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Traveling Safely: Your Guide to Meditation Retreats in the COVID-19 Era

by Octavia Drughi

The go-to resource for planning your meditation retreats. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and how to escape from your busy lifestyle with the art of meditation.
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There’s no denying that 2020 has been a rocky road, and the need to disconnect and focus on our wellbeing is now greater than ever.

The global pandemic has affected all aspects of modern life. From grinding to a complete stop to reopening with restrictions in place, travel has seen one of the biggest shifts in 2020.

People turned their attention to their own backyard, and domestic travel has taken center stage. Not surprisingly, outdoor and wellness travel have seen a surge in popularity.

After many months of ups and downs, most of us can’t wait to get away from it all and have a change of scenery. A nurturing retreat to soothe our soul, disconnect, and reset may just be the escape that we’ve been waiting for.

That said, 2020 has left many people wondering whether it’s safe to go on a meditation retreat or not. Or even travel at all. The mere thought of travel planning right now is riddled with a lot of questions.

This useful guide is designed to help you plan, book, and enjoy a meditation retreat safely in the COVID-19 era. Below, you’ll find insights on:

 

Note: We strongly advise you to check your local embassy and/or your destination’s official government websites for the travel restrictions in the area you plan to visit prior to booking.

 

An overview of travel in the time of coronavirus

travel-covid-19

Since the reopening of certain borders around the globe, we now have a general idea of what traveling in the COVID-19 era looks like. While each country does have its own rules, here’s what you can expect when traveling internationally:

  • A negative PCR test might be necessary upon entry into a foreign country, taken, most often, no later than 72 hours prior to the flight.
  • If you are unable to take one before you leave home, you may opt to be tested upon arrival and wait out the results in quarantine, should a test be required.
  • In certain countries, travelers are required to have their temperature checked and complete a health & travel questionnaire.
  • Providing proof of travel plans (accommodation, tours, etc.) might be required upon entry.
  • Quarantine may be imposed for up to 14 days in certain countries.
  • Providing proof of travel insurance is required in some countries. Ideally, it should cover medical issues, COVID-related claims, and pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Wearing masks might be mandatory in all public spaces, including common spaces at retreats, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Travelers showing COVID-19 symptoms will be placed under quarantine.
  • Physical distancing is required at all times and in all places, except when you’re only with your travel companions.
  • In some destinations, if you’re traveling solo, you can stay in private rooms only. If you’re traveling in your companions, you can share a room. In some cases, if you’re not traveling with your own group and would like to share a room, you might be required to have a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before your arrival at the retreat.

 

What has changed on meditation retreats?

meditation-retreat

Image credit: The Life Barn

There’s no doubt that meditation retreats look differently in the COVID-19 era. Travelers and retreat organizers alike have learned to be flexible and adapt to the new situation.

As soon as restrictions were eased in certain destinations, numerous meditation retreats went to great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for their guests. 

The organizers have adhered to the local safety protocols and are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in their area. For starters, you’ll find that many of these meditation retreats have limited the maximum number of participants, thus ensuring peace of mind for those seeking a safe escape.

Although extra safety measures are being taken, the main focus on the retreats has not changed. They remain an opportunity to relax, unplug, and concentrate on your practice. The entire experience is still centered around meditation, healthy eating, deep rest, a positive mindset, reconnecting with yourself and nature, and enjoying the good company.

Moreso, to help people find their calm in the time of coronavirus, during lockdowns, and while traveling is still not possible, another form of retreats has sprung – online meditation courses.

» READ MORE: Find Peace & Balance with an Online Meditation Course​

 

How can I feel safe on a meditation retreat? Clean & safe retreats

clean-safe-meditation-retreats

Image credit: Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort​

While all meditation retreats have to comply with the general COVID-19 protocols in order to remain operational, some guarantee that they have implemented a number of measures to ensure high standards of health and hygiene, thus preventing and controlling the spread of the virus. 

These retreats are tagged “clean & safe” on our BookMeditationRetreats.com website.

Clean & safe retreats take the health of their guests and team very seriously. They focus on extra cleanliness and the best practices to create a safe environment, as much as possible, from the moment you arrive at the retreat to the accommodation, yoga equipment, classes, workshops, meals, and everything in between.

We highly recommend opting for meditation retreats with the “clean & safe” tag, which guarantee participants that they have adhered to the special health and hygiene protocols implemented by the local government. These measures can differ from one destination to the other, and may include (but are not limited to):

Cleaning

  • The retreats use cleaning chemicals that are effective against coronavirus.
  • Linens, towels, and laundry are washed according to the local authority guidelines.
  • Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays.
  • Communal and high-touch areas are regularly disinfected throughout the day.
  • If you opt for a yoga and meditation retreat and use the retreat’s yoga equipment, you will be given your own personal mat and yoga props to use throughout your stay. All the equipment is disinfected between guests.

