You’ve found the perfect location, with stunning accommodation and exciting optional activities. You can see the yoga experience of a lifetime unfolding before your eyes. This is your dream, you want to plan a yoga retreat. But one pesky question remains, how much should a yoga retreat cost?
Organizing a yoga retreat can stress out even the calmest of yoga teachers, especially when it comes to working out how much it should cost you and your participants. Pricing a yoga retreat is one of the most important elements of making it a success, and yet it’s one of the trickiest to figure out. First-time retreat leaders might find themselves on the wrong side of the profit margin, forgetting hidden expenses and running the risk of losing money, or even having to cancel a planned retreat.
It’s unlikely you started thinking of planning a yoga retreat so you could have fun with maths and spreadsheets, but it’s important to have clarity in your retreat pricing before you hit the accelerator and get going. So how do you work out the price of a yoga retreat that compensates you for all your hard work in creating an engaging experience, while carefully balancing the costs for your eager participants?
There are three components to take into account when you’re pricing your yoga retreat; out of pocket expenses, hidden costs, and your own compensation.
Consider out of pocket expenses
The easiest place to start with yoga retreat pricing is the most obvious, out of pocket expenses. What do you actually need to pay for? Lay out all the expenses in a spreadsheet so that you have a clear budget to work from, with absolutely everything you’re going to have to pay for. You might include items like the following:
- Location rental fees, including the yoga practice space
- Accommodation, if not included in the above
- Catering services
- Ground transportation
- Optional extra activities, whether guests choose to do them or not there may be a cost
- Retreat leader expenses including travel, accommodation, and food
- Marketing and administration costs
- Any insurance required
Remember there can be sneaky concealed expenses like gratuities for services, baggage fees, or gifts for participants.
Don’t forget the hidden costs
When you’re planning and pricing your yoga retreat it’s easy to focus on the visible expenses and forget there are hidden ones too. Will you be missing income from regular studio or private classes while you’re away on a retreat? Do you have to pay for housesitting, pet care, or childcare during that time? You might find that you lose income by not being as attentive to your usual business practices, or from not being able to reply to emails or engage on social media in a timely manner. Can you put a figure on that?
Once you’ve worked out the hidden costs of your yoga retreat, add it to the out of pocket expenses to help you calculate a base rate that would cover it all. But the pricing doesn’t stop there.
Compensate your time
Pricing a yoga retreat isn’t just about covering your expenses, hidden or otherwise. When you’re on retreat you’ll effectively be working the entire time, and you deserve compensation for your efforts. Your guests wouldn’t expect you to be working for free, so don’t let that happen!
Calculate your time spent on pre-retreat organization and marketing. Then add your on-retreat work like yoga or meditation classes, discussion circles, and other community-building activities. Remember you’ll be with students at meal times, during activities, and addressing questions and concerns at all hours. How much is that worth to you?
Pricing the elements outside of the obvious expenses can be one of the hardest parts of a retreat, but you need to find a price that’s right for you. Set an expected salary that you feel comfortable with.
So how do you price a yoga retreat overall?
Once you’ve worked out the costs per person you can think about how to price the retreat overall. Many first-time retreat leaders make the mistake of pricing the retreat so that it needs to sell out in order to make a profit. This means possible failure if the capacity isn’t reached and needless worry over getting to that point. You don’t want the retreat lead-up to be stressful, and ideally, you want to go in feeling excited!
Target a minimum group size for profitability, rather than focussing on selling an entire retreat to make it work. For example, if your retreat has 15 available spots then aim to cover expenses and pay yourself by the time you have 8-12 participants. This way you have less pressure to sell out the retreat and you can concentrate on crafting the best experience possible, instead of stressing until the final place is filled.
As a check, you can compare what other retreat leaders are charging at the same location or a comparable one. But remember that yoga retreats are unique experiences, so that should just be a rough guide for you.
Don’t be put off organizing a yoga retreat because you’re worried about the pricing. It doesn’t have to be painful! Yoga retreat pricing is just one element of the planning that can be taken care of with consideration to all the possible costs involved. Creating and making your dream a reality should be an exciting and fulfilling experience, not a stressful one. WeTravel is here to help you, so check out our Retreat Leader Resources, and get planning!