The Evolution of Spa Travel – What To Expect in 2018

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Even though we are predominately a corporate travel agency, our clients often ask us to include a leisure leg to their trip, or “bleisure,” which can include finding a selection of activities, events or retreats. Staying on top of the latest travel trends is crucial to provide our clients with accurate, interesting and relevant information.

Seeing as 2017 has been a long year and with the holiday spirit in the air, we decided to keep this on a lighter note. Let’s take a look at how Spa travel has evolved and what we can expect in 2018.

What is Spa Travel?

The wellness industry has certainly built momentum as a travel trend over the last few decades and we’re not just referring to yoga retreats, meditation and spa holidays. In fact, we’re not even talking about the health cruises or surfing holidays. We are referring to the entire wellness concept of a destination and what people are generally looking for.

Spa travel is wellness travel and it no longer associates just with luxury, five-star establishments or the one percent. The middle class is growing which fuels the wellness market with a focus on promoting towns, cities or even regions. Wellness is comprehensively packaged which includes positive environmental policies, access to sustainable, healthy food and social justice which benefits both tourists and locals.

7 Spa travel trends for 2018

Mental Wellness Could Be The Biggest Trend

Some might say mental disorders are increasing globally while others argue it’s only the diagnosis that are on the rise. Whichever way we look at it, spa travel will focus more on mental health. This means understanding how to help people deal with stress, burnout and fatigue. Hotels, retreats and spas will offer new approaches by incorporating psychotherapists, neuroscientists, meditation classes, Yoga, sleep programs, a focus on art, creativity and more.

Preventative Health Holidays

Approximately 70% of premature deaths worldwide can be attributed to preventable diseases making it essential to take our personal health more seriously. People have become more aware that healthy habits and lifestyles are vital for disease prevention such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Preventative health holidays aim to keep your general health in check. Medical spas often include comprehensive health check-ups, counselling and various advanced therapies.

Three top destinations currently focusing on health holidays include Palacio Estoril Preventative Health (Portugal), Kurotel Healthy Longevity (Brazil), The Farm Heart Health & Stress Reduction (Philippines).

Nutrition-friendly Holidays

Hippocrates quoted, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Considering so many people are taking prescription medication, this pill-popping culture has led to a greater need to replace pharmaceuticals with more natural remedies. This increased awareness has resulted in more nutrition-friendly holidays where guests can discover the best diet for their body or blood type and general health concerns. Many destinations will only offer natural products with a focus on raw diets which is another rising trend in itself.

The ‘Mindful’ Movement

While many types of aerobic and anaerobic exercises promote physical and mental well-being, specific mindful exercises bring attention to how one’s body and mind are connected. Such workouts yield incredible physical and psychological benefits and next year more retreats will offer wellness programmes with equal intensity on being active and mindful. Destinations already at the forefront of the movement are Marbella Club Mindful Triathlon (Spain), Epic Sana Mindfulness Retreat (Portugal) and Shreyas Silent Retreat (India).

Next-Gen Holidays

2018 will be the year for next generation holidays with grandparents taking grandchildren on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday without their parents. This change from last year’s trend with family and ‘multi-generational’ holidays can be attributed to the baby boomer generation now retiring with their top priorities focusing on family and traveling. Next-gen holidays provide an ideal opportunity to celebrate important achievements in style such as graduations and milestone birthdays.

Not Your Average Sauna

Saunas are great for stress-reduction and detoxification but if you think you’ve been to a sauna, think again. For the most part, saunas are relatively standard at most hotels, spas or gyms but none more so than in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. They may not be steamier or hotter but they do offer a different overall experience. New sauna concepts will include a more social feel with music and bars while others will take shape of an amphitheater accommodating more than 50 people. These concepts are better designed, provide more serenity and will continue to spread globally.


Life is short and everyone experiences love and loss. How we deal with grief is a matter of perspective and sometimes we need a journey of self-discovery to find solace and healing. The impact of stress and anxiety on our lives can be detrimental with the major events being the passing of a loved one and divorce. This is a growing trend in Spa travel and people are taking notice. Places now offer a selection of emotional healing therapies, stress management, life coaching, Yoga, meditation and simply more outdoor activities to release those endorphins.

We believe these trends are just the beginning of a new era in Spa travel while many more are making their way to destinations across the globe. If you need expert travel advice from an industry-leading corporate please get in touch with TravelManor today as we provide you with financially efficient and stress-free travel solutions.

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