovering you; a journey of which you are worthy.
Consider trying watsu during your stay at Golden Door, the ultimate therapy for feeling supported. You are literally held, stretched and guided while in a pool of warm water. It helps alleviate chronic pain, reduce anxiety and tension, and enhance your calm.
Share Your Healing Relationship
Discover what kind of healing travel you’re ready for with the wellness travel experts at CIRE. Whether this is the gift you give yourself or a thoughtful and life-changing experience you bestow upon someone you love, it’s a trip that will create positive ripples in the path of healing.
CIRE Travel is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York, NY. Our expert corporate travel planners, honeymoon travel agents, and luxury travel planners support clients across the country and around the world.
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