There comes a time in every ClassPasser’s life when an active vacation is a must. For some, this may mean an all-inclusive resort retreat with personal training, healthy meals, and spa add-ons. For others, this could be an exotic surf and yoga camp in Bali. Whatever it is, take the time to plan ahead by asking yourself these basic questions about which trip is right for you before you hit ‘book!’
Mountains, beach or forest?
Does a week of surfing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and snorkeling in a sun-soaked Caribbean destination sound like the ultimate #vacationgoals for your active getaway? Or are you ready to hit the slopes for a week of perfecting your snowboarding swagger? It may seem obvious, but consider which type of destination will most inspire you to get into your zone to help you narrow your search for the ultimate fit escape. Maybe you’re ready for ziplining and horseback riding through the lush rainforest of Costa Rica, or a guided hike through the Appalachian trail. Whichever locale on the world map gets you excited to get moving, choose your adventure and start your search.
Do you want a peaceful retreat or non-stop activity?
There’s a big difference between morning sun salutations and an intensive boxing boot camp. How much activity are you prepared to handle? Whether you want to take it full throttle or opt for a super Zen yoga and meditation retreat, consider the intensity and how much you want to balance activity with relaxation. If you’re looking for a nonstop sweat fest, then make sure you evaluate the fitness program to determine if the fitness offerings are up to speed. If you want to include some down time, then double check that the itinerary will allow that. This is your trip — and your money — so read the fine print now to guarantee a killer trip later.
Will your meals be covered during the trip?
If cost and convenience are both major factors in planning your trip, then you may want to consider booking an all-inclusive package that covers your daily activities, excursions, as well as your breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you have certain dietary needs, such as gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, or otherwise — check to see that there will be options that meet your needs. One example of an all-inclusive active getaway are the “Body and Mind Weeks” at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Florida. These programs focus on three pillars of health — sports, nutrition, and wellness. Another program in the Japanese Alps called the “Snow Goddess Retreats” even includes “daily unlimited protein bliss balls and mixed nut trail mix,” plus “unlimited purified spring water, brewed coffee and tea.” Don’t underestimate the power of some all-inclusive protein-packed grub during your active vacay!
Are there any wellness add-ons?
Beyond the actual sports or activities you’ll be doing, another factor you should consider when booking your active vacation is the availability of other wellness offerings that could round out your experience. For example, keep an eye out for nutrition seminars or cooking classes if you’re looking to detox, lose weight, or use your trip to develop a more balanced lifestyle. Or, some fitness retreats offer morning yoga or guided meditation, which could be of interest if you’re looking to unwind, unplug and destress. Is there a hotel with an amazing spa facility where you can add a spa-cation element to your trip? There’s nothing better than treating yourself to a deep tissue massage, a soak in a jacuzzi, and a steam room session after a day of intense exercise. Look at the whole picture to plan the most well-rounded trip possible that helps you meet all of your wellness goals.
Does your hotel offer any any fitness or wellness programming?
Some hotels offer free programming and events for health-minded guests. For example, The Palms Hotel & Spa, an oceanfront escape in the heart of Miami Beach, offers guests a sense of wellness and community with Palms NatuRUNs — complimentary running workshops led by local running and fitness experts that explore all aspects of running, including stretching, form, strength, and mindfulness. Since The Palms opens directly onto the Miami Beach boardwalk, it’s perfectly situated for communal runs by the ocean, followed by guided exercises under The Palms’ Grand Tiki. Guests can mingle with the local running community while staying on top of their running regimen while on vacation. To top it off, every NatuRUN ends with all-natural tasters from The Palms’ signature farm-to-table restaurant, Essensia Restaurant & Lounge, like crave-worthy kale salad and fresh juices.
What are the instructors like?
Whether you’re going on a tennis retreat or to surf camp, if you’re looking to make the most of your fit-cation, then you’ll definitely want to go for the highest quality instructors you can find. Does the program offer one-on-one training, or group training? How expert are the coaches, and what are their certifications? If you’re ready to take your sport or athleticism to the next level, having expert guidance from a pro can make a big difference in your skill development.