Inspiring trips are on the horizon for Canada’s multi-billion dollar wellness travel industry.
West Coast Fitness Vacations brings you the best weight loss camps and wellness travel ideas to finish the year strong. This is a must-read roundup from leading experts in luxury wellness travel, and my personal opinion. I feel confident in sharing my opinion about what’s hot in weight loss camps and wellness retreats, as the owner of W Fit Vacations. But hey, let’s see how the Fall unfolds. I, like many Canadians, am bracing myself for what the virus might do. Nobody really knows.
Meanwhile, our wellness retreats are booking steadily as we reopen in September. As a business owner, I try not to think this is luck. Just like I stay on top of the latest fitness research as a personal trainer, I do the same with wellness travel. Here’s why I believe a well-delivered residential weight loss program should be on the bucket list of every woman.
Weight loss camps check all the boxes
From social-distanced vacations to big scary adventure trips, the trend is shifting in how we see travel. Now more than ever, travellers want to be responsible (and safe) in their wellness retreat and health spa choices. Gone are the days where feeling good is just about what we get. Now it’s about how we get it, and if it’s given to us ethically without damaging something we care about.
For example, we’re not going to buy Made In China outfits if there’s a possibility that sweat shops were used for the labor. We’re not going to stay in a glorious hotel that doesn’t recycle. And – best of all – we going to give back in some way, as part of our trip. Whether that’s supporting a local business to get back on track after covid closures (hey – that’s me!!)... or.. well, anything else really. Carbon offsetting, micro-cations, green hotels and multiple usage of plastic bottles – if we have to use them at all. Women-only trips because we never can have enough sisterhood.
The list is growing, but with all good intentions come a few logistics that can get in the way. Read on!
Discovering wonders in your backyard
“From a big boom in staycations as we look to explore the treasures close to home, to social-distancing escapes in crowd-free places, these are the top travel trends for 2021, according to experts. We expect this domestic travel trend to continue into next year as we grow to appreciate the wonders on our doorsteps.” – Good Housekeeping
Small group travel is on trend – even more when it’s to less known places. And now, more than ever with all of us ‘staying in our bubble’ we can’t feel comfortable joining a tour. Weight loss camps address one tiny problem of small group travel to exotic destinations – you have to be in shape to go there!
What if you’re hiking around Petra in Jordan and all of a sudden, have crazy bad shin splints. Should you keep walking to keep up with the group? Okay that’s an odd example, but the bottom line is, when you adventure too far away, your health should be in top shape. If it’s not, attending weight loss camps first is a pretty smart plan.
Some travel trends pose problems for those who are not in shape
- TREND: Pet friendly travel. PROBLEM: Most small-group travel is not pet-friendly
- TREND: More adventurous travel choices. PROBLEM: People need to be in shape to do that.
- TREND: Fitness and yoga retreats open for all levels. PROBLEM: Pace might be too fast, leading to injury. What to do with the rest of your trip?
- TREND: Hotels that feel like home. PROBLEM: Unless the hotel has a kitchen, it’s not really like home.
- TREND: Sustainable hospitality companies. PROBLEM: Some tour companies lodge you in hotels that aren’t green, as part of their pre-built package.
Wholesome travel experiences
There’s more awareness than ever about our carbon footprint, and the impact that jet-setting has on the environment. Sustainable travel is steering people away from over-populated destinations, with wholesome experiences (that connect with the local people) on the rise.
An increasing number of people are embracing the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle, therefore demand for destinations with great meat-free restaurants and hotels is predicted to increase. In fact, a survey by Sainsbury’s in the summer of 2019 predicted that 25 per cent of Brits would be vegetarian or vegan by 2025.
West Coast Fitness Vacations in B.C., Canada follows a plant-based meal plan, that encourages their guests to eat less meat.
Active Vacations Are Heading To New Heights
Travel companies like Exodus and Expedia are seeing a boom in small-group journeys to less known places. Popular mountain resorts are losing their self-guided traveler appeal as the obvious trails become over crowded. Local guiding companies that offer hiking tours and progressive fitness camps for adults – not just kids – is predicted to increase especially.
Yet theres one problem that arises. Active vacations may be too much of a physical stretch, if fitness levels are not where they need to be. It sounds amazing to want to trek to Machu Picchu or Victoria Falls, but these well-trodden places often require quite a bit of base fitness to achieve the walking component comfortably.
Whistler Fitness Vacations is an example of a hiking vacation that takes their guests to untouched, natural terrain away from the crowds. Located in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, the program is led by certified personal trainers who are also experienced outdoor guides. This double qualification requirement might be hard to find in your average hiking guide. It ensures that trails are safe for each participants fitness ability.
Think You’re Too Out-Of-Shape For A Hiking Vacation? Think Again!
Hands up if you’ve scrolled past one too many pictures of women on health retreats – and thought “I”d never keep up with her on a hike!”
Sure, the health retreat promises different levels of ability. Yet if the pace ranges from a 20-year old college athlete down to a grandmother (with two hip replacements) that might not be the reality – even if the intention. Feeling like a burden is the last thing you want!
In a trek last year to Everest Base Camp, I saw a lot of really disappointed tour groups. Many felt either held back from slower people, or felt rushed from faster people and both predicaments are not a good place to be in.
