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Tips For Planning a Spa Vacation on a Budget from Travel Expert Nicole Hockin

Posted Aug 04 2010 5:00am

I could seriously take a spa vacation right about now. But having never planned one myself…least alone with my budget in mind, Hotels.com ’s travel expert Nicole Hockin of their Travel Smart Blog , offered up some great money saving tips along with her picks of a few spa resorts nationwide:

fairmont-orchid-spa-without-walls

With the increasing popularity of spas, resorts are competing with each other to offer the most luxurious and exotic treatments for both men and women. In fact, even teen spas are popping up in resorts around the country offering hip treatments for the coolest teens. For example, Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys is a 60 acre island resort in that features a Teen Spa, which caters to the teen traveler offering really great treatments and experiences for kids 12-18.

Your first spa visit can still be somewhat overwhelming. The many activity choices can make you feel like a kid on your first day at summer camp. Remember, you can’t do everything. Pick a focus based on what you need such as: pampering and pleasure; health and wellness; spiritual journey, or fitness – and let that guide your choice of activities.

Destination spas can also vary a great deal in price. If you want to take a spa vacation but wonder how to get the best deals or how to make it more affordable, consider these options:

1. If you’re going to choose a destination spa, stay at a less expensive B & B or hotel the night before, then head over in the morning to get a full day of activities in. They’ll let you stash your bags and use a locker until check-in time. You can use the same strategy on the way out.

2. Stay during the week for the lowest rates. Destination spas usually have a three-night minimum. A Thursday night arrival will cost more than a Sunday night arrival.

3. Travel off-season. In the Northeast, rates are lower in the winter, higher in the summer. It’s the reverse in the Southwest and Florida.

TravelSmartBlog.com ’s Picks for a Spa Vacation:

The Broadmoor – The resort is elegant, romantic and the Spa at Broadmoor is an oasis in the heart of the Rockies.

The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa – Aptly residing in Carefree, AZ, The 33,000 square foot Golden Door Spa was ranked one of the 10 Best Spas in the World by SpaFinder.

Casa Velas Hotel Boutique – Its secluded location helps keep some of this Puerto Vallarta all-inclusive resort’s most wonderful secrets such as its luxurious, intimate and romantic environment, sensuous spa treatments, and outstanding service.

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa – This historic Asheville, NC resort boasts an impressive lineage of noted guests from presidents to famous artists and entertainers. But what speaks volumes is how every guest feels special when on the grounds of the esteemed Grove Park Inn. Other features include beautiful views, delectable dining in its restaurants, golf in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an award-winning spa.

The Fairmont Orchid – You definitely won’t want to miss an experience in the Spa Without Walls. Its impressive spa offering includes six private outdoor waterfall hale (huts) and oceanfront massage cabanas.

Have a tip on how to save money on a spa vacation? Share your tips in the comments.

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