Five Tips for Selecting the Perfect Spa Vacation
Did you know that, according to research conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers for the International SPA Association, spa visits in the U.S. have increased almost 60 percent from 1997 to 1999, and that the number of spas in the U.S. has grown at an annual rate of 19 percent in the last five years?
Both day spas and destination spas are becoming increasingly popular. Going to a destination spa (one where you stay overnight as a guest) as a vacation is a wonderful way to nurture yourself and re-energize your body, mind and spirit. Choosing a spa can be confusing as there are so many wonderful ones to visit. Use the following five tips to pick the perfect place for you.
Consider the Location
Do you want to go a spa that is within your state or one that is across the country, or even outside the United States? What type of environment would most nurture you? Would you prefer a spa located in the mountains, on a desert, by the beach or in a lush garden locale? Do you care if there are tourist attractions or nightlife located nearby or would you prefer a more isolated location?
Think About Your Interests
Do you want to go somewhere to be pampered, spend a lot of time in treatment rooms experiencing massages, facials and body wraps and relax without exercising much? Or would you prefer a spa with many sports options such as tennis, golf and hiking? Do you want to go somewhere that focuses on weight loss and perhaps limits the number of calories you eat? Are you interested in broadening your mind by learning more about New Age philosophies? Do you want to experience cutting-edge fitness classes? While all spas offer an array of activities and services, it's important to find one that offers just what you're looking for, whether that's private tennis lessons, ultra-hip mind-body fitness classes or silent meditation retreats.
Before setting your heart on a certain spa, check out the costs. Some spas are very affordable, but tend to offer less frills, while others provide anything you would ever want, but charge for it! Be creative. You can find ways to cut the costs. Ask if the spa offers any specials. Sometimes a spa located in a desert might offer a discount during especially hot months. Other spas might hold special bring-a-friend weeks where you and a friend each get a discounted stay. If you are going to the spa alone, you can save money by asking the spa to pair you with one or more roommates.
Consider the Other Spa Guests
Do you prefer to visit a female-only spa or are you happy with a co-ed environment? Would you like an intimate number of spa guests, such as 20 to 40, or enjoy the camaraderie of a few hundred fellow guests?
Research a Variety of Spas
When you've narrowed down what you'd like in a spa, research potential locations. Many spas have their own Web sites. You can also check out sites such as http://www.experienceispa.com and www.spafinder.com for additional help in selecting a spa. If you need assistance deciphering spa lingo, check out the glossary at http://www.experienceispa.com. You may also want to talk to other people who have been to spas and get their insights.