Travel Trend: Wellness Vacations

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I love the holidays and the New Year. Growing up, making New Year’s Resolutions was part of welcoming in the New Year. My father always promised to stop smoking and my Mom’s annual commitment was to lose weight. I remember when those topics were the top of the Marist’s Poll’s list of New Year’s Resolutions. Both have been replaced at the top for 2017:

#1: Being a better person

#2: Losing weight

#3: Exercising more

#4: Spending less and saving more

#5: Improving one’s health

#6: Eating healthier

Interesting that everything on the list leads us all to being the healthies on every level that we can be. According to the most recent AAA survey, 55 percent of today’s travelers are looking for wellness, health and fitness vacations.  Due to society’s overall concern with health, rising stress levels, increasing knowledge of wellness travel, more wellness-focused vacation properties, strenuous work environments, and an aging population, wellness travel is considered one of the hottest, and most rapidly growing, trends for 2017.

Personal, work, and interfamily relationships can often be the toughest and most challenging. We need the tools to develop and maintain satisfying, working relationships with all of the people in our lives to be happy with ourselves. Talking about our feelings helps them become less overwhelming, upsetting, and frightening.

Change and personal growth start within ourselves and cannot be forced upon us, just as there is no point trying to change anyone else. What’s great to know is that there are programs for a day, week, weekend and more extended programs that can change how you relate to yourself and others, mend troubled relationships, and make great ones even better to be the person you want to be.

hot springs

Finding the right place to help you achieve your goals, in interesting and pleasant surroundings for total rest and relaxation, is a really great way to go. Consider the Shared Heart Summer Retreat held annually at Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon for individuals, couples, and families. Each group of people has its own program and area of the grounds, creating sub-groups of support and understanding.

The theme is “The Quest,” a series of adventures leading toward self-discovery. The goal is to break down barriers preventing individuals and couples from fully loving and appreciating each other. Families are united and reunited. The children’s programs for age groups 4-5; 6-8; 9-12; 13-15 and 16-19 are filled with art, music and movement to encourage individuality and learning to be in touch with themselves.

“Lack of communication was making it difficult to be the extended, multi-generational family we wanted to include everyone,” says Denise, mother of three children and grandmother to five. “Having the opportunity to hear ourselves, each other, and have so much fun together in a fantastic, safe, beautiful, exciting and supportive environment is exactly what we needed.”

Contact Information: The Shared Heart Foundation, P.O. Box 2140, Aptos, California 95001; 1-831-684-2299;;; Registration: Paris Morgan @ The Shared Heart Foundation. Event held at Breitenbush Hot Springs, P.O. Box 578, Highway 46, Detroit, Oregon 97342;;; 503-854-3312.   Costs include workshops, meals, lodging and full use of facilities: Adults $805 to $1120 depending upon lodging option; Children FREE to $585 depending upon the age group with partial work exchanges available.


  • Sheryl Kayne

    Sheryl Kayne is a writer, editor, educator, and motivational speaker. She is the author of travel guidebooks. Immersion Travel USA: The Best & Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living & Learning Excursions was awarded The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Best Travel Guidebook 2009 and Volunteer Vacations Across America was named on Amazon’s list of best new travel books 2010. Kayne travels extensively and works and volunteers where she visits. She was the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Homestead, Fla. and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, N.M. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, CBN, ABC Weekend Evening News, Lifetime Television Network, and MTV, among others. Visit Sheryl at:

1 Response

  1. Karen McKenzie says:

    Good news for a change – and very needed in today’s fragmented world.

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