7 things to consider if you're booking a wellness retreat

Mar 29, 2016 at 1:20 p.m. ET
Image: Wanda Koch Photography

Sun, surf and...burpees? Vacations can often be synonymous with overindulging and taking a hiatus from your workout routine but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Fitness and yoga retreats have been rising in popularity and offer a fun and healthy way to take a different kind of vacation. I have participated in my yoga studio’s annual retreat for the last three years and it’s been a wonderful way to enjoy a tropical vacation while still getting my yoga in. I always leave the trip feeling extra relaxed and zen.

Whether you’re on team “sign me up now!” or you need a little convincing, here is my advice on all things retreat related.

Image: Wanda Koch Photography

1. Don’t be scared to go it alone

The thought of going alone might sound a little scary but you will meet new people and make new friends. On every trip I’ve been on, we always end up bonding and feeling like one big family by the end of the trip. Most retreats offer single or double lodging options and will partner you if you need a roommate.

2. Or make it a girlfriend getaway

Fitness retreats can also be a really fun girlfriend getaway so consider recruiting your favorite workout partner to join you.

3. Decide what you’re looking for

Discipline or freedom? Want a packed schedule or craving downtime? Trip experiences can vary widely, so be sure to do your research on this front. For example, some retreats might be all green juice and meditation while others welcome a cocktail here and there and promote social interaction.

The trip I attend every year is relaxed. There are two yoga practices offered daily but with a “take it or leave it” kind of mindset and you’re not made to feel bad if you skip out in favor of rest or some extra pool time.

There’s no right or wrong but make sure you know what you’re getting into!

4. Rustic or luxury? And what’s your budget?

Accommodations can range from more rustic facilities that may not have AC or electricity to luxury resorts. What type of experience are you looking for and what fits your budget?

5. Workout format

Are you looking to get your booty-kicked in high intensity workouts or are you craving something a little more restorative?

Make sure the instructor leading the retreat and class formats offered match your expectations.

6. How far are you willing to go?

While Bali sounds amazing, the travel required to get there is pretty intense. For me, a direct flight to Mexico or the Caribbean is more realistic and allows more time for me to enjoy my destination. Consider whether you’re looking for a super exotic locale or an easy escape.

7. Go for it!

My biggest piece of advice would be to take the plunge. Life is made so much richer through experiences, and you will remember this kind of trip for many years to come. If a fitness or yoga retreat is something that sounds exciting to you, make it happen!

This post is sponsored by vitaminwater zero and SheKnows.