Is Transformational Travel A Must-Have in 2019?
How much do you know about transformational travel?
This type of trip is focused not only on the outward journey of visiting a destination, but on the inward journey that goes along with it. Why is transformational travel such a huge trend? Should you be including this type of trip in your future travel plans?
Let’s take a deeper look into what transformational travel is all about and why it may be the missing piece of your business.
What is Transformational Travel?
One of the key aspects of transformational travel is the intention to engage in life changing experiences that offer personal growth and improve mindfulness.
Of course, this is different for everyone. A trip that is incredibly personally meaningful for one person won’t necessarily have the same impact on someone else. That’s why it can be difficult to make a specific definition of a transformational trip. The truth is that it’s less about the destination and more about how the traveler approaches the trip and what they get out of it.
The key to making a trip “transformational” is to add an element of educational and personal improvement. For example, a simple stay on a farm could turn into a tour about the environment, permaculture and community living. A yoga retreat could focus on meditation, reflection and self-awareness. An experience trekking in the rainforest could be combined with workshops on wildlife and ecology.
Transformational travel is usually quite personal. It is about the individual journey that someone goes on during a trip. It can also be communal, which makes it ideal for corporate and group travel incentives.
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Creating Unique Experiences
As the popularity of transformational travel grows, many tour providers in the industry are tailoring the travel experiences they offer towards this focus. They are coming up with unique projects focused on personal growth and transformation – such as connecting with locals, immersion in nature and emotional, creative pursuits and challenging experiences.
For example, at Six Senses Bhutan there is a travel program themed around Bhutan’s culture of happiness. This includes stays at five intimate luxury lodges set around the country. (On their website, their tagline proclaims them to be the “Happiest Place on Earth.”)
Or, there’s the travel experience proposed at Red Mountain Resort in Iceland. It follows the saga of an Icelandic hero and leads visitors on a personal nature quest.
Many transformational travel trips are focused on fitness and wellness. According to a survey by Well+Good, 40% of those who responded said they would rather go on a fitness retreat than spend time at a five-star resort.
No matter where the trip takes place or what the traveler does during their experience, the key to transformational travel is that they return having changed or “transformed.” It’s the idea that travel can be a way of renewing, learning and growing.
Transformational Travel Incentives
Since transformational travel is growing in popularity, many companies are starting to include these types of experiences within their travel incentive programs.
There are many advantages to this. Since transformational travel experiences are so desirable, they make very powerful incentives. This encourages your team members to work harder and more efficiently to meet certain goals. They can also be a fantastic way to improve employee engagement and morale.
Transformational travel also has the potential to make anyone who goes on a trip return to the office feeling recharged and inspired. That’s the ultimate objective, anyway.
Adding Transformational Travel To Your Incentive Programs
How can you improve your chances of success when organizing a transformational travel incentive program? Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Work with someone who understands what these types of educational travel experiences should be and can customize them to your group.
- Establish a clear goal and objective for this travel incentive program. What do you want to achieve by offering these experiences for your employees?
- It’s also important to look deeply into the travel experience and make sure it is really offering a quality trip, not just jumping on the transformational travel bandwagon.
- Read online reviews from previous guests, so you can get an honest opinion about what to expect when you book.
- Consider a travel experience with an element of “edutainment”. This means that your team will learn something new during the travel experience that they can take with them.
- Check a few different date options for your trip, so that you can make sure you are getting the best deal on airfare and saving the most for your company. (Using a travel planner can help you with this too.)
- Think about the safety and practicality of the destination you are choosing. What sort of preparations will your employees need to take before going there?
- Measure and monitor the success of your campaign. If possible, get feedback from your team after the experience to find out what worked and what you can do better.
Whatever you do, take the time to talk to your employees before, during and after a trip like this. Get to know what they are interested in and what types of transformational travel might appeal to them. What sort of experiences do they want to have and what sort of change do they want to undergo? What did they learn, and how can it improve your business and the dynamic of your team?
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Not sure where to start?
At Traveler’s Q, we have years of experience planning incentive travel and can help you put together the ultimate transformational trip. Contact us today to learn more or see some sample trips and itineraries!