Vacations are designed to let someone relax, recharge, and reassess their life goals. There are countless health benefits to going on vacation, whether a healthy vacation is on your list of goals or not.
Most people go on vacation to get away from the stress of work and to spend more time with their family. If you’re interested in experiencing other cultures, booking a plane ticket to a distant country can also be a great way to expand your world view. Some people see this as a way to go on an adventure and grow as a person. After all, navigating a foreign place can be one of the best ways to feel more independent. At the end of the day, however, most vacation goals are designed to help you relax, grow as a person, or become better in some way.
Some people vacation solely for health reasons and put this goal at the forefront of their trip. After all, getting away from the stress of daily life and putting yourself first is a luxury we should all prioritize once in a while. Even if you can’t afford to go to another country, visiting a bed and breakfast in the next town over can help you recharge.
Healthy vacations typically surround a few different themes: relaxing to cope with the stress of daily life; recovering from a surgery; or actively participating in wellness activities while you’re vacationing.
Before we dive into these types of vacation, however, we should talk about how to prepare for a vacation. Here’s what you should know about healthy vacation prep to make the most of your trip.
How to prepare for your healthy vacation
Preparing for a vacation is often a chore in itself. But you’ll be glad that you put in the extra effort when it’s all said and done. Coming home to a clean home will help make your time spent away all the more relaxing when you’re not worried about a dirty tub or a sink full of dishes.
That being said, here are some of the best ways to prepare for your healthy vacation:
- Clean your home: As stated above, cleaning your home can help bolster feelings of relaxation on your vacation. You don’t have to clean the baseboards and regrout your bathroom tile; rather, simply cleaning your toilet, sweeping the floor, and vacuuming the rug will help you feel more relaxed when you come home from your trip. Few people want to come home to a pigsty. When you want to get the most out of your vacation, quell your worries and clean house before you leave.
- Get your documents in order: The last thing you want to forget is your passport when you’re traveling out of the country. If you haven’t already gotten your important documents together, now is the time to do so. Don’t forget your passport, tickets, booking information, and health information, especially if you’re traveling for surgery or another procedure. Health insurance brokers should equip you with the necessary cards and documentation. This is doubly important if you need to bring medical information on your trip.
- Plan your trip: Do you have am itinerary planned out? If you’re traveling for fun, you’ll want to structure your day to make the most of your trip. Highlight museums, art galleries, and restaurants that you want to visit. If you’re traveling for medical purposes, you’ll still want a basic understanding of what each day will be like. Planning this trip out will also help you remember to pack your favorite books, movies, and activities for when you’re recovering. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting a breast reduction or investing in bone graft surgery: you’ll want plenty of fun things you can do from the comfort of your bed (and breakfast).
- Pack your clothing in line with your vacation: If you’re traveling for surgery, you’re not going to want to pack high heels and form-fitting dresses. Rather, you’ll want to pack comfortable clothing that doesn’t put pressure on your surgery spots. Consider the types of activities you’ll be doing to direct your packing. When you’ve got the right outfits selected, you should also invest in compression sacks or space-saving bags to make the most of your luggage space.
You can reduce stress by investing in things that you like and lessening your load. Establishing boundaries can help you stop taking on too much at a time. But even adding abstract art artist prints to your office cubicle can help stop the mental drain of working so much.
Traveling, even if you’re seeking out a healthy vacation, isn’t always easy. When you’re trying to prepare for the trip, rely on these tips to help. Now, let’s talk about some of the healthy vacation options you might want to consider this year.
Relaxing and getting away from stress
This is one of the most popular forms of a healthy vacation. Americans are overworked and devoting 50+ hours a week to your job can drain anyone. When you’re suffering from the deleterious effects of stress, a relaxing, healthy vacation can make all the difference.
Stress has countless negative effects on the body, many of which you might not realize are happening. This is because stress can affect your mind and your body. If you’ve been feeling stressed out for an extended period of time, you might think that feeling exhausted or wrought with headaches is the norm. This simply isn’t the case.
That’s why so many people travel: to reduce stress. Vacationing allows you to reconnect with yourself and shirk responsibilities for a while. One of the major reasons folks go on honeymoons after exchanging wedding bands isn’t just to celebrate their marriage; it’s also to recover from the stress of planning a wedding. If you dove back into work right after your wedding, you might feel more burnt out than the average person.
Why is stress bad though? It isn’t always going to cause negative symptoms. In fact, good stress can encourage you to work harder and perform better. But when stress becomes too much, it can have more than one negative side effect.
