Avoid the spa day pitfalls
What to wear
Clothing and personal items
First of all what to wear on your day.
Arrive in loose comfortable clothes, you will not really be wearing them so anything comfortable and that won't crease in the locker.
There will usually be a pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi etc. for this you will need a swimsuit, or a bikini, truncks if a man.
You will be given a robe, but you can take your own as sometimes the robes don't actually fit you.
You will be given towels so no need to take these
You are normally give slippers, but again these are either throw away or don't fit, a pair of flip flops are perfect take with you just in case.
If you plan to go to an exercise class don't forget trainers and exercise wear.
Money, at least some change for the locker and if you want a drink or if lunch is not included. Most have water freely available but you have to pay for fruit or herb teas.
Make-up, shampoo and conditioner (if you like your own) hair brush or comb and hair bands if your hair is long.
There is normally shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser to use and a hair drier.
Keep mobile phones and money apart from a bit of change in the locker so you don't have to keep watch, or be disturbed by a call.
Take a magazine, book or ipod for relaxing by the pool or relaxation area.
Timing of Treatment is Essential
The timing of your treatment is essential to get right, some spa's sort that out for you but some don't.
What you have to remember is, what are you going to be doing, there is a lot of water and steam about which depending on your treatment you will have to stay out of, for example if you had your hair done, or a aromatherapy massage,both, you would be best booking later in the day so you can take advantage of the pool, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi.
Any facial treatment sometimes leaves your skin red, not because of anything bad it is just that the skin has been treated and the blood vessels have been activated which is good for you, but, you can look at bit like a tomato for a while until your skin calms down. Facials are best after lunch, so you can have a go in the pool, but then your skin has time to relax before you go.
Indian head message, this is wonderful, good for your scalp, stress relieving and worth a go, but, your hair will be full of oil, lank and flat, once you wash it it will be fine, but until then, you won't look good! Last treatment of the day, before you shower and get dressed.
Sun Showers, now make sure you know how to use it, I went in one, and had a swimsuit on, so took it off, stood in the tube completely naked and closed the door, had no idea where to put the token, so pressed the one button in there, an alarm went off, I have never moved so fast in all my life, to get out of the tube and grab my robe before a bored looking girl came to turn it off. I don't think I was the first one to do it! to make matters worse, my daughter was in the room next door and when she came out, asked did I hear the alarm, and was wondering what had happened. I then had to confess to my stupidity.. So make sure you ASK if you are not sure, it saves the staff from looking at you, hardly speaking and putting the token in the slot outside the sun shower! Make sure you know how to use the equipment before you use it.
The best schedule I have found is:
The morning session - use the pool etc. have any treatment such as water jets or anything that gets you wet, sun showers, exercise classes or gym sessions are best done before lunch, reflexology should be done before lunch too, nails are also okay in the first half of the day. Get to know the layout of the place.
Lunch - light you don't want to go into any treatments feeling heavy and full
The afternoon session - Have any massages, facials, waxing, about half an hour to an hour after lunch. Make sure you have about an hour to relax in the relaxation room at the end of the day, before you go home to recover from any redness or to let oils soak into your skin to get the full benefit of the treatment. If you have your hair styled or any hair treatment, this is best left to the end of the day so you leave with your hair looking great, but shower before you go and have your hair done. If you have your make up done then shower and wash your hair first, so you don't have to go and shower and mess up your perfect face.
Get picked up
Get dropped off and picked up if at all possible, for two reasons, firstly you will feel relaxed and you will not want to get into traffic and get all worked up again, and two, if you have had any foot treatment that leaves your feet lovely and soft, but still a bit slippery then it is hard to drive, or in some cases walk. I once came out of a reflexology foot treatment where the therapist had used oils and did not have socks on but high heeled shoes and could hardly walk to the car park as my feet were slipping about in my shoes. I drove home okay but it was very difficult to walk to my car without looking like I had some sort of problem or my shoes were too big for me as they kept slipping off my feet.
Nice Things to buy!
Your Spa Day
Enjoy your day, and fully relax.
Arrive about 10-15 minutes before, as there is usually some paperwork to fill in. A medical questionnaire, some send it to you before you arrive so that you can fill it in beforehand, others like to chat to you and ask the questions themselves.
Drink plenty of water, sip throughout the day, water is usually in water fountains with plastic cups. Water is needed to hydrate you, sauna and some massage treatments can be dehydrating so you need to keep your water levels up
If unsure ask, no one minds and the spa girls are usually really helpful and polite.
Eat a small light lunch so that you are not too full and just want to sleep.
Look at the treatments available and book before you go, so you know what you are doing. Pick treatments suitable, such as relaxing or invigorating, depending on what you want out of it. If unsure ask the therapist, who will be happy to help.
Any massage or body scrub you will be given paper pants so you don't need to worry about getting your bikini bottoms or trunks oily. If you have on a whole swimsuit, you just pop on the paper pants and you will be okay. They will cover you will towels and only expose the part of the body that is having the treatment.
Pick a day in the week if you can, they are generally less busy than the weekends and keep clear of Valentines weekend it will be full of couples, unless that is what you want!
There will also be moisturisers and lovely things to buy, decide before hand if you want this expense as they will be either their own brand which they are trying to promote or an expensive brand which they will get commission on. There is no problem with buying anything that you think is beneficial just decide on how much before hand, if you don't want to spend forget your cards, so you can't. If you do, set yourself a budget before you go, when you are not relaxed and taken in by the whole atmosphere of the place.