The other day I was asked by one of the editors at DailyGlow.com“What can someone do to get the most bang for their buck at the spa?”

They were looking for quotes for a story to reflect upon the nuances of different spa treatments (rather than where to find a good deal), but while writing back, it occurred to me that I behold a LOT of juicy insight into which spa treatments are worth it and what’s not. And you know what, if I’m going to be releasing my secrets to the world, there is no one else I’d rather share them with than YOU. So, from my heart to your wallet…

6 secrets to sneakily spending your spa money wisely:

6. SAVE: SEARCH FOR A SCRUBASSAGE

If you love massages but also want the exfoliating benefits of a body scrub, save money by getting a body scrub that includes a little massage rather than just a lather. Look for scrubs that specify massage on the spa menu. It won’t be a deep tissue massage, but  it might include a little more pressure than the usual scrub. I’d call the spa and make sure too—it’s not that common.

5. SPLURGE: LET SPAS PUT THEIR BEST FACIAL FORWARD

Plant Stem Cell Facials with LED light, Oxygen Facials, Caviar Facials… I’ve found that fancy facials are almost always worth the splurge. A good way to pick a facial: ask the esthetician what his or her favorite facial is to perform. They are extremely passionate and tend to be perfectionists, and will always recommend you the one that works the best, or that would be best for your skin.

4. SAVE: GO FOR A STRAIGHT UP MASSAGE

Save money on a massage by going to no-frills massage-focused spas located on the 2nd floor. Or the 9th. I’ve had mediocre massages at some of the most glamorous, best known spas. But find an Asian man (or two) who speaks no English at place with curtains instead of walls, and he will undoubtedly rip your back a new one. And if not, at least you didn’t break the bank.

3. SAVE: MEET ME AT THE BATHHOUSE

If your goal is to escape everyday life and melt into a spa coma  filled with steam rooms and jacuzzis for the day, there’s no place to get bang for your buck like you can at a bathhouse. Spend 3 hours, spend 8 hours… and all you pay for is entry fee. If you crave a treatment too but don’t want to spend a lot, book something for a half hour in the middle of the day to satisfy. Check out my days at the Brooklyn Banya and the Russian and Turkish Bathhouse.

2.  SPLURGE: VACATION INITIATION

Let’s face it: it’s not a vacation unless you go to the spa, and if you’re staying in a resort area, it will be difficult to find a good deal. Treat yourself to a Lomi Lomi massage on the beaches of Hawaii, indulge in post-skiing reflexology, go for the overpriced body scrub with indigenous salt. It will likely enhance your vacation tenfold, and fall under the category of unforgettable.

1. SAVE: WHO’S YOUR DADDY? SPA WEEK!

Call me biased, but seriously, the best way to get your money’s worth is to book a bunch of treatments during Spa Week when everything is just $50. Something people don’t realize is that during Spa Week (next one is April 11-17) spas want you to experience their best treatments, not just their average treatments, even if they aren’t making money. You can find 60, 70, 90, minute treatments for the price of a 30 minute one. You can sample different slimming techniques, or try different massage therapists to find your true massage soulmate.  Mark your calendars and take advantage of this very generous thing they are doing!

Photos via the Medical Cosmetic Center and the Sheraton Kauai Spa

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