For some travelers, recharging the mind, body and spirit requires more than sipping a tropical drink poolside.

A survey conducted by the Wellness Tourism Association revealed that nearly 78% of respondents across 48 countries reported that they engage in wellness activities during travel. Among their motivations: They want to feel more connected to nature, escape the stress of daily life and feel rejuvenated.

Holistic wellness treats the mind, body and spirit, with travel options including physical activities, such as yoga or hiking, along with healthy, organic meals. Additional offerings might include sound, hydro- or Ayurvedic therapies. Holistic wellness travelers are looking for amenities to treat all parts of their mental and physical health, and they’re willing to pay for them. The Global Wellness Institute, in fact, predicted that the wellness tourism market will reach $919 billion in 2022—up from $639 billion in 2017.

In the luxury wellness travel industry, companies are offering more than massage therapy, five-star meals and gorgeous views. Have you ever thought of immersing yourself in a mud or mineral bath? Do you yearn for complete silence? Or maybe you wish to explore meditation and sleep techniques?

Here are five ways to embark on your own holistic wellness travel adventure:

Sound Travel

From tuning forks to singing bowls and sound baths, sound therapy started trending in the spa industry a few years ago. The idea is that our ears offer a path to relaxation and healing as powerful as those from our eyes, noses and fingertips.

Meditation pods, for example, were once popular mainly in places like New York or California. Now they can be found even in the South and Midwest. These chambers are said to block electromagnetic fields. Sessions can last about 20 minutes and include color therapy and binaural beats—that is, two different tones played at the same time but at slightly different frequencies to help induce relaxation. And, indeed, while some people aim for relaxation, others have reported feelings of mental clarity and inner peace afterward.

At the AAA Five Diamond Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, a sonic alchemist can help guests work toward harmonic well-being and consciousness through sound. Using her own vocal range and vibratory instruments such as archaic gongs and Indigenous percussion instruments, she takes participants on a unique auditory journey. Other resident healers at the hotel specialize in acupuncture, meditation, crystal therapy and chakras clearing.

Silent Retreats and Meditation

Our lives are filled with disruptive sounds, such as the incessant pings and dings of incoming emails and text messages or the constant interruptions of family members or pets. But what if your day could be filled with … silence?

Silence tourism began trending in the wellness community around 2015. Offerings range from short-term silent activities and spa treatments to full-blown silent retreats for the duration of your stay.

HereNowYoga, offers retreats at the historic Bald Park Lodge in the Appalachian foothills. Participants there can disconnect through meditation, yoga and silent activities.

Yoga and Hiking

Try yoga on the beach at sunset or floating pool yoga at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. The hotel has maintained its AAA Four Diamond rating for the past 42 years and was also listed in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2017–2020. The Florida beachside escape offers warm breezes, salty air and a 24,000-square-foot spa, with a full range of body, skin care and fitness services.

Explore the Ojai Valley and nearby canyons through a private hike, group hike or geocaching adventure while at the Ojai Valley Inn. The AAA Five Diamond hotel in Ojai, California, offers a full-service resort on 220 acres. In addition to its amazing golf course, artist cottage and apothecary, and immersive beekeeping experience, the 31,000-square-foot Spa Village boasts an array of massage therapy, skin care and nail services. Mind and body programming at Spa Ojai also includes spiritual counseling and crystal and reiki energy healing.

Nature

Immerse yourself in nature with a stay at The Wellhouse, Blackberry Farm in the foothills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

Go fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding through verdant forests. Practice yoga, take a dip in the pool, or relax with a book in the meadow lounge or herb garden. The extensive spa and wellness program covers a variety of massage and skin care treatments, as well as nutrition consultations.

Hydrotherapy

Restore your mind, body and spirit through outdoor experiences and Indigenous healing practices at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. Located within the AAAAA Diamond-rated Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal in Mexico, guests can practice yoga at sunrise or under the moon. The spa menu includes services that blend Mexican healing practices with wellness therapies, such as massage and detox treatments. Guests who sign up for Janzu water therapy are submerged in warm water and guided through breathing exercises to achieve a meditative state of deep relaxation.

Further up the West Coast, near the natural hot springs of Calistoga in Napa Valley, you can slip into the luxurious mud bar and mineral bathhouse at AAA Four Diamond resort Solage. Besides the typical massage and skin care services, Solage offers its signature Mudslide mud bath—a three-part detoxifying treatment with mineral-enriched mud and pure essential oils, a rehydrating private soak in geothermal mineral water, and a rest in a state-of-the-art sound chair permeated by the vibrations of relaxing harmonic music.

For a more intimate spa experience, sign up for an ultra-private Mudslide for two under the stars. Relax in a romantic rose petal bath by candlelight and enjoy sparkling wine and a special dessert.

AAA Is Ready When You Are

Your local AAA Travel Advisor can help you make informed travel decisions—from reserving a trip to selecting travel insurance—so you can relax and enjoy your vacation.

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