Physical distancing

  • Cashless payment is available.
  • Physical distancing is maintained.
  • Instructors maintain a safe distance from the client.
  • Activities take place outside where possible. When this is not possible, the yoga and meditation rooms will be set up with the 2-meter (6 feet) rule between mats.

Safety features

  • The staff follows all safety protocols as directed by the local government.
  • Hand sanitizer is available in guest rooms and key areas.
  • Process in place to check the health of guests.
  • First aid kit available.
  • A room is available to isolate suspected or infected COVID-19 patients.
  • Protective masks are available for all staff.
  • Protective masks are available for clients.

Note: When attending a retreat only with your travel companions, the social distancing requirements when dining and during the meditation and wellbeing practices will be slightly different.

 

 

See All Clean & Safe Retreats

 

 

 

What are my safest options?

safe-meditation-retreats

Image credit: Real Happiness

Even though most meditation retreats have complied with the general COVID-19 regulations, there are certain traveling options that are safer than others. For example, you can choose to go on a retreat closer to home, travel with your own group and join a private retreat, or opt to spend more time outdoors.

 

Go on a retreat closer to home

meditation-retreats-close-to-home

You don’t have to venture far to reap the benefits of a meditation retreat.

The global pandemic has encouraged everyone to travel closer to home. So why not take this opportunity to discover the beauty in your own backyard, explore a destination in your country that you’ve never been to before, or see the familiar with new eyes?

Aside from the safety reasons, there are other benefits of traveling closer to home. Planning transportation is a lot easier, there’s little to no jet lag, and overall, you’ll save time and money.

Simply go to BookMeditationRetreats.com and browse meditation retreats that are closest to your current location.

 

Private meditation retreats

private-meditation-retreats

Image credit: Balireal Retreats

Are you considering traveling with your friends or family in a small group? For an extra level of comfort, safety, and privacy, you can opt for a private retreat.

These are group retreats taken to the next level – fully customizable and tailored to your specific needs. There’ll be minimum contact with those outside the group you’re traveling with. It’ll be just you, your private group, instructors, and staff throughout your stay.

Furthermore, the social distancing requirements when dining and during the meditation and wellbeing practices will be slightly different from a regular retreat where people outside your group might attend.

 

Private Meditation Retreats

 

 

Couples retreats

couples-meditation-retreats

Deepen your connection with your partner and open your heart on a meditation retreat for couples.

You can opt for a private retreat with just you and your partner, or you can join other couples in your own travel bubble.

The programs on the retreat are usually tailored to each couple. Some retreats offer special programs that are aimed at improving relationships. Others simply offer the opportunity to reconnect with your loved one in a beautiful and peaceful setting. What you can be sure of is that you’ll get to dive into various meditation techniques, which will improve your self-confidence and the trust you have in each other.

 

Couples Meditation Retreats

 

 

Family retreats

family-yoga-retreats

Image credit: Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine

Because traveling in a small group is safer and because experiences are better when shared, why not go on a retreat with just the people that matter most to you? This way, you’ll get to spend plenty of quality time as a family and create timeless memories with your loved ones.

An increasing number of retreats are welcoming children. They can engage in a number of activities that are both educative and entertaining. Family meditation retreats welcome everyone, no matter the age or level of experience.

 

Family Meditation Retreats

 

 

What if my plans change due to COVID-19? Flexible booking conditions

flexible-booking-conditions

Concerned that your plans may change due to COVID-19? Thanks to BookMeditationRetreats.com’s flexible booking conditions, you can reschedule your booking for free or receive your non-refundable deposit as a voucher and re-book anytime.

Reschedule your retreat

If new travel restrictions are put in place and you need to cancel or postpone your trip, you can change the dates of your retreat. Contact our customer service team or the retreat organizer to inquire about the other available dates.

Book a different retreat or trip

If you or the retreat organizer is not able to reschedule your retreat, you can book a different retreat or trip in whichever location you choose. Simply use your deposit to book the new holiday.

Receive credit & book any trip later

If you are unsure whether you can travel or when, you can convert your non-refundable deposit into store credit. This way, you can use the credit for any vacation that we have available on any of our themed travel websites, such as yoga retreatssurf campshorse riding holidayssafariswellness holidays, and more.

 

Learn More

 

 

What if I can’t travel right now? Book an online meditation course

online-meditation-courses

Thanks to technology, you can now join a meditation course from the safety and comfort of your own home. These online experiences are designed to relax and recharge your body, mind, and soul without stepping foot outside your home. You can deepen your practice, disconnect, and reset without traveling at all.

You can opt for an online meditation course that can stretch over the course of a few days or weeks, or you can attend an online yoga and meditation retreat. 

No matter what you choose, you can access the program from any device and enjoy daily live-stream meditation sessions, empowering workshops, and connect with like-minded people from all over the world. You’re only one click (or tap) away from the instructors and the other participants!

 

Online Meditation Courses

 

*Cover image credit: Anantara Angkor Resort

 

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