Somehow when you’re slogging it in the back of the pack, you start wishing that you chose a Caribbean cruise or to Mexico for margarita’s instead.
Pets In The Priority Lane
Travel website booking.com predicts that 2020 will see many more travellers putting their pets needs as top priority, when it comes to choosing a getaway. Searching for tour companies where you can bring your beloved fur baby is pretty challenging, making independent travel for those with pets usually the best option.
Dog friendly hotels are easy to find these days, although it is pretty restrictive to take your dog everywhere with you. My prediction is that pet-sitting in hotels will become a booming business! And with 55% of global pet owners saying that their pet is as important to them as their children, dogs especially are being taken seriously when it comes to hotel and flight amenities.
Dogs on vacation is becoming more normal than ever, and 42% of global pet owners say they would choose holiday destinations based on whether they can take their pets. Reflecting this trend, 49% say they’d be willing to pay more to stay at an accommodation that’s pet-friendly. Accommodations around the world will continue to look for innovative pet-tailored offerings.
Long-Term Adventure Travel
Nearly half (47%) of global travellers plan to be more adventurous in their travel choices once they’ve retired. Almost a fifth (19%) of those who are already retired are planning to travel for several months without interruption, something that over half (52%) of all travellers agree that you can do at any age. Expect to see products that help travellers kick-start the planning process. – Booking.com
This research was independently conducted by booking.com by a sample of adults who’ve taken a trip in the past year. In total 22,000 respondents were polled (including 1,000 each from 29 counties) in August 2019.
Yet with adventure in the hearts of many, it’s important to be in good physical shape before venturing off on your trip. Trekking, hiking, biking, traveling long hauls on buses and eating from foreign menus is hard work. Pre-trip planning will really make the world of difference.
People are getting smarter in their trip planning, and making the first stop to the new chapter to a hiking weight loss retreat will definitely see a rise in upcoming years.
Live-In Fitness Programs Feel Like Home (The Healthier Version!)
Travellers today want to stay in hotels that feel homely, and rightly so! After a full day exploring, it’s nice to cosy up by the fire with your dog while skyping with your family back home. Whistler Fitness Vacations is ahead of the trend on this one, having run intensive month-long stays in a gorgeous hotel.
Each guest has their own full kitchen in every suite, which makes it easier to eat familiar foods. For me, one of the stresses of constantly being on the move is having to find healthy restaurants or cafes every time I want to eat. Like everyone, I enjoy being pampered from time-to-time but am quite content to make my own meals when away from home.
When I developed the program, this was an important factor to consider. I toured all the hotels in Whistler and chose the Westin greatly for the reason that each suites kitchen is super nice.
Sustainable Hotels Are On The Rise
Sustainability will be a key factor in successful brand management of hotels, as it’s one of the most important global issues facing the world right now. And, hotels will advance their sustainability mission to fuel their corporate social responsibility efforts and establish trust. Sustainability is a win-win for both planet and profits as environmental responsibility is increasingly becoming a guest preference. – Trivago
Trivago also shares that travel trends in 2020 will continue to see guests doing their part for sustainability. Energy-saving schemes will increasingly reward hotels with green campaigns. This extends into construction, with smart buildings digitizing facilities, reducing plastic usage and saving water. Guests are increasingly eager to do their part for sustainability, embracing campaigns to reuse bathroom towels and request less frequent bed linen changes.
The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler is one hotel that paves the way in sustainability.
With a full paper, cardboard, glass and beverage container recycling program. Water saving toilets and faucets can be found in all guest rooms. Gently used linens, soap bars and toiletries are donated to charity. You’re steps away from the gondola, Starbucks and all the most exciting things about our town.
It’s the perfect place for a hiking retreat with stunning wilderness during the day and contemporary hospitality at night!
Recharge, Reboot And Turn Your Life Around
At our health retreat there’s nothing to worry about in your day-to-day activities. We meet you around 8.30am and the day unfolds with everything taken care of for you.
From arranging transportation to the best hiking trails in Whistler, guided paces that suit you and fabulous outdoor fitness classes. You’re in control of your meal choices, so that you can return home and continue eating better.
West Coast Fitness Vacations runs with a 5-day schedule, giving flexibility in the weekend to do whatever your heart desires. We’ve had guests lose up to 72 pounds during their 8 week stay here – gosh, can you only imagine how great she felt? Click here to read about our many happy customers who share their stories of inspiration.
Feeling Safe In Your Pace Is Crucial
Wellness retreats are a wonderful launching point for those who feel too out-of-shape to join a regular tour, like biking in Vietnam or hiking in Tuscany. You have the security of group pace being one where everyone is here to improve their fitness.
The structured guidance is an important element to consider when looking for the best weight loss retreat for you. This is usually the difference between the programs out there, from Thailand to USA, Australia to Canada. Some programs have 100+ classes to choose from in the week, and the guests go to the ones they feel like – whether of not it’s to their benefit.
Health spa programs and weight loss camps usually have a mix of meditation, yoga, medical professionals and beauty treatments sandwiched into a busy activity schedule. Look carefully at what the core of the program offering is – the fitness leaders must be ready to meet you at your level.