European Spa Breaks: A Planning Guide
The key to a perfect spa break is careful planning. If you’ve been checking out European spa breaks & ready to take one, you need to read our Top planning tips.
People all over the world are prioritizing health and wellness spending in their lives and how they holiday.
Choosing a location that’s beautiful, exotic, and has world-class spa and fitness facilities is becoming more popular than ever.
The question is, how do you keep from stressing out when planning for your relaxing vacation?
Here are our two cents on how to prepare yourself for spa breaks.
Choose Your Experience
When most people think of a spa massage is the first thing that comes to mind. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as spending an hour or two having your whole body carefully rubbed. Massage is a great way to destress and can also provide therapeutic benefits to people with muscle aches or injuries.
The most common types of massage are Swedish and Deep Tissue.
A Swedish massage is the most popular form of Western massage. It was developed in the 18th century in Sweden. A Swedish massage uses pressure techniques applied to the entire body. It focuses on the muscles and lymphatic system to help soothe away pain and stress.
Deep tissue massage was developed from traditional Swedish massage techniques. Deep tissue massage simply applies a greater amount of pressure on focused areas of the body for therapeutic relief.
There are many other varieties of specialized and traditional massage available. Eastern massage techniques such as Shiatsu, Thai, and Ayurvedic focus on the energy flow of the body. Sports massage and massage therapy are more focused forms of Western massage.
One of the more common spa treatments, facials help moisturize and repair the skin of the face. There are a variety of different methods used and they can often be customized to your individual tastes and desires.
The most popular type of facial today is the European or classic facial. It involves a thorough cleansing of the face followed by a steam treatment to open up pores. Your esthetician will then exfoliate your skin, perform any necessary extractions, and give you a relaxing facial massage.
You finish off with a treatment mask and a gentle moisturizer. The great thing about the European facial is that you can endlessly customize your treatment to fit your needs. Different products and techniques can be incorporated in.
Most spa packages will include some type of facial.
A full body treatment is where the real pampering begins. Much like a facial, your body treatment will begin with a scrub and exfoliation. Sea salt and sugar scrubs are common and give your entire body a velvety smooth feel.
After your scrub a cooling shower is common, followed by some type of wrap or mask. The two most popular categories of body treatments are detoxifying and hydrating.
Detoxifying treatments focus on drawing stressful toxins and other free radicals from the body. Mud rubs, seaweed wraps or algae smears are all common detoxifying options.
A hydrating treatment uses either a natural or artificial moisturizer is used to help enhance your skin and slow the aging process.
Know Your Budget & Shop Around
Taking spa breaks can be anything from a monthly day for relaxation to a weeklong extravaganza of pampering. Knowing what you want to experience can really help you plan your trip. Make sure to manage your expectations around what you’re willing to spend.
Weekend Spa Breaks
Short stays allow you to escape from the daily grind. You can get a basic hotel package with a massage, facial, or body treatment in the course of one or two nights.
Short stays are great for a weekend break or as a way to reconnect with yourself, a friend or your other half.
Multi-day spa breaks begin to approach a true wellness vacation. With three, four, or even five days in the spa you can truly experience all they have to offer.
Begin with a relaxing day to slowly ease all your pains and de-stress. Add in anti-aging treatments, trips to the sauna and cold tub and finish off with a delightful massage every day.
Working with your spa, you can lay out your goals while there. Tightening your skin, refreshing your mind and soul, all kinds of packages can be put together for you.
Once you know how much you have to spend and what you want to experience, you can start looking for resorts, spas, and hotels that fit your needs. The steps to take are pretty basic with the most important outlined below.
Book Spa Breaks As Early As You Can
Popular resorts and spas often book up quickly for particular dates and holidays. Valentine’s day is an especially busy day for the spa industry. If you can, try to plan your spa breaks for a less popular time. This makes it easier for you to find availability and can often net you a reduced price.
No matter when you want to visit the spa make sure to book as early as possible. Popular treatments at in-demand spas will often be booked months in advance. If you don’t schedule your appointment well ahead of time your spa break could turn to heartbreak.
Always Read Reviews
The difference between an amazing, rejuvenating experience and a stressful nightmare is usually preparedness. In the past, it was difficult to thoroughly vet a foreign resort or spa. Nowadays sites like Tripadvisor or Yelp can save you from a bad experience before you spend any money or time.
Some poorly managed spas that cater to tourists can fly under the radar for a long time. They rely on a quick turnover of clientele who don’t do their research beforehand. If a spa experience seems very under-priced or too good to be true there’s usually a reason.
Relish The Relaxation
Always remember to know what you want and how you expect to receive it. If you plan ahead, spa breaks can completely submerge you in relaxation while you’re there.
We’d love to help you find the spa package that best fits your needs when you’re visiting Portugal. Check out some of what we have to offer.
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