Planning your spa vacation
Need a bit of rest and relaxation? Consider a spa vacation to help calm your mind, body and soul.
As consumers focus more on their health and well-being, the spa and relaxation vacation becomes more popular. Spa vacation destinations are not just for the rich and spoiled – in fact, as more hotels feature spas in their amenities the concept of a spa getaway becomes more affordable to travelers of any budget.
But booking a spa getaway is not as simple as clicking as your heels three times and being transported to a sea of tranquility. The options are endless when it comes to spas and relaxation vacations. In the U.S. alone there are more than 12,000 spas, where everything from the yoga and meditation to the mud baths and massages are presented a la carte on the menu. However, choosing the right spa vacation is a vital part of the planning process. With options ranging from day spas to medical spas to mineral spring spas, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Remember, relaxation is key. Clear your mind and consider these essentials when choosing your rest and relaxation spa vacation.
Investigate Your Spa Options
With so many spas to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. First thing is first -get some basic information. Web sites like Spa Finder and the International SPA Association (ISPA) provide a glossary of spa terms, reviews of destination spas and photos and information for spas around the world. You can even narrow your search by choosing “medical spas,” “beach spas,” “weight loss spas,” “vegetarian spas,” etc., based on your preferences.
Read up on featured spas in magazines such as Spa Directory, which promote healthy living. Research online sites that focus on homeopathic treatments – many of these Web sites recommend spas that are conducive to the same types of treatments discussed in articles.
Before you book, check out the user reviews on independent message boards and blogs. Consumers are always the most truthful of their experiences and can provide an insider look at their spa experiences that you won’t find on the spa’s Web site.
Focus on Your Goals
No one spa is alike. Some cater to specific treatments including acupuncture and reflexology, while other spas have a menu of options for you to choose from. When booking a spa vacation, first consider your goals.
It’s very important to know what you want to accomplish with your spa vacation. The types of spas are so different – you need to match your goals with what the spa focuses on.
Consider these questions when booking a spa getaway:
- What type of services do you want from the spa?
- What do you want to accomplish with spa treatments?
- Are you interested in exercise and/or nutritional services?
- Is a spiritual and/or religious atmosphere important to you?
There is a difference between a full-spa vacation and a vacation at a five-star spa. It’s important to determine what you’re looking for and find the property that matches that goal.
Full-service spas offer everything from the typical spa services to nutritional analysis and diet-specific meals; golfing, yoga and hiking activities. A day spa, which is sometimes located at a resort or hotel, offers mainly a la carte spa treatments. Before you book, determine what is important to you and then narrow your options by doing a spa search for spas that cater to exactly your needs.