Your first flight was delayed and now you’re sprinting through the airport to catch the next one, all hopes of refueling and rehydrating left at the terminal. You get on the plane, exhausted.
You finally touch down at your new destination, after twelve hours in re-circulated oxygen. Cabin pressure serves up a headache and those tiny plastic cups of water can’t rehydrate you. You are tired, hangry and jonesing for a sweet treat. Jen Batchelor feels your pain, and she has a solution.
As a veteran corporate consultant, Batchelor lived 90 per cent of her life out of a suitcase. She was the one sprinting through the airport, hangry and dehydrated. So she decided to solve a problem that she knew intimately – access to healthy living tools while on the road.
Kit and Ace: Tell us about Wellthily.
Jen Batchelor: We named the company Wellthily based on the idea that our generation is due for a new definition of success – one that doesn’t reward us for “killing ourselves” over work or that punishes us for “selfish” acts of self-love. My business partner and I felt that travel and hospitality were the obvious mediums for us to tackle wellness in a way that had never been done before.
We were more interested in designing experiences and creating the platform that would allow experts to guide travellers across health topics, rather than be pop-up “gurus” and pretend to know everything ourselves.
You debuted your first in-room fitness gear program at Refinery Hotel in New York City in January. What does the program look like?
JB: We did! Guests are presented with a Wellth Package upon arrival: a healthy travel kit, in-room wellness tablet and a schedule of classes during their stay. The tablet is pre-loaded with highly curated neighbourhood guide content that updates in real time, an on-demand shopping experience and a built-in media library featuring everything from guided meditations to travel pilates, breathing exercises and jetlag hacks.
Guests order up gear like room service dining. They’re able to browse from a seasonal selection of the latest in fitness apparel and accessories via tablet, order everything with a click or by calling the front desk, and the order is delivered within minutes.
It is the first of its kind for both the hotel industry and the world of e-commerce. We put a lot of thought into how we would execute, catering to the type of guest we’ve seen engage with our existing programs on-site, while introducing something totally new to the hospitality space.
What do you do to stay healthy while in transit?
JB: I pack probiotics, colloidal silver and enough smoothie boosts to get me through the trip. Once I’ve passed security, I stock up on water. Having a couple of litres on hand helps me gauge how much I’m drinking and it saves me from having to ask the flight attendant a trillion times to refill six ounces at a time.
I work my meditation and fitness sessions into my daily travel schedule. This is actually easier than it sounds – tie in a fun exploration experience with a hike, or a beach day with a swim or shore run. And of course, I always stay at the hotel or in the neighborhood where I feel most supported to accomplish these things. You’d be surprised how easy it is to feel at home when you choose a place that empowers you to make it your own, especially one that caters to healthy lifestyles.
Do you have a routine?
JB: Every day I wake up, phone face down somewhere out of reach. I hit the floor with a sigh of gratitude and find myself a seat somewhere cosy to meditate and journal for a while. Jetlag or not, waking up early enough to fit this in is paramount to how I feel for the rest of the day, so I don’t skip it. It also helps me assimilate to unfamiliar surroundings. And local coffee, of course! I love how every culture seems to have their own spin on coffee, from texture and taste to ritual.
Pie in the sky – where will Wellthily be and what will it be offering five years from now?
JB: I want our network to span the globe, creating an undeniable demand for wellness services and amenities, and to shift overall mindsets. With every new city where we launch our programs, we’ve seen how we are able to make an impact at the local level by creating more opportunity for healthy, accessible products and experiences. If we can do that worldwide, then we’ll have touched communities permanently, beyond the transient traveller.