Yoga retreats are popping up everywhere! Every yoga teacher and her brother are now putting out yoga retreats. They are BIG business. As a retreat leader myself, I know what it takes to put out successful yoga retreats, and what the cost and breakdowns of them are.
That said, yoga retreats can get expensive. Top instructors pull in top dollar. But there are other factors to consider:
1. What’s Included?
If you’re on a budget, look for a retreat that includes all your meals, this way you won’t be surprised when you have to shell out an additional $200+ for food on your retreat.
2. Are Add-ons Extra?
What activities are included? Often teachers put out “yoga and surf,” “yoga and horses,” or “yoga and skydiving” retreats, but the activities are additional. Horse tours, surf lessons, and skydiving add-on activities will add up!
Expect to pay at least $50 per additional add-on. Some retreats will include them.
3. Is Tipping Expected?
Some countries and cultures encourage tipping, others do not. In any case it is a super nice gesture to tip the staff of your retreat center especially if they go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable. Depending on the country and the suggestion of your instructor, $10-$20 per person per day is a really nice extra that will get split amongst all the staff.
Remember, if you are going on retreats in developing or third world countries, particularly in Central America, South America, or Asia, your cleaning lady, waiter, and receptionist probably earns between 80 cents and $3 per hour no matter what the color of their skin. A $10 tip at the end of the week could make the difference of new shoes for a child to walk to school in, medicine for a sick parent, or a mechanic fee to fix a broken motorbike.
4. How Much Is the Flight?
Sometimes the retreat is super reasonable but the flight isn’t. Recently, I had clients inform me that they found the price of the yoga retreat very fair but the flights cost were double the retreat price tag!
Check out flight costs before you book. It would be a shame to have to bow out of a yoga retreat because the flight is too expensive.
5. Do I Need Special Gear?
A yoga retreat that includes a hike up Kilimanjaro might incur extra costs like new hiking boots or rainproof clothing. On my own retreats that have included surfing, some of my clients have had to buy new bathing suits because the bikinis they brought were falling off in the waves.
Think about the wardrobe or tools you need to be comfortable on the retreat before booking, then assess what you already have. Feeling spent out before going on a vacation is no fun.
6. Wiggle Room
You might want souvenirs, to go out for drinks, or need to take a taxi somewhere. Always budget for a little wiggle room. I would suggest $150-$200 dollars as a “just in case” fund.
Retreats are an incredible experience. You will meet people who have common interests. You will bond and make friendships for life. You will try new things. I run them, I love them, they are my jam. But be informed.
Just for example: my retreats start at just $500 but can run up to $3000 depending on the level of luxury, what is included, the location and the activities involved.
There is a retreat out there for every style of travel and for most budgets. It just takes a little looking around. Happy hunting and enjoy the journey!
Image Credit: Lauren Rudick