PRE-SPA: What to take with you

A little bit of preparation will help you to get the most out of your holiday. Take all your usual holiday essentials – but don’t overdo it. Remember most spa holidays are about lounging about (in your swim wear, sports wear, comfy clothing or even a dressing gown) and you’re unlikely to need a pair of heels.  This is a time for rest and relaxation, good books that you haven’t had time to read, a cosy shawl to wrap yourself up in, shoes you can potter about in, a notebook for thoughts and inspiration, perhaps a delicious scented candle for by your bath. Pack for yourself and for downtime, not to impress.

Whilst you may be booking in for a host of treatments, you will also have time for the kind of self indulgence you may not do at home – face masks, hair masks (brilliant for use in steams rooms), exfoliators etc. Remember to pack any supplements you might take (and other medication). Music and headphones are great for use in the gym, a bag you can take to the pool and back, a fold up laundry bag and two swimsuits/bikinis so one can be drying whilst you wear the other. Organic sunscreens, mosquito repellent, (look out for lemongrass), some lavender oil as a sleep aid, and aloe vera after-sun gel are all good ideas.

If you are noise sensitive, take ear-plugs as even air conditioning can be disruptive (although we always prefer an open window). Take a zip lock bag of nuts and dried fruits to the airport with you so you are not tempted to give in to junk foods. And remember to keep as hydrated as possible.

Going for a walk or swim in the fresh air on arrival is the quickest way to help you acclimatize and banish jet lag. And do book in for a massage the evening you arrive so you can start to de-stress as soon as possible. If you can, turn off your phone, or if you must stay in contact, allocate a certain time slot each day to attend to emails.

Remember – you’ll be home before you know it, so try and make the most of this precious time – you’re likely to get as much out of it as you put into it.

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