Doing nothing but lying on the beach all week might still be heaven for some, but concerns over skin cancer and obesity means healthier holidays are becoming the norm.
Relaxation is still the key ingredient, but it seems many of us are seeking options that also feed the mind, body and soul.
If this sounds like you, perhaps you might want to try one of these…
Health farms and spas are a great way to unwind from the stresses of modern living, and offer everything from mud wraps to flotation tanks, facial treatments and aromatherapy.
While Britain is well stocked with luxury health retreats across the country, you might want to hop abroad. If so, Finland is the place to go for saunas. Virtually every hotel in Finland has one, from traditional smoke saunas beside a lake, to flab-zapping high-tech infrared saunas in the city. A few days here should have those toxins well and truly flushed.
Japan is another popular destination for health enthusiasts. You can dive into Japanese culture by spending time in an onsen… naturally occurring hot springs full of healthy minerals and volcanic sulphur. Stripping down to your birthday suit might seem daunting at first, but most locals won’t batter an eyelid. Unless you have a tattoo. These are still something of a taboo in Japan, and displaying your ink is banned at most onsens.
Of course, international spa resorts often go hand in hand with the beach. From the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, you’ll find resorts offering scuba diving along with its array of treatments and massages, as well as swimming pools with bars you can swim up to and order drinks (healthy ones if you must).
If the thought of a drink has you reaching for a cigarette, perhaps you should consider an anti-tobacco holiday programme. With medical treatments and natural therapies focused on addictions, these worldwide holistic retreats are ideal if you’re trying to quit smoking… a holiday activity which is certain to improve your health.
If body postures are more your thing, there are plenty of high-quality yoga retreats in Asia. But be sure to find one that caters for your level of experience. If you’re new to yoga, opt for a resort that offers free classes for their guests, rather than attempting three-hour headstands in a class full of maestros.
Tai chi and meditation are also popular holiday activities when it comes to recharging the batteries and improving mental health. But if you really want to get connected with mindfulness, consider a silent meditation retreat.
With no conversation to be had or digital devices to get distracted by, it’s a chance to really disconnect from the world and focus on your wellbeing. How often do you get the opportunity to have a week truly to yourself?
Partaking in extreme sports might not be on the agenda, but that doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t have cover. So, wherever you go and whatever you do, don’t forget to pack your travel insurance along with your swimming costume.
Without it, the stress of losing your luggage or finding your flights cancelled could undo all those well-earned health benefits.