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When was your last trip to a spa? If treating yourself to a pampering, indulgent spa experience is something that's fallen to the bottom of your priority list, it might be time to reconsider. In this age of the Internet, finding special deals and saving money at spas has never been easier. With just a little extra effort and online sleuthing, an affordable spa experience is definitely within your reach.
Tip #1: Look before you book.
Each week, there are thousands of spa discounts waiting to be found online. SpaFinder is probably the most well-known place to look online for deals; the site is affiliated with thousands of spas around the globe, offering exclusive deals of up to half off treatments. SpaFinder also runs special promotions on their gift certificates -- anywhere from 10 to 50 percent off -- which are valid at any of their 5,000-plus participating spas.
Tip #2: Sign up for deal alerts.
Beyond SpaFinder, try entering your email address at sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Lifebooker to get special daily newsletters that alert you about limited-time-only discounts on spa treatments (and salon visits, concert tickets, and more) in your local area. The deals may last for only 24 hours, but you usually have a full year to redeem the purchase. My only advice is to not go coupon crazy; the daily e-mails have high discounts and will be super tempting. Shop carefully and consider taking advantage of only one beauty or spa treatment deal per month.
Tip #3: Watch out for hidden costs.
Ever had a spa staff member offer to throw in a hand and foot massage or eyebrow shaping during your facial, only to later realize you owe an extra $50? Be wary of upgrade offers during your service; they're a trick that spas use to jack up your bill. It's smart to confirm the details of your service and the price before entering the treatment room; after all, who wants to have their relaxing skin or body treatment disrupted by annoying upsell offers?
Tip #4: Go with friends.
Many spas will offer group deals on bookings. Sometimes called “girlfriend getaway” packages, group bookings can mean anything from discounts on manicures to cheaper all-day spa passes, usually for six or more people. Contact spas to find out about their offerings; you can also look out for buy-one-get-one specials. Another option: there's no reason why you and a friend can't get a couples' massage; you'll both save anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of the cost.
Tip #5: Work the perks.
Maybe you can only afford the cost of one treatment, such as a 45-minute facial, but you should always find out about what other amenities are available to you. Many times the cost of your treatment includes all-day access to the spa's sauna, steam room, Jacuzzis, plunge pools, and gym facilities. Instead of showing up just before your service, come a few hours early and enjoy all these fancy extras.