With weary Aussies cautiously poking their heads out of mentally-draining lockdowns, it’s perhaps never been a better time to talk about what some call ‘self-care tourism’.
Of course, there’s nothing like a great big dollop of escapism to pull our attention into the present moment. Tourism and self-care have always gone hand-in-hand; seeing, feeling, tasting and/or drinking something new has forever imbued our adventures with a clear sense of mindfulness. Call it a polite awakening each time you step out of line and say yes to life, momentarily shedding the shackles of monotony and falling into either something completely new or a happy place you’ve discovered and vowed to return to each and every time you need a gentle jolt.
Travel has always been wrapped in this fundamentally important feeling. So why is self-care tourism such a hot topic right now? Well, specifically naming this quintessential aspect of getting out and exploring is going to be crucial moving forward. A new bloom has begun, and as travel ramps up it’s important that we practise patience with ourselves in order to absorb that holiday mentality and take it back with us when we return to the daily grind.
Framing concepts like this will, despite the inevitable marketing fluff, simply get travellers thinking about more ways in which they can pepper their vacation with restorative pops of self-care, so when they slide back into the grid they can do so feeling genuinely refreshed and recharged. It encourages an intentional embrace of the soul, implying a proactive and calculated way to nurture one’s own well-being and happiness to fortify against stress.
How To Practice Self-Care On The Road
So how should one best engage with self-care tourism? A definition helps, even if it’s so abstract that it can’t possibly capture the individual needs of travellers and what best resonates with them.
Let’s try this: self-care tourism is actively seeking out experiences that support, nourish, and encourage mental wellbeing. Think spas, skincare routines, mindful eating, morning meditation, journaling in new environments, and taking the time to exercise.
New environments is a big one. The brain constantly scans for contextual cues when we’re trying to form new memories and live our daily life the best way we know how. Being limited to just one or very few contexts can have incredibly detrimental effects on the physiology of the brain. I wrote about the psychology behind ‘lockdown brain’ over on Boss Hunting. Read that if you want to know more about what a lack of these new environments can do, and it should show you how important it is to start feeding the brain a bit of variety. Travel helps with that.
If you want to fill your day-to-day with self-care, you need to take the time to actively cultivate and dial in the practices that best refuel your soul. I’ve always found that a quick staycation in one of my favourite hotels – even if it’s in the same city in which I live – is the easiest way to pop outside of the box for a night or two to recharge my batteries.
I guess self-care tourism is a logical knock-on from ‘slow travel’, which was the big buzzword in the tourism industry before the pandemic hit. Essentially, slow travel emphasised building a deep connection with a destination by spending more time doing fewer things. It was the great big push-back against relentless box-ticking itineraries, encouraging travellers to slow down, be patient, and really take their time to immerse themselves in their new and exciting surroundings.
Self-care tourism is a remix of that, encouraging the same temporal distortion but, instead of focusing on the external world, you’re putting more weight on the internal world. It can be as big as choosing the island time of Fiji over the day clubs of Bali, or as small as checking into a hotel with well-being extras that really give you the tools you need to check out feeling better than when you checked in.
Let’s leave the Fiji VS Bali debate for now, and focus on the smaller, more manageable (and infinitely more affordable) method of self-care tourism.
Hotels & Self-Care Tourism: A Match Made In Heaven
Finding a hotel that supports your holistic wellbeing is tough when there are so many options. Luckily, the beautiful A by Adina Canberra is making the search a bit easier.
Canberra’s newest premium hotel brand has come up with an elevated, self-care hotel stay in collaboration with its bathroom skincare partner, Melbourne-based Hunter Lab. This will be best experienced across three nights – November 24-26 – next week as the hotel treats guests to a series of complimentary Green Chemistry Skincare Masterclasses, hosted by Christopher Mesh, who is Hunter Lab’s esteemed Skincare Innovation Manager.
“This masterclass represents an exciting shift in the tourism industry, with A By Adina prioritising the wellbeing of their guests through an engaging skin-focused experience in a laid-back, intimate environment”, says Mesh. “We’ll be providing tailored skincare solutions that incorporate Hunter Lab’s innovative ingredients including Tasman pepper leaf, Violet leaf extract, Passionfruit seed oil, Activated Charcoal, and Avocado oil, ensuring guests have the knowledge and tools to reinvigorate their skin”.
Hold up. Let’s rewind a little bit. How did I go from talking about the importance of self-care tourism to attending free skincare masterclasses in a hotel lobby? Well, one complements the other.
Those tiny little bathroom amenities, and whatever is in your vanity kit, are some of the most valuable aspects of self-care tourism. We’ve long judged a hotel’s quality on what kind of brand we peep in their bathrooms, almost intuitively. This is because good skincare is essential when it comes to using everything a hotel has to offer to truly indulge in yourself and give yourself a glow-up both inside and out.
“Our guests are looking for experiences, not just transactional stays”, says A by Adina Canberra General Manager, Jelena Bojanic. “Our philosophy is that guests shouldn’t need a different hotel for the different ways they stay… those that are travelling for business might want a hearty breakfast in the morning, beautiful surrounds to meet clients, and black-out blinds that means they get the best night sleep they can while they’re away. In this instance, we’ve worked with the experts in skin and self-care to develop a program that allows our guests to take a new skill home with them”.
Let’s be real, skincare isn’t so simple to wrap your head around unless you’ve been at it for a while. There is a veritable ocean of ingredients that you need to have intimate knowledge of in order to get the most out of your skincare routine. That’s why this unique masterclass is such a great opportunity for those who want to practice more self-care tourism as we push into 2022 and (hopefully) leave whatever 2021 was far behind us.
Not only will you have a skincare expert on-hand to get you up to speed, but you’ll be loaded up with complimentary welcome cocktails and snacks for an indulgent hour of holistic skin wellness.
Guests of the masterclasses will learn which natural ingredients work hardest for their particular skin type, and how Huntner Lab has rewritten the rules of how people care for their skin.
“At the end of the day, we want to add as much value as possible to guests, in areas that interest them, including self-care”, says Bojanic. “This is not just a pamper session, but an opportunity to gain wellness knowledge that will allow our guests to be the best version of themselves”.
“Whether guests are heading out for an evening of exploration, or staying in to unwind, they have the option to stay their way and experience a little extra wellness wow-factor with Hunter Lab if they choose”, added Bojanic.
Hotel guests at A By Adina Canberra will also be able to experience Hunter Lab amenities in the sanctuary of their own room, and will also have access to a preferred rate to shop Hunter Lab products online. Take it from someone who uses their stuff daily, good skincare can add up, so having a nice little discount will help you build up a proper routine without being limited by a budget.
Hunter Lab Green Chemistry Skincare Masterclasses will be hosted in the A By Adina Canberra lobby each night (24th, 25th, and 26th November) from 6pm to 7pm. Classes are complimentary for guests and will be paired with welcome cocktails and snacks.
For more information on how to book into A By Adina Canberra head to abyadina.com.
For more information on Hunter Lab head to hunterlab.com.au