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Traveling Solo

by Anne Dimon

Why traveling solo may be the best bet for a wellness vacation.

Traveling solo is an increasingly popular way to see the world. And, when it comes to taking a Wellness Vacation, it may very well be the best way to go.

As defined by the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA), a wellness vacation is travel that is planned with a wellness-focused intention. They are typically self-directed, with the traveler setting his or her own timetable and schedule.

In the most recent WTA survey on Wellness Vacations, in answer to the question, “With whom do you prefer to travel?,” the overwhelming response (47 percent) was a combination of “solo,” and “solo to meet up with the like-minded.”

Why might solo be the way to go?  We asked a few of our WTA members:

Photo Credit: CHLI/Four Seasons

“Wellness experiences at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village are intended to positively transform our guests’ mental and physical wellbeing,” says Victoria Nickle, Executive Director of the onsite California Health & Longevity Institute (CHLI), “so spending time solo is a way to focus on your inner-self and truly connect with your own needs without distractions of others around.” She points out that while many of their guests value the gift of togetherness and often travel as a family or a couple, “we’ve also seen an increase in solo travelers seeking transformative experiences that are tailored uniquely to them.”  

In partnership with the California Health & Longevity Institute (CHLI), the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village (about a 90-minute drive from LAX) offers guests access to a team of elite healthcare professionals for lifestyle consultations and medical services. One of their most popular experiences is The Signature Retreat

The immersive four-day, all-inclusive program is designed to help individuals achieve personal well-being and inspire lifestyle changes. Experts at CHLI use the latest technology and scientific findings to curate workshop experiences, cooking classes and personalised workouts for optimal health and weight loss. “This retreat, says Nickle, is “a great fit for the solo traveler as it offers group settings mixed with one-on-one time with health professionals.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Skyterra

“When it comes to wellness vacations, the solo traveler has several advantages over those traveling with a partner,” said Jeff Ford, Executive Director at Skyterra Wellness Retreat in Lake Toxaway, NC.

Ford offers these benefits of solo travel: 

1.    The ability to choose your schedule and focus solely on your health

2.    You are more likely to achieve wellness vacation goals

3.    A break from caring for everyone else so you can focus on yourself

4.    You’ll be more likely to slow down, attend only the classes you want, and relax when needed.

Ford adds that for many Skyterra guests, a wellness retreat is their first solo vacation, and the staff is used to catering to solo guests. The touchstone of that planning includes one large dining table that brings all guests together at mealtimes. “We are a retreat that focuses on community,” Ford said. “Community meals bring everyone together and are helpful for the solo traveler because you don’t have to figure out with whom you’ll dine.” Additionally, the weekly schedule at Skyterra is set up to accommodate the solo traveler and help him/her build fast connections with other guests.

“For the solo traveler, every class and offering here is adaptable,” Ford said. “When you’re traveling alone you’re able to try something new, on your own. It’s a matter of showing up and being open, and that’s empowering.”

 Photo credit: Courtesy of Grand Velas Resorts  

 “The search for transformation and transcendence is, in itself, a solo journey,” says Diana Mestre, Wellness Ambassador for the three Grand Velas properties in Mexico, located in Riviera Maya, Navarit and Los Cabos.  “One may be seeking inner silence, introspection and restoration of the mind and soul, but also holding the hope to find like-minded people who are searching for the same thing and can share their vision.” 

She adds, “At Grand Velas, we believe that there is an awakening in many guests--both women and men--who are actively searching for an opportunity of connecting with their inner selves, and they want to find a resort that can offer them authentic wellness options to create their perfect wellness experience."

The Wellnessing at Velas Resorts initiative offers wellness options specifically designed with the solo traveler in mind–from Silent Spaces surrounded by gardens, where the solo traveler can find a peaceful spot to read, meditate, journal and/or paint, to Social Wellness - community connection opportunities where the like-minded participate in scheduled wellness classes, workshops and other activities.

Grand Velas’ on-site Wellness Concierges will create customized and personalized programs for each solo traveler with in-room wellness options (for instance, a Fit Box, a Sleep Kit and the Stone Gratitude Ritual), along with recommending the best healthy dining options. The three resorts also celebrate wellness once a year with their Wellnessing Getaway Fest as they participate in Global Wellness Day and World Wellness Weekend being honored around the world.

Ford of Skyterra adds: “While one might feel selfish taking a solo vacation, sometimes the wellness-minded simply need permission from themselves to take that vacation alone.”  When it comes to achieving those very personal health and wellbeing goals, experts agree it can often be best to go solo.  

Anne Dimon is the President of the Wellness Tourism Association  

and Founder/Editor of Travel To Wellness

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