Wellness holidays or wellbeing breaks are for everyone. However, if you are living with a medical condition, you may benefit from a health and wellbeing holiday more than most. Going away for a long weekend, city break or a couple of weeks in the sun with family, friends or just on your own can be a great opportunity to get away and focus upon yourself.
Although some illnesses may prevent you from travelling too far from home, at Free Spirit we believe that living with a medical condition should not stop you from travelling. Just check with your treating doctor before you book your trip and consider the best time for you to travel.
Whether your travelling by air or looking for a UK holiday this year, we have carefully sourced a selection of wellness holiday destinations and activities for you to experience. Whatever your medical condition, you can enhance your overall health and lifestyle on holiday.
Mediterranean Wellness Holidays
From sun-kissed sharing plates packed with incredible flavours, including olives in Greece or sun-dried tomatoes in Sicily; the Mediterranean diet is said to be the healthiest around. What could be a better, wellness holiday destination, than one that allows you to experience a colourful and nutritious cuisine! In between times you can spend hours exploring a beautiful coastline… and you might even discover some new foods to enjoy again while you’re back home.
What are the different types of Mediterranean holiday?
- Sailing holidays around the Greek islands. Set sail on a private yacht, among the flotilla, then dock in small fishing villages for a light lunch and explore the islands.
- Kayaking Mediterranean holidays. Immerse yourself in nature, while you improve your heart health (due to the brisk movements involved) and paddle across the water. From day trips to longer expeditions, choose how long you want to explore the pristine waters of Sardinia. Stopping for octopus salad is optional!
- Snorkelling holidays in the Mediterranean. Like kayaking, water-based exercises can relieve joint pain or stiffness. This is because exercising in water reduces the impact forces generally associated with other cardiovascular exercises, like walking and jogging. As well as being a health-boosting activity, you will see some amazing underwater wonders. For example, in Makarska, Croatia, provides opportunities to see seahorses and the best coral reefs in Europe.
- There are also many Mediterranean beach holidays to choose from. To boost your dose of vitamin D, our previous destination guide to Spain can give you some top sunshine spots to visit.
However, if your medical treatments make you more sensitive to the sun or heat, opt for a European city break where there will always be plenty of cafes, museums, bars and shops to take breaks from the sun…
European city breaks
If you go on a short weekend break or a multi-destination holiday across Europe, there is a lot to see and learn in Europe.
- A Vienna city break. Step back in time within Austria’s capital, while you walk around imperial palaces, grandiose buildings and old-world glamour.
- A Berlin city break. Berlin is home to five world-renowned museums, which are found on a Unesco-listed island called Museum Island. It also has a great contemporary fine art scene.
- For art galleries, head to Prague. View Bohemian art, such as the glowing Gothic altarpieces in the Convent of St Agnes or the art nouveau of Alphonse Mucha.
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Full of artistic treasures within a cosmopolitan dining scene! Explore Amsterdam via foot, bike or canal boat. This cultural town is also one of the best European city breaks to visit by rail. Simply sit back and watch the world go by…
If you fancy a trip to Europe but are unsure about the changes after Brexit, read our Brexit Guide.
While these holidays may involve a lot of walking, plan how many excursions you wish to go on beforehand. Know your limitations but also remember that this gentle exercise will improve your health. Your muscles will strengthen, your stamina will build and any excess calories will be burnt, all while you’re visiting exciting locations! If you are also someone who owns wearable fitness technology and would like to take it to measure how many steps you do our gadget insurance may come in useful.
If you can’t or don’t want to travel too far but would still like to go on a walking holiday, pick up a lead and head off with your furry friend…
Dog Walking Holidays for your health and wellbeing
A dog-friendly walking holiday can be done at any time, throughout the UK. There is no better feeling than the wind in your hair, while you watch your dog enjoy a runaround. Aside from getting out and active, watching them having a good time will make you feel happy too. Walking among nature is also a chance to practice mindfulness, as you notice the scenery and wildlife. So if you’re a photography enthusiast, the great outdoors can become a beautiful backdrop for your next photography project.
Stay in a dog-friendly cottage and go on a daily guided walk with the whole family. Or set out on a self-guided walking tour, which is suitable for both you and your dog. You can also book some wonderful walking holidays with overnight stops, within cosy dog-friendly pubs and B&B’s. Some walking trails can even be designed for you, based on your (and your dogs) level of stamina. Whatever kind of walking holiday you do, there are lots of beautiful locations to walk around across the British Isles.
- Wales can offer you walks along rugged beaches and give you a taste for Welsh rarebit.
- Known for kilts, castles and the legendary Loch Ness Monster, Scotland is filled with medieval history and myths to discover.
- Dorset’s Jurassic coastline can provide spectacular photo opportunities. Remember to take some Dorset Blue Vinney along to nibble on.
- For a mini adventure visit Ireland. Take the ferry from lively Liverpool and explore the quiet land of the fairies. Sit in a glade in perfect peace and tuck into a picnic lunch; or set out to be enchanted by waterfall gardens, castles and estuaries.
- The Peak District is the perfect escape, to appreciate the UK’s wildlife and nature at any time of the year. If you feel adventurous, there are chances to head underground into vast caverns and tunnel networks far below the ground.
If you choose to holiday in the UK, contact us for a policy that includes cancellation and curtailment cover, travel disruption and unexpected events.
The health benefits of walking your dog are easy to come by but if you just want to lie back and drift off and relax, you should visit a wellness retreat…
Wellness retreats can be found around the UK, on luxury cruises from Southampton or at resorts scattered across Europe. Combine yours with yoga and you’ll be caring for both your mind and body.
What types of wellness retreats are there?
- Spa retreat holidays. These can include a percentage of spa treatments such as massages; unlimited access to spa facilities, alongside healthy, nutritious meals.
- Yoga and active retreats. Depending on what type of sport you enjoy, you could start the day with yoga. Before taking part in a game of tennis. Or go on a skiing adventure across the Alps! View over 100 activities included in our policy here.
- Fitness and wellbeing holidays. Fitness holidays focus on health and wellness through physical and fun exercises. Try Nordic walking (using poles) while you explore the Halkidiki Peninsula in Greece and finish the day at the spa. Or wake up in the morning and give Zumba a go, to boost your circulation, strength and stamina.
In contrast, if you’d prefer a little more time to yourself, solo wellness holidays are an option. You will feel more nurtured and cared for while enjoying this uplifting experience. Especially if you have just undergone surgery or are in recovery. Many spas offer treatments to help people who are living /recovering from an illness. Find the perfect one for you in the UK or overseas.
We hope we have provided you with some thoughtful wellness holidays. As well as a range of activities to get your heart going. For more travel advice and tips while travelling with a medical condition, you can find all our travel guides here.