Travel therapy may refer to either the work of a health care professional traveling with a client or the idea of trips as being personally therapeutic. In either form, it can allow a person to get the most out of taking a vacation or other trip. Travel therapy can allow those who require assistance from a physical therapist or nurse to be able to function well enough to take part in sightseeing activities during the trip. For people wanting to take a physical journey as well as one of self-discovery, travel therapy can be used to achieve this goal.
Personal travel experiences are used to gain insight into one's values, beliefs, desires, needs and/or many other possible qualities. For some people, this may mean journaling or keeping a written diary or blog of their observations, feelings and thoughts. For others, doing extensive research including interviewing people in a certain part of the world, then reflecting on the findings, is more of their style of travel therapy.
While physical travel includes the senses such as seeing the sights or possibly hearing new music or tasting unusual foods, traveling as a type of personal therapy involves concentrating on the inner workings of the mind and/or spirit. Just as some travelers interested in personal discovery focus on the spiritual or emotional elements, for some it is more of an intellectual experience.
For people needing physical therapy or other medical treatment such as those injured or ill, the main intent is to have the necessary therapeutic techniques or procedures in order to function on the trip. There are travel therapists who spend most of their work hours traveling with patients or as part of a mobile medical team. Traveling nurses and physical therapists attend to and supervise the health of patients both on modes of transportation and at the destination. The types of travel therapy given to the patient by the therapist will depend on need and the doctor's orders.
Travel therapists are often given their own room or separate suite, depending on the country and the amount or type of medical insurance coverage, if any. They must typically always be in close proximity to the patient to attend to any problems or changes in his or her condition. A person traveling for the purpose of self-discovery may be alone or part of a group. When traveling in a group focused on travel therapy, personal experience is still highlighted, but the itinerary, accommodations or other features of the trip are usually planned for everyone.