Spa savings: Where to go to be pampered on a budget

One of the best ways to spa for less on vacation is to start with a budget-friendly destination. Read on for’s pick for spots where relaxation meets value. These destinations are rejuvenating in their own right, but are also go-to getaways for inexpensive spa services.

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Thrifty Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, is a perfect spa retreat. (Image:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Pattie</strong></a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences</strong></a>&nbsp;via Flickr&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>CC BY-SA 2.0</strong></a>)
Thrifty Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, is a perfect spa retreat. (Image: PattieHot Springs in Truth or Consequences via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Don’t miss the chance to soak in the hot springs of Truth or Consequences, N.M. Formerly called Hot Springs, N.M., the town was renamed after the popular mid-20th century game show “Truth or Consequences.” The odorless thermal springs are some of the most heavily mineralized water in the U.S. and a truly therapeutic way to enhance a massage or create a spa day solely from hot springs indulgence. Most of the town’s communal bathhouses let visitors soak by the hour or you can book a night at a hotel hotel with an in-room private hot springs bath. A fountain in the center of town across the street from the post office is a popular place for visitors and locals alike to soak their feet for free.

Saratoga Springs, New York

Skip the bright lights (and big price tag) of the Big Apple and head upstate to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which is famous for horse racing and naturally effervescent hot springs. The Gideon Putnam offers a variety of spa packages that include accommodations, soaking in the mineral springs at the Roosevelt Baths & Spa and massages.

Las Vegas, Nevada

There&rsquo;s no shortage of splurge-worthy spas on The Strip. (Image: <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MGM Resorts International</strong></a>)
There’s no shortage of splurge-worthy spas on The Strip. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

Enjoy the spas along The Strip like a high roller. With so much competition and a desire to please discerning travelers, pricing is competitive at hotel spas in Las Vegas, Nev. Opt for express services or book multiple services to rack up the savings.

Spa Eastman, Quebec, Canada

The European-style Spa Eastman provides all-inclusive packages starting at $69 for the day. Basic packages include soaks in the Nordic baths and resort activities. Upgraded packages include spa treatments like relaxing massages. Folks who choose to stay overnight are treated to a complete spa retreat; this is not just a hotel with a spa but an entire spa oasis. Facilities include a hammam (a eucalyptus steam bath), Finnish dry sauna, infrared dry sauna, outdoor hot tubs, polar bath, pools, hiking trails and a full spa.

Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Iceland

The blissful Blue Lagoon offers a budget friendly way to unwind. (Image:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Lauren Mack</strong></a>)
The blissful Blue Lagoon offers a budget friendly way to unwind. (Image: Lauren Mack)

Not only is the Blue Lagoon stunningly beautiful, but it is also easy to visit whether you’re vacationing in Iceland or transiting through on a layover. The Blue Lagoon is roughly 30 minutes from the airport, making it quick and easy to stopover for a soak and spa experience. It’s essential to pre-book an entrance ticket as entry is often sold out. Standard admission is $56 and includes admission to the geothermal spring with iconic icy-blue hue and a restorative silica mud mask. Splurge for a unique in-water massage conducted as you dreamily float on a mat in the milky white geothermal water that is infused naturally with silica, algae and minerals.

Taipei, Taiwan

Budget friendly Beitou offers some of the most beautiful and inexpensive hot springs in the world. (Image:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Lauren Mack</strong></a>)
Budget friendly Beitou offers some of the most beautiful and inexpensive hot springs in the world. (Image: Lauren Mack)

Relax for hours, or days, in the Japanese-style hot springs in Taipei, Taiwan’s Beitou district. The steam from the gurgling sulfur springs is visible along Zhongshan Road where locals and visitors stop to soak their feet for free. It only costs a few dollars to soak in the communal public bath at Beitou Park, but the charming bath houses that dot the mountain are also an inexpensive way to soak in the nude and follow up with an invigorating and inexpensive back and foot massage. Rates for hourly soaking in communal, single-sex pools and private rooms with en-suite hot springs vary, but rates are generally cheaper in the daytime and during the workweek.

Crystal Hot Springs, Utah

It’s all about natural beauty in Utah. After a day on the ski slopes or fun in the sun, head to the bubbly hot springs at Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville, Utah. Visitors can soak in the hot springs and cold springs, which meet within 50 feet of each other, for just $7. Then, head one hour down the road to Salt Lake City, Utah, to enjoy a mani/pedi, massage or facial at one of the town’s many day spas or hotel spa retreats.

Get your spa on before takeoff

If you are flying Business or First Class abroad or you have been lucky enough to be upgraded, take advantage of free spa services offered in the airport lounge spa. The following airlines and clubs offer free spa treatments prior to takeoff.

Lounge before liftoff &ndash; for free at Timeless Spa at Dubai International Airport. (Image:<strong>&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Lauren Mack</a></strong>)
Lounge before liftoff – for free at Timeless Spa at Dubai International Airport. (Image: Lauren Mack)
  • Air France:Air France offers a choice of 30-minute treatments in the business lounges in Terminal 2E at Gate K, Gate L, and Gate M at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The relaxing spa treatments by Clarins are a great way to prep for your flight.
  • British Airways:Passengers flying in First and Club World cabins or are Gold card members flying on long-haul flights can enjoy a free 15-minute treatment at the Elemis Travel Spa in the lounges at London Heathrow and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Options include a shave, facial or massage for men and facial, massage, manicure or eyebrow shaping for women.
  • Emirates:First Class passengers can enjoy their choice of one free express service at Timeless Spa, which is adjacent to the Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport. Options include a back massage, Thai body stretch and soothing hand massage.
  • Etihad Airways: Etihad Airways First Class and Platinum card holders flying through Abu Dhabi International Airport get a choice of a free 15-minute spa treatment from Six Senses Spa or an express treatment from STYLE & SHAVE by Etihad. First Class and Platinum cardholders flying through London Heathrow get one complimentary 15-minute spa treatment from Six Senses Spa.
  • Thai Airways:Royal First Class passengers get a choice of either a one-hour Touch of Silk or Royal Thai Massage and Royal Silk Class passengers get a choice of either a 30-minute neck and shoulder massage or a foot massage at the Royal Orchid Spa at Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok Airport). Massages are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Virgin Atlantic:The Clubhouse Spa at London Heathrow offers a range of complimentary treatments, from a 15-minute head massage to a 15-minute Express Radiant You Facial to a 30-minute Bumble and Bumble re-conditioning treatment. Guests can indulge in one free treatment on a first-come, first-served basis. The Clubhouse Spa at London Gatwick and the JFK Clubhouse Spa at John F. Kennedy International Airport offers similar spa menus for men and women on a walk-in basis only.
  • American Express Centurion Lounge: Unlike the other lounges listed here, entry into the American Express Centurion Lounge isn’t dictated by airport carrier or mileage clubs but is complimentary for American Express global Platinum Card and Centurion members. Entry and includes access to free food, Wi-Fi, showers, spa treatments and more. Complimentary amenities vary by location. Lounges are located at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, McCarran International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Miami International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and, coming soon, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

For tips on getting spa treatments on the cheap on your next vacation, go here.