If you are thinking of going on a vacation, a spa is perhaps the most luxurious and relaxing option you can choose. And it is not just about relaxing in a beach towel under the palm trees; there are many treatments, therapies, and even games that will make your holiday worthwhile.
As day-to-day life becomes more hectic in the world we live in today, there is hardly any time left to relax. The fast pace of life can take a toll on your overall well-being. In this article, we explore why it may be a good idea to take a spa vacation and other tips on how to make the most of it.
What Will You Get out of it?
A Tranquil Experience
A spa is designed to offer tranquility and peace for relaxation or to facilitate the healing process. It is where people go for therapies such as cosmetic acupuncture or a relaxing massage. The facility must, therefore, have a harmonious, serene environment.
The decor, color, music, hotel furniture, warm staff, are all part of what contributes to a tranquil experience. It is a place you can go to unwind by yourself or have fun with friends. There are different types of spas, and some have indoor spaces where you can take part in various activities.
Spa Treatment for Mind-Body Rejuvenation
Massage and steam baths, are typical non-medical treatments you’ll find in most spas. Massage boosts blood circulation around the body. It can facilitate the elimination of toxins and fat deposits in the body.
Massage is not only beneficial to the body, but it will rejuvenate the mind as you lie back and enjoy the vacation. Massage can lower stress, reduce anxiety, and improve the quality of sleep. Research shows that the stress hormone cortisol decreases, and dopamine and serotonin increase after a few sessions.
Your holiday trip should be a time to unwind and let go off your worries. A 15-minute massage will increase circulation and release endorphins. The feel-good hormones will ease you from your anxiety and stress. Better blood flow to the brain will make you sharp so that when you get back, you can effectively take on the daily challenges.
Massage is certainly not the only therapy you find in a spa hotel or resort. Other treatments are ranging from facial, acupuncture, guided meditation, and Pilates may also be in the package. Many of these therapies ought not to be taken as cures for medical conditions. They are part of a holistic treatment process to alleviate symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Some of the therapies may include:
- Meditation Retreat: Meditation has many psychological and health benefits that you can always learn at home. However, you may opt to go on a retreat. You have the opportunity to share the experience with others. You could go alone and let your consciousness dive into the tranquility offered by the green expansive landscapes. There are spa resorts with guides who can help you learn more about mindful-living, body image, personal transformation, and many other topics.
- Treatment for Dry Skin: Spas usually have many different treatments for the skin. Facials can stimulate the cells to delay the onset of wrinkles. Other treatments may include a massage and a dry skin cream, applied all over the body. Staff at the spa can give you information on the type of soaps and lotions to avoid to keep your skin moisturized and supple.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a form of therapy that has been around for more than a millennia. Recently, scientists have discovered that it can be effective for treating chronic pain conditions. Cosmetic acupuncture can enhance your skin by stimulating the muscles and tissues underneath. Combined with other holistic procedures, you may leave the spa confident about how you feel and look.
When you go for a spa vacation, you don’t have to spend all the time lying down at the resort with sunglasses and a beach towel. There are many activities you can enjoy with friends or even on your own. Some of the common activities may include:
- Water Sports: Many spas are located around springs, lakes, and rivers. You can go canoeing rafting, or take your whole family for a tour on a patio boat. There are many activities for people of all ages. You can keep the younger ones busy, as the adults have a relaxing massage or facial.
- Fitness: Many spas also include fitness programs and physiotherapy exercises. Some operate as rehabilitation centers for people who have had trauma, injuries, or need to improve stability. Yoga and Pilates are the most common programs in most spas. You can take advantage of the vacation break to train under a professional to effectively meet your fitness goals.
- Fun and Games: Many modern spas have programs for the whole family. There are fun and games where people of all ages can participate. Some activities allow you to collaborate to make crafts such as embroidered t-shirts, shell-art, baskets, paintings, and other items you can take home as a souvenir.
- New Food: There is no better time to try new food than when you are on vacation. Most spas nowadays offer a lot of healthy cuisines from around the world geared towards ensuring guests have the time of their lives. You will also easily find some of the most exotic seafood, romantic food, including edible flowers as well as traditional and cultural dishes.
A Sensual Retreat for Couples
Another reason to go on a spa vacation is to reconnect with your partner. Spas offer a tranquil, quiet, and romantic environment for the couple to unplug from their busy life and bond again. You can put away distractions and interact in a serene atmosphere surrounded by privacy.
Wellness retreats may also have many health benefits for the couple. There are services for both men and women. Your vacation could be like a second honeymoon that is healthy and wholesome.
Types of Spas
Traditionally, a spa was a place that people believed had medicinal waters that could cure ailments. The practice of taking a bath in spring-water probably began during the medieval era. In ancient times it was also where offerings were made to appease the gods before battle or to seek good fortune.
