Plan a Spa Getaway With Your Girlfriends

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From indulgent spa treatments to private dinners, going to a spa with a group of friends can be a once-in-a-lifetime getaway focused on fun. Planning is key and following proper spa etiquette will ensure everyone has the relaxing experience they are seeking. We reached out to spa expert, Lisa Kasanicky author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Girlfriend Getaways and founder of AZSpaGirls.com for all of her pointers for a perfect (and relaxing) girlfriend getaway.

Take it from Lisa:

Scheduling: Once you set your sights on a particular spa, be sure that everyone has a spa menu and makes their own appointment. That way, questions about the treatments can be discussed directly with the spa concierge. It’s imperative to let the spa know, for example, if you’re pregnant or have any health concerns at the time the appointment is booked.

Arriving: On the day of your services, arrive at the spa at least 30 minutes before your appointment to change and unwind. Better yet, check in a few hours early to take advantage of amenities such as steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools.

Texting: Mobile devices of any sort are not appropriate at the spa. Yes, even texting is frowned on by spas because it creates a sense of guilt to those around you. If you must bring your gizmos, be sure to power them down completely so they don’t go off in your locker and disturb other guests.

Canceling: Heaven forbid if you have to cancel a spa appointment. But if you do, call and cancel at least 24 hours in advance. You may charged for your service otherwise.

Disrobing: Therapists learn some nifty towel tricks in their training that keep your private parts under wraps throughout the treatment. But always disrobe to your level of comfort. I stash a two-piece bathing suit in my spa tote in case I’m overcome by a flash of modesty come treatment time.

Communicating: Let your therapist know about any injuries, allergies or sensitivities before your treatment, including preferences to touch, music, aromas or lighting. If the pressure during a massage gets too intense, give the therapist a heads up. A good grunt usually does the trick.

Tipping: Be prepared to tip your therapist between 18 and 20 percent of the regular treatment price. If you book a spa package that includes multiple services, the gratuity may already be included but if not, ask for a tip envelope and tip each therapist accordingly. I usually pre-calculate the gratuity before my service because of that post-treatment wooziness (and so I don’t have to count on my fingers in public).

Budgeting: Spa vacations can be pricy. Trim the fat from the trip by booking your stay off-season, calling the spa to inquire about seasonal promotions or group discounts, or joining the spa’s email list, if available, to get notified of special offers. Another advantage of off-season travel is that while the weather might not be optimal, the waiting areas and locker rooms will be less crowded.

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