Insider Tips For Planning A Great Retreat

Whether your specialty is yoga or fitness, retreats are an opportunity to bring together amazing people in a unique place for an incredible week of travel and adventure. If you’re ready to make the leap and be an organizer, there’s a few big questions you’ll want to answer before announcing your plans.

Who will go?

Regardless of how long you’ve been teaching (it doesn’t matter if it’s been 10 months or 10 years), you need to first consider who will attend your retreat. If you fall into any of the following categories, you’re likely well-suited to lead a retreat:

  • You’re a leader in your friend group when it comes to organizing activities.
  • You own/manage a yoga or fitness studio with a strong community element.
  • You have a dedicated following of students/clients who specifically follow your schedule.
  • You’ve successfully run workshops, weekend retreats, or multiple outside-of-studio events.

If you’re new to the yoga/fitness world, you might not fit into any of these categories. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run a retreat, but you should first put extra consideration into who will attend.

A good way to be sure about your attendance is to grab a piece of paper and write down the names of everyone who you think would seriously be interested and able to commit. Successful instructors who use this technique find that 20-30% of names written down end up attending, so keep your expectations reasonable.

Where to go?

Selecting the right destination is vital for ensuring your retreat is a success. The world is filled with incredible destinations, but you’ll want to select a place that your guests can get to without breaking their budget or causing unneeded travel aggravation. The below suggestions are from a North American perspective, so if you’re based on a different continent, adjust accordingly.

Central America – If you want a well-attended retreat, we recommend selecting a destination in Mexico, Costa Rica, or Nicaragua. These countries offer amazing retreat venues, are affordable to access for U.S and Canadian travelers, and do not require extensive travel time. The cultures are welcoming, the beaches are incredible, and the tropical rainforests are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Caribbean Islands – The Caribbean is perfect for groups that expect an all-inclusive luxury experience, but is best avoided by groups that are even slightly price conscious. The Caribbean is generally expensive.

Europe – From the Spanish countryside to the Italian Coast, Europe is not short on incredible places to explore. With flight prices 2-3x that of Central America, we recommend Europe as a good option for retreat leaders who have successfully run at least two retreats. You’ll want to plan ahead, as top destinations sell out up to 18 months in advance.

Asia, Africa and Australia – Though the mere mention of Bali, Tanzania or Fiji will cause your students to jump with excitement, it important to remember that flights are expensive ($1,200 – 1,800 usd) and travel times can be upwards of 20+ hours each way. Before booking a retreat to Asia, Africa or Australia, it’s highly recommended that you first get a few 15+ guest retreats under your belt.

When to go?

No part of the trip planning process causes more unneeded stress than the question of when to go. It’s an important question to consider, but the answer is a lot simpler than you might think. Here’s some practical tips for making sure you pick a good date.

Know your group – This one is simple but most important. If your network is mostly college students or teachers, avoid the school year. If your network is mostly parents, August/September isn’t ideal because kids are just going back to school and life is hectic.

Stop searching for the perfect dates – A specific date that helps one guest is just as likely to mean another guest can’t attend. If your students and friends truly want to join you on a retreat, those who can make it work will make it work.

Be aware of seasonal price differences – Seasons should be considered with any group that is price conscious. Peak season for Central America is November-February and prices go up considerably, especially over holidays. A New Year’s retreat may sound like a blast, but flight prices are certain to be doubled. The same goes for Summer in Europe.

Consider taking advantage of “rainy season” – In Central America, “rainy season” often means clear morning and evening skies with a rainy lull early afternoon. Nature during this time of the year is extraordinary, not to mention prices on flights and accommodations will be at their lowest of the year.

To view Trip Tribe’s current destination options, head over to our Retreat Builder.

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