Today, the spa has grown into many different types of establishments. Some offer varying therapies and treatments, depending on their programs and packages. Some facilities are small while others are resorts the size of a town.
During your vacation, you may be confronted by all these choices. You need to be clear about what you would want during your holiday. Are you an active person who likes engaging games? Or do you want peace and tranquility during your trip? Perhaps you may prefer an establishment with access to amenities or retail shops, restaurants, flower boutiques, clinics, among others.
Here are some common types of spa resorts you may consider:
Destination spas are often located on a fairly large piece of land. They are meant for people looking to retreat to an exotic destination for a considerable time. Many establishments have varying packages that cater to individuals, couples, and families.
Most destination resorts offer the same services you’ll expect in a typical spa. They include massage, Yoga, Pilates, cosmetic acupuncture, and facials. In addition to the basic services, they may have cooking classes, meditation sessions, seminars, or educational programs.
Many of the resorts are in scenic and exotic locations. In the past, they were almost always around hot-springs or mineral water streams. Being around nature can have a beneficial effect on the mind. Destination spas would also be the best option for couples looking to go for a romantic retreat.
If you have a busy schedule and can’t take more than a day off, then day spas may be the best bet for you. They are different from destination spas in that they do not provide overnight accommodation. They often focus on personal beauty therapies such as facials, hair styling, massage, acupuncture, etc.
They are different from a beauty salon in that they also provide relaxation. They have swimming pools and Jacuzzis, alongside personal care therapies. Some may have physiotherapy sessions for people who have had an injury or have mobility challenges. Most facilities are located conveniently near residential areas to make it more accessible during off-peak times.
They offer a wide range of treatments in-line with the original meaning of spa, which is to get good health through water healing. They have the equipment and therapies which you would find in a typical spa, including a steam bath, sauna, and Jacuzzi.
Traditional spas may be the most ideal option if you are looking for a full range of therapies. It could be suitable for a group of people who want to access treatments offered at the facilities. You can find herbal massage, cup massage, meditation, and nutritional therapies at most traditional resorts.
If you are looking for an experience that promises to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul, then Ayurvedic treatments are for you. The practice has been part of Hindu medicine for thousands of years. The healing process takes a holistic approach and simultaneously seeks to balance your mental, physical, and spiritual elements.
Many Ayurvedic resorts offer packages for high-end clients who want treatment in a luxurious atmosphere. You can expect the aesthetics to reflect nature projected around lavish surroundings. But if you are on a budget, there are Ayurvedic spas that may be more reasonably priced for your situation.
Other types of spas are categorized according to their main treatments and services. Others you can find today may include:
- Medical spas.
- Anti-aging spas.
- Thalassotherapy spa.
- Relaxation and meditation resorts.
How to Prepare for Your First Vacation
Once you’ve made up your mind on the type of resort or facility you want to go to, the next step is preparation. Sometimes booking and planning a holiday can ruin the experience. We’ll give you some tips on how to make the most of your vacation.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Depending on where you plan to spend your holiday, there are some essentials you ought to carry with you. If you are going on an exotic location, you may have to include insect repellent, glasses to protect your eyes, sunscreen, among other items.
Most facilities will provide you with some basics like a towel and some slippers. You are free to carry your own or even use your beach towel if you wish. You may also get a swimsuit, toiletries, and a toothbrush, but it is always advisable to carry your own.
You can search online for more information about the location. The state’s tourism website may have a guideline on things to carry. Some countries may have requirements for tourists, such as a yellow fever vaccination certificate, which may require prior planning.
Make Bookings Early
Resorts tend to fill up their spaces quickly, especially during the holiday, or when there is a big event in town. Plan early so that you can book the resort you like at a reasonable price. Remember, two spas may have different treatments and therapies, even if they are listed under the same category.
If the facility is within your location, especially in Seattle, which is an extremely urban area, and you can easily navigate it on foot, you may request to inspect the premises. Most spas will have a member of staff to show you around so that you can check the facility to see if it fits the bill. Depending on your treatment, you may ask for the requirements they have for patients, before you undergo the procedure.
If the resort is at a distant location, you may use digital resources to make your decision. Take time to check photos, read reviews, and find all the important information before you make the decision. You may want to familiarize yourself with the cultural-religious rules before you finalize your booking.
Prepare your mind and body for detox before the vacation. Try to unplug from the real world as much as you can to make the most of the experience. Avoid caffeine and replace carbonated drinks with healthy alternatives such as green tea. Drink a lot of water and be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
Arrive 20 minutes early before your treatment to familiarize yourself with the process. The purpose of your spa vacation should be to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Now you can lie back to soak some vitamin-D from the sun. Enjoy your holiday, and feel free to break away from all the noise and commotion.