Here are some of the negative symptoms of stress you can shirk when you’re considering going on a healthy vacation:
- Headaches are one of the most debilitating forms of stress. For people who are prone to headaches and migraines, too much stress can even exacerbate these symptoms.
- Depression and anxiety are common mental health issues associated with stress. This is because stress is known to wear you down emotionally. It can also heighten these feelings in people who already have mental health concerns. You can ease these feelings by investing in things that you like and activities that make you feel good about yourself. The best florists are always equipped with your favorites so don’t be afraid to treat yourself once in a while.
- Poor sleep occurs when stress causes your mind to race and your body to panic. You might not even know your insomnia was a result of stress if you’re readily tired. But even if you do get to sleep, chronic stress can also cause your quality of sleep to go down. Some careers, like those who have a travel nursing job, might be used to the stress because they’re helping people. But a sudden deadline at work for the average person can mess up your sleep routine in more ways than one.
- Your immune system can suffer when you’re in a state of near-constant panic. At the end of the day, constant stress weakens your immune system and makes you more likely to suffer from colds and other infections.
- Low sex drive is another problem with stress. Though having sex can be a great way to relieve stress, a low libido will make this action impossible. This can put additional strain on your relationships and make you feel even more stressed.
Keep in mind that stress can affect everyone differently. As such, seeking out a bed and breakfast or other resort that offers you relaxing activities can be essential. For those who need physical activity to reduce stress, try seeking out options that have an inground pool. Pools are easy on your joints but offer some of the best exercises you can get. If you need more high-intensity workouts, look for hotels with gyms or be sure to seek out hiking spots in the area that you travel to.
Traveling for surgery
Traveling for surgery has become a popular alternative for Americans who don’t want to spend exorbitant prices at their local hospital. Many other countries — and even other states — will offer more affordable options for some people and some surgeries. So many millions of Americans partake in this type of “vacation” that it even has a name: medical tourism.
After all, there are oral surgeons and cosmetic procedure providers all over the world. Traveling for health is essential if you’re in need of an emergency procedure. But even if you’re looking for a cosmetic option, like investing in a tummy tuck or breast lift surgery, there are many cheaper options if you look hard enough.
Traveling for surgery means that your healthy vacation might vastly different from those who are traveling for fun. You might be able to go on a couple of hikes or check out some of the sites on your way there, but once the surgery takes place, it will be hard to partake in a lot of movement. Even though your vacation is rooted in health, these trips are known to cause a lot of stress during the recovery process. This is doubly stressful if you need to heal up and stay in place before you can attempt to go home. Some people might need to spend up to a month away from home since traveling by plane could mess with your blood pressure and ability to heal.
As such, you should bring a buddy and the aforementioned activities to keep you busy while you’re away from home. Try to choose a location that is known for its food, comfort, and relaxation to feel at ease while you start to heal. Even a visually appealing bed and breakfast can make all the difference when you’re trying to keep your mood up. A bathroom featuring exotic stone tiles will bring a smile to your face more than a simple linoleum option. Getting a location that’s close to your hospital can also make attending check-ups a little easier. In some cases, hotels and bed and breakfasts might even offer discounts for folks who came specifically for a health procedure. While this is rare in the United States, it might be worth looking into before you book your next vacation spot if you’re getting surgery.
Bringing a friend will also help to ensure your needs are met. Even if a hotel has room service, it might be hard to cut your food or even use the bathroom on your own. Bring a close friend, family member, or hired help to ensure that your health needs are met while you’re away from home.
Focusing on wellness
Many people are also traveling for wellness excursions. They’re either looking into bed and breakfasts that offer spas, massages, and yoga classes or they’re finding options that are close to locations that do.
After all, one of the main reasons people seek out healthy vacations is to relax and unwind. As such, investing in a massage, indulging in healthier meals, and partaking in activities can be a great way to learn more about yourself while healing your body.
It’s not uncommon for westerners to visit eastern countries for this exact reason. Traveling gives you the ability to slow down and take in someone else’s perspective. When you’re tired of the rise and grind of New York City, visiting the countryside in Japan can help you feel more connected to yourself and tradition.
Focusing on wellness is a top New Year’s resolution for many people. Sometimes, all it takes is completely spinning your regular routine on its head. With all the wellness activities you’re taking part in, one or two will likely stick. When you integrate these habits into your regular routine, this type of wellness trip is more than worth it.
At its core, most vacations rely on some form of wellness. Whether you’re trying to stress less, get surgery, or integrate new healthy habits into your daily life, going on vacation can be vital to your health.