In the United States, we are on a mission to create a better version of ourselves. We desire less stress and stronger connections with others. We want more happiness. We want to improve our health by shifting our diets and the way we workout.
It should come as no surprise that the quest for wellness has moved into the travel and tourism sector. It involves traveling with the goal of enhancing one’s personal well-being and is known as wellness travel. This is a multi-dimensional approach to travel that includes the pursuit of physical, mental, social, spiritual, economic, and environmental health.
With wellness travel, your health is a priority so that you return home from your vacation with renewed energy and drive to be enthusiastically present in life. But this wellness comes at an increased cost. According to the Global Wellness Institute, people who travel in this manner typically spend 130% more than the average traveler.
In the end though, is wellness travel worth the extra price?
Wellness is one of the fastest growing and largest industries in the world. According to a recent report from the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is a $4.2 trillion dollar industry that experienced a 12.8% increase in the last two years. The largest wellness sector is personal care, beauty, and anti-aging, followed by healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss. A close third, which is wellness travel, is also the fastest growing segment of global tourism. Wellness travel brings in $639 billion annually and has double the growth rate for overall tourism, showing that people have a marked interest in expanding their health and nourishing their souls by traveling.
Once believed only a luxury for only the rich, wellness has become more affordable and accessible, in part due to the driving demands that reduce the overall costs and increase access to wellness travel choices. But, these travel choices are still more expensive than the traditional wellness options due to accommodations, healthy food, excursions, and activities typically included in the overall price of the trip.
Consider this: everything in life comes at a price to our well-being. We are the result of all of our choices. Every relationship, experience, action, career path, meal consumed, and emotion impacts our overall health and wellness. Perhaps the effect of these choices is not immediate, but it shows in the quality of life lived and in the chronic conditions that arise.
It comes down to this: you can pay now or pay later. Focusing on your health now can be preventative. Paying for your unhealthy lifestyle later in life is too late. Illness is considerably more expensive than health. Keep this in mind when planning on your next vacation or considering how you want to spend your evening.
Here’s an example to bring the idea to light. Let’s say you need to buy a new car and there are two options available from the same make and model car. Option A is a red car that costs $5K and has 40K miles. Option B is also a red car that costs $17K and has 20K miles on it. Why would you buy the option B car? After all, the mileage is not that different, and you’ll save yourself $12K. Only upon a closer look, do the issues show up. Car A needs new tires, brakes and rotors, the previous owner was a smoker, and this car had been in an accident. Car B has none of these issues. So, while Car A offers you immediate savings, there are other crucial issues to be considered. In the long run, this car will end up costing you more.
“If you think wellness is expensive, try illness”
Americans face a similar problem for many aspects of their own wellness. There a barrage of choices available for us on a daily basis. Should you join the gym or use online exercise videos? Should you have that second glass of wine or switch to sparkling water? Would that inexpensive trip to Mexico be better than a hiking excursion in Canada? All of our choices affect our health on both a short-term and long-term basis.
The number one excuse people give for not practicing wellness is the high price associated with healthy choices. Cultivating wellness can be downright costly. We all know that eating an organic salad from Whole Foods costs far more than a McDonald’s salad. Joining a $125 per month yoga studio is costlier than the $10 MoviePass membership.
But the question remains: is the expense of wellness travel worth the cost? For me, I say “yes, absolutely!” It’s a quest that I can wholeheartedly get behind, as I believe in being proactive over reactive. Prevention over disease. Dedication over immediate pleasure. We are solely responsible for our own lives and our associated choices. Choose healthy travels now in the form of prevention or pay for your unhealthiness later on. In the big scheme of life, illness is far more expensive than health.
Just think of this next time you are planning a vacation to relax or considering how you want to spend your evening. At the end of the day, the choice for wellness is up to you. So, take that wellness vacation and come back refreshed and renewed. You’re totally worth it!