When’s the last time you and your partner took a wellness trip together? For many, the answer might be “never.”
Sure, wellness travel can be spending a few days in a luxurious spa, getting massages, and lounging in saunas, but it can also be a profound experience. It’s all about empowering and improving your overall well-being. When it’s coupled with couples travel (pun intended), it can serve as a way to intimately reconnect a pair on a physical, mental and spiritual level.
As a wellness travel coach who specializes in guiding and designing wellness travel experiences for others, wellness “baecations” are my favorite. Hands down. My husband and I love the passionate rekindling of our souls that occurs while wandering through the beautiful unknown. But just heading out for a wellness retreat together doesn’t guarantee it will be one you’ll remember — for the right reasons. When you’re wellness traveling together, the first thing you need to be aware of is your mindset, ensuring you’re on the same page with goals for your trip. Connection, adventure, freedom and love are the intentions behind each of the trips I take with my husband, so every time we book a ticket or catch a flight, we always make sure these things are a part of our experiences.
These intentions are set before our trip, recited during it, and shared afterward, as we reflect back on how the getaway expanded our minds and spirits. Sometimes we’ll even cook it out, preparing a new healthy dish we learned from traveling or incorporating some new ingredients we came across while exploring. All of this reminiscing and sharing of our personal insights helps us figure out what the trip awakened within us, and that’s where the profundity comes in.
Besides picking an attractive destination, here are my go-to tips for ensuring a successful wellness travel experience as a couple.
Spend Time in Nature Together
This comes natural to us since we’re big nature enthusiasts, but I understand that’s not the case for everyone. Know there is no wrong or right way to explore the great outdoors. Just get outside and breathe in the crisp, fresh air. Consider walking or hiking with your partner, grab a blanket to cuddle on the beach, or watch the picturesque sunset at a nearby park. Be as creative as you want with your partner while embracing the world around you.
Ditch Your Phones
Consider unplugging from your phones for a day. Yes, you can use the camera, but switch that phone to airplane mode. No GPS or social media—and don’t even think of answering any calls or text messages. Truly unplug and be present with your spouse on this adventure. If you’re nervous about traveling without using your phone’s GPS, go old school and take along an actual paper map or drop by a local tourist’s office to snag a map of the city you’re in. It might surprise you to find out which partner is better at navigating. Competition anyone?
Slow down at your destination and try to savor every experience. While moving quickly from one activity to another is invigorating, it also doesn’t leave much time for deep conversations. Traveling slow gives you space to talk about topics you never had time to discuss at home and helps you to get on the same page. Whether it’s a feeling you’ve never expressed, or a hurt you haven’t healed — air it all out. You may even find what was important at home is no longer important in the moment as exposure to new environments and the beauty of the world around you can give new perspectives.
Alone Time Is Still a Must
Another tip I highly recommend for couple wellness travel is to always make room for solo exploration. We continually encourage each other to play in a way that lights us up, even if the other partner doesn’t prefer that activity. For example, my husband likes beer, whereas I’m not a fan. I love sweaty workout sessions led by locals, but my husband could do without. Whether it be for one hour or an entire day, give each other permission and support to find joy in whatever activity their heart is set on.
Do Something New Together
Expand your minds together by learning in-depth about the destination you’re visiting – culture, food, art and history. Try to find something you’re both interested in and invest time into gaining more knowledge about that topic. If you’re history buffs, sign up to join a local tour group and hear firsthand from a local about the rich history of the land. For foodies, consider taking a cooking class, channeling your inner chef.
Bring Home More Than Souvenirs
Lastly, bring something back from your travels that you and your partner can practice regularly (i.e., a new recipe, new skills, etc.). For instance, when my partner and I traveled to Barcelona before the pandemic, we took salsa lessons and learned about traditional homestyle Spanish dishes. Now we love cooking Spanish-inspired meals and practicing salsa dancing together. Paella has imprinted on our hearts and soon arepas will, too. These things brought us closer because we now have more activities we enjoy together, and we can also reminisce about our shared experience.