Yoga retreats are a great way to maximize your travels without putting in a ton of extra work! There are retreats in every country, at all times of the year, offering many unique options or specialties. Whether you’ve gone to many or are looking into attending one for the first time, it’s hard to know how much to spend on a yoga retreat. The prices range tremendously and you want to ensure you’re getting a good deal, so how do you know what's a great value and what's a rip off? [wp_ad_camp_1]
Below are 8 contributing factors to help you determine how much a yoga retreat is worth, and a scoring system to help you decide how much you should spend on a yoga retreat.
Is the retreat held in an exclusive or highly sought after travel destination? Is it in a remote and secluded area of the world? The harder it is to get somewhere, or the more expensive it is to travel somewhere, the higher the sticker price of a retreat will be. There are yogis that have traveled before you to set up an awesome and safe experience, and you're also paying for the work and time they put in paving the way for others to enjoy the area as well. It can be intimidating to travel alone to a new or distant place, so doing so with a group that has been there before has many advantages! In contrast, if a retreat is in your home country, is somewhere that is easy to travel to, or is over-saturated with yoga retreats, it should be more affordable.
Give the retreat...
- 2 points - if the destination is very exclusive or private,
- No points are given to local or cheap destinations,
- 1 point - anything in the middle.
Does the retreat offer a special service or skill that isn’t found in typical retreats? Think of hot topic retreats like AcroYoga (partner yoga), stand up paddleboard yoga, surfing and yoga, meditaiton, acupuncture, and fasting/cleansing services, and also take into account whether or not the teachers have a huge following. Are any special ceremonies held, like plant medicine ayahuasca ceremonies? Will you participate in unique lectures or workshops? These factors will all bump up the price of a retreat, and with good reason. If you’re looking for a distinctive experience, you can expect to pay more. If you’re just looking to experience a general yoga retreat in another location, you can expect to find a lot of affordable options.
Give the retreat...
- 1 point for each special service offered,
- 2 points for any special kind of ceremonies, as a lot goes into these events before, during, and after.
Find out if accommodations are covered for the entirety of the trip and what is included (a pool, daily maid service, WiFi, etc.). This can vary widely based on area and cost. High-end retreats will include a 4 or 5 star hotel or private villas, for example, and you can expect to have private lodging. More affordable retreats will offer an option to pay more for private lodging, but will typically have shared housing in a safe and comfortable environment. Similarly, the high-end retreats can have shared accommodations as an option to lower the cost, if you choose.
- 3 points - 5-star, private lodging,
- 2 points - retreat offers many options (including private lodging),
- 1 point - retreat only offers shared, community housing.
4. Meals or Special Food
An important consideration to keep in mind is how food will be provided on the trip. Many retreats will include all meals and snacks in the price. You might expect retreats that give attention to special diets or eating beliefs (vegan, gluten-free, raw, Kosher, etc.) to cost more. If food is not included or paid for in some way (vouchers at local restaurants, for example), you want to consider the following questions. Is there a kitchen/fridge available for you to use? Are there grocery stores or restaurants close by? How much would it cost to travel to and from stores or restaurants? All of these questions are important to consider when determining the value of a retreat. A well-planned retreat will include food or a specific food plan to ensure smooth transitions between activities. Otherwise, you risk spending a lot of time, energy, and money you might not have planned to spend in the pursuit of food.
- 3 points - all meals are included and attention is paid to special diets or lifestyles,
- 2 points - some meals are provided and there is a plan for the other meals,
- 1 point - there is a plan for food, and some of it is included in the price,
- No points if there isn’t food provided in the cost and no plan exists for how you will eat.
There are important considerations when it comes to transportation to and from a retreat location, as well as during the trip. A well-planned and high-end trip will have shuttles or cars planned in advance for transportation, eliminating potential stress and guess work when on the trip. If transportation isn’t included, ensure there are clear instructions or plans on how you will move around. You can expect to pay more if every detail is taken care of in the price, and less costly, local retreats won’t necessarily include transportation. On rare occasions, airfare is included in the price of the retreat. Do a quick on-line search to determine the value of airfare to this locale, and you can have an idea of the value of this added feature.
- 2 points - the retreat that handles all transportation (to and from airport, and during the trip),
- 1 point - the retreat has some transportation but not all (for example, no ride to or from airport),
- No points are awarded to retreats that don’t mention transportation,
- 2 extra points - the retreat includes airfare.
6. Excursions, Activities, and Classes Included
Find out exactly what is included with the cost of the retreat. Fun excursions like zip lining, extra activities like surfing, spa or massage services, and the number of yoga classes included will influence the value of the retreat. Pay attention to whether these special amenities are included in the price, or options that you can purchase once you’re there. A high-end retreat will include activities all day, every day, whereas a yogi on a budget might consider a bare bones yoga retreat, which is sure to be more affordable.
- Add a half point for each extra activity or excursion included in the price. (No points are given if you have to pay separately for these services).
Is the retreat 3 days, one week, or two weeks? This will obviously have an effect on the price you should pay. A long retreat will have a lot of activities included and will surely have a higher sticker price than one that is less than a week. For retreats that are less than 3 days, no points are awarded in this category.
- 1 point - 3 days to 1 week,
- 2 points - anything longer than 1 week.
8. Exclusivity/Group Size
The size of the group will play a large role in the price. Private, exclusive retreats with personalized instruction and attention are sure to cost more. Certain weight loss retreats, for example, are a week long with only 4 people maximum in attendance. These retreats, that include pampering, can be very expensive – but worth it if you are looking for a unique and personalized experience! Alternatively, more affordable retreats will likely have anywhere from 8 to 30 people in attendance.
A retreat with..
- 3 points - 1 – 4 people,
- 2 points - 5 – 8 people,
- 1 point - 9 – 20 people,
- No points for anything over 20 people.
Points Breakdown: How much should you be paying?
- 1 – 3 = $499 – $999 A retreat that receives 1 – 3 points using this system is perfect for the yogi on a budget! There are many awesome retreats you can find in this price range, and you are sure to have an amazing experience.
- 4 – 6 = $1000 – $1999 A retreat in the 4 – 6 point range should be within this sticker price, and should include a fair amount of extras and perks.
- 7 – 9 = $2000 – $2999 A retreat scoring 7 – 9 points should be all-inclusive for the most part, and fairly exclusive.
- 10 + = $3000 and up (some exclusive, high-end retreats can run for $10,000!)
This system should be used as a guide to help understand the value of a yoga retreat. There are a variety of factors to consider when pricing a retreat and some aren’t mentioned here. This is a starting off point, and keep in mind that low scores don’t imply anything about the quality of the retreat or experience! All have something to offer, depending on your budget and preferences, so don’t be deterred by a “low score” using this scale.