Spa retreats aren’t just about massages and facials, with many offering you a way to “travel with purpose”, says spa travel expert Ava Roxanne Stritt.
For USA Today spa travel writer Ava Roxanne Stritt, now is as good a time as any to reset.
Having, like most of us, picked up a few bad habits during quarantine, Stritt recently booked herself into a “lifestyle reset” package at a Canyon Ranch resort to help herself get back on track.
“I was very good to myself during quarantine so I need to go and reset a few things that I picked up during quarantine,” she told Blacklane’s head of global communications Adam Parken during an Instagram Live interview last week.
“I need to get back to working out more, eating cleaner and not quite as many treats.”
Stritt’s sentiment towards being goal-oriented in her spa travels has been embraced by spas around the world, with many offering clients “spa pathways” to help them achieve goals they’ve set for themselves.
Keen to hone in on a specific health issue? Maybe you want to work on being more active? Or maybe you want to find a way to make your everyday life a little more stress-free? Most dedicated spas offer a personal concierge who can help guide your treatment process.
Stritt said often a dietitian, doctor, or behaviorist can also be incorporated into your spa package to help individualize your treatment.
“Your focus needs to be…is it just to relax? Or is there a specific (issue)…a sore shoulder, a skincare issue you want to focus on,” she said.
“They’re good at meeting you and figuring out what you really need…(what) you may not be able to describe.”
A new, improved spa experience
Stritt said while most spa staff were already very well educated in sanitation and safety prior to the pandemic, many are now being extra diligent with their experiences.
“Each one is looking into what they need to do to follow, not only the rules of the state but what they feel comfortable with and what they’re clients feel safe with,” she said.
“They wear masks during your service, you may see some wearing gloves for massages, some may ask you to take a quick shower before your massage.”
Stritt said the biggest change she’s noticed is the amount of privacy now extended to each guest.
“There’s not that many people in there, I feel like I rented the whole place for myself, like a Beyoncé moment,” she said.
“They have socially distanced the lounges, they may space guests out in private lounges. I found so far a lot of privacy, a lot more serenity, a lot more personal service.”
Intentional, planned travel
Stritt’s recommendation for future travel? Do it with purpose.
“Maybe some people feel guilty about travel but if you have a true purpose…improving your health or wellness, and having more of a stress-free trip, you will feel better about it,” she said.
“(It won’t be) just getting on a plane and going somewhere.”
For those who are planning a wellness retreat, Stritt recommends booking treatments in advance and following up with the spa if you have any questions.
“I believe they will space the appointments farther apart to give more time for sufficient sanitation in between each service,” she said.
“If you really want to go to the spa, call, make your appointment, you’re not going to be able to drop in as easily as you did before, but go!”