Wellness travel for families | Abundant Journeys Blog

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Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before” ~ Dalai Lama

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear ‘wellness travel’? Probably spas, weight loss clinics, women-only retreats, detox clinics and the like. Wellness travel is so much more than spa travel or medical travel. It is more than just connecting the mind, body and soul for individuals seeking to find themselves or improve on something in their lives. It can transcend past the individual to include the family as a whole. We define wellness travel as:

… a vacation or (long term travel) designed to enhance your cultural awareness, provide opportunities to engage socially with locals and maintain a level of fitness and nutrition beneficial to you.

Wellness travel for the family is not any different than wellness travel for the individual. It is simply travel void of over-stimulation. It is meant to be fun and exuberating with activities to fill your brain not occupy your brain. What do we mean by that statement? Often, family vacations are so full of over-stimulation our brains are simply occupied with an abundance of things to mentally consume. It’s over-whelming and exhausting. It is typically when one needs a vacation from the vacation. A vacation that fills the brain adds value, it generates new thoughts, ideas and permeates the brain versus simply occupying space for a limited time period.

wellness travel for families
Source: SRI International

Deliberately taking a wellness vacation with the family does not preclude one from ever taking a typical American vacation chalked full of activities from sunrise well past sun down. Mixing it up a bit is probably more idea for most families. After all, what kid does not want to see Mickey Mouse at least once? However, in our effort to promote raising global children, we highly encourage families to incorporate wellness travel with your family more times than not. Our infographic below sums it up for you:

Wellness Travel for Families

Still searching for reasons to slow down your travel and take the kids? A few years ago, we listed 4 reasons to travel with your kids and it still rings true today. It gives your kids:

  1. An interactive learning experience.
  2. It will potentially create a travel bug.
  3. It will encourage critical thinking and independence.
  4. You will grow as a family.

Make sure to click over to this article to read the details, 4 Reasons to Travel With Your Kids.

3 Positive Experiences for your next Family Wellness Vacation

You are probably curious to see some places you can experience a wellness vacation with your family. Here are 3 suggestions for you within the USA:

Wellness travel for the family
Source: Amelia Island Plantation

Amelia Island Plantation

Stay in one of the villas on this massive property south east of Jacksonville, Florida or inside the Omni Resort and Spa for an amazing experience filled with your choice of activities such as beach bonfires, your very own 5k, nature programs, tennis and more. Slow down your travel by staying a while, exploring the area, spending time on the water. Let nature be your stimulation. Have it be your home away from home for a month in paradise. Actually most Omni owned and managed resorts offer a wellness component, including a kid’s activity bag, Get Fit Kits and more.

wellness travel for the family
Source: Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta

Near San Diego in Tecate, California, you can ‘journey to true wellness’ with your entire family in tow. Here families can enjoy one of our favorite past times – hiking. They can also head to the tide pools to enjoy some sea life as well as indulging in organic cuisine onsite. “Founded in 1940, Rancho La Puerta started the modern Fitness Revolution…and we’re still on the cutting edge of fitness vacations today,” according to Rancho La Puerta.

wellness travel for families
Source: Paradise Guest Ranch

Paradise Guest Ranch

If you desire a little more peace and tranquility, head to this dude ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming. Even your toddlers would love this place. You have 15-acres of bliss to roam, horseback ride, hike, swim and let your kids participate in the Young Bucks program. It’s a vacation most do not readily think of, but it is definitely one to consider for your next wellness getaway with the family.

Want a more detailed itinerary for a family wellness vacation? Check back next week for a couple examples you can print and plan.


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  1. I love that you suggested taking a wellness vacations as a family. I am days away from a typical busy American vacation that as you said… I will certainly need a vacation from. I am so excited to take my eager little ones to Lego Land and all the other wondrous places San Diego has to offer but I am also thinking forward to future vacations… Thank you for the inspiration!
    kristi recently posted…Liebster AwardMy Profile

    1. Kids just love Lego Land, Knotts berry Farm and all of the fun places Southern California has to offer. Can you blame them? :-) Once you do those vacations, then you can balance it out with a wellness vacation the next time. Best of both worlds.

    1. That’s awesome, Lois. Making the trip “there and back” an adventure is such a good way to incorporate wellness into your travels. Take you time. Do not make it about getting from point A to point B. Get lost in the journey sometimes. It will help lower stress of being in a vehicle for so long also.

  2. this is so true!!
    Living away from family is so hard because whenever we go on “vacation” we go home to visit but it’s a mad dash of everyone trying to get a piece of us and I come home wayyy more exhausted than before and need a vacation from my vacation!!
    I can’t wait for the days when we live closer to home and can take the kids on a nice vacation someplace quiet and full of nature :))
    Holly Housewife recently posted…Lets talk about blog hopping, balm dropping and kryptonite..My Profile

    1. It’s hard when family is so far away. many people do end up spending their vacation time “going back home”. Maybe everyone can come to you when visiting and save you from going from house to house trying to catch up. It gets tiring.

  3. I love this post! I think my family is long overdue for a wellness travel trip! Seems like we’ve been on the go, go, go, lately. I would love to go to all three of these places you suggested! They all look and sound amazing!

  4. Shonda, I’m visiting from the UBC. What fun–you’ve introduced me to a new term, Wellness Travel. Yes, I would have thought that was visiting sports camps or health-correcting spas. Since I work with stressed-out professionals all the time, I recommend much what you do: a vacation that stops the overstimulation. What a lot of my people need is a nature-filled atmosphere, some options, fresh/healthy food, and no schedule at all. Thanks for bringing forth this idea of Wellness Travel!
    Kebba Buckley Button recently posted…Instant Help for Feeling Stuck and StressedMy Profile

    1. Kebba, that is awesome. Wellness Travel is the umbrella for spa, adventure, medical and all of that wonderful stuff. It has been around for awhile, but it is just gaining a lot of attention. We actually work with a lot of professionals clients to give them that needed getaway you recommend. :-) It is so critical to releasing stress. I also speak on the topic. My next engagement is at the Well-Being Travel Symposium this June in Toronto. Thanks for stopping by. Do come back.

  5. I had never heard of “wellness” travel, but, in some ways, we practice this in all our vacations. From the time my son was born through age 16, he went on every single vacation with us. (This didn’t count two or three weekends away from him, but that is all we ever had). We also had to stay within a tight budget so any kind of resort was out. We did several trips where most of our nights were spent camping in tents. But two trips stand out – one, a white water rafting experience in Pennsylvania (he loved it) and the other, a train trip between Virginia and Florida. We don’t overeat on vacations since being on Weight Watchers – in fact, again for budgetary reasons, we seek out rooms with cooking facilities. So this forces (not that we have to be forced) to seek out local food – and you would be amazed how hard that can be to find sometimes.
    Alana recently posted…Wilson ParkMy Profile

    1. I can understand that. The term is not widely used publicly… yet. So many families will not say “I want wellness travel” per se. It is definitely more an industry term to describe the type of travel one is seeking. I will be speaking on the topic at the Well-Being Travel Symposium in Toronto this June.

      By the way, white water rafting is oodles of fun.

  6. What great ideas for vacations for families! Relaxing and definitely a change from the regular routine. A great way for a family to have quality time and to make new friends, all at the same time. Thank you for the stories and the pictures. I really enjoyed this.
    Alice Gerard recently posted…W is for a walk in the woodsMy Profile

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