Backpacker’s Diary

How to have a spa holiday at home

You can’t always travel to your favorite spa – that takes lots of time and lots of money.

It’s easy to create a spa environment at home and it doesn’t have to be expensive.  If you have lots of time, follow all these tips.  If you have minimal time, choose the tips that appeal most to you.

How to have a spa staycation in your home!

Turquoise spa towels pile on wood over blurred bathroom background

Towels – Some towel manufacturers have a “spa” towel line, such as Chris Madden at JC Penney.  The Chris Madden Spa Towels are a thick waffle weave and at one time they had a matching spa robe.  Think thick, soft and super luxurious to remind you of the towels at a fine spa.  You might roll or stack a group of towels decoratively in a basket or on a shelf.

Candles – Aromatherapy candles can have a variety of benefits.  Lavender for restful sleep.  Citrus for invigorating.  Eucalyptus for clearing sinuses.  There are also a variety of blended candles scents.  Choose a scent you enjoy or choose a blend that has the benefits you are looking for.  Place them around the room and light them (safely, of course) when you want to turn your bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary.

Music – I keep a portable CD player in the closet in my bathroom.  When I want the full at-home spa experience, I play a relaxing CD.  I have 2 that I like just for this purpose.  Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy – Hydrotherapy Soothing Music for a Healing Bath.  Gentle ocean sounds combine with soft instrumentals for a “just chill out” feeling. There are 6 tracks on this disk and each one is named after different aromatherapy oils.

Hydrotherapy – The healing power of water.  Take a bath.  Plan to soak for 20 to 30 minutes uninterrupted.  Longer soaks can dry out your skin.  Shorter soaks aren’t relaxing.  Add 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil or your favorite bath salts.  Play relaxing music, light candles, have plush towels and comfortable pajamas or a robe waiting.  If you have a jetted whirlpool tub, even better.

Shower – If you don’t have time for a bath, a shower can have similar benefits.  When we remodeled our bathroom, my husband installed a combination heater/fan.  When I’m ready to turn my bathroom into a spa, I warm the room up for a few minutes to take the chill off, especially in cold weather.  I sprinkle a few drops of essential oils into the shower and the steam activates them to scent the entire room.  In the evening, I might use lavender oil.  In the morning, something more energizing.  If I’m congested, I use eucalyptus oil.  I’m immediately transported back to a spa experience when a eucalyptus steam rooms comes to mind.  Caution – the oil can make the surface of the shower slippery.  I try to sprinkle the oil on surfaces where