Around the world in a few spa-ahhs 

Over a three week vacation I managed to visit about a spa per week, which solidified for me that I quite enjoy the spa life. This trip was unique in that two of my spa experiences happened in various locations in India and one happened in Jasper, Alberta.

There were contrasts between the Indian spa experiences and the Canadian one, but the thing that remained consistent, other than me being present at each of course, was the feeling of gratitude I had for allowing myself the time for some pampering and self care.

Although a spa or nail salon trip might not be on every travellers list I would strongly advocate treating yourself while away . Whether you are a spa regular or you are wanting to ‘treat yourself’, a visit to the spa can bring a much needed pause to a hectic travel schedule or a much needed moment of calm.

A few tips for indulging in a spa day during your vacation:

Though it may be tempting to have your cuticles cut it is actually not good for your nails. Cuticle cutting is the most common way that travellers, to places like Asia contract blood borne illnesses and other painful infections. If your technician hasn’t cleaned their tools properly between clients then you run the risk of catching something.

Also, as I learned from my lovely nail tech at the Pullman New Delhi airport hotel, unless you get your cuticles cut regularly the skin at your nail bed will always peel, a phenomenon that personally drives me nuts.

Always speak your mind

I struggle with this one at the salon, so it is always good when I have a tech who checks in often. I never want to seem fussy or difficult but the reality is you are paying to be pampered and feel relaxed and you won’t feel relaxed if you are dipping your feet in scalding water or wincing through your massage.

If your budget allows, buy yourself a treat

After you’re all done with your treatment(s) you don’t need to buy the expensive products your technician recommends but sometimes it’s fun to check out the sale section and buy yourself a small treat. Whether it’s a fancy lip balm or a packet of mineral salts to put in your bath for a spa experience at home, a little treat can be a nice memory of this time you choose to give yourself.

Most importantly breathe deeply and try to clear your head

The whole point of visiting the spa is to give yourself some pause. Most spa’s will have you complete a medical form and survey where one of the questions typically is: how do you wish to feel after your treatment? I usually check off ‘relaxed’ or ‘balanced’ as for me visiting the spa can have similar benefits to attending a great yoga or meditation class.

During your treatment, take the time to practice your deep breathing and living in the present moment, focusing on the feeling of the sheets against your skin, the oils on your arms, legs and back or the sounds of the music in the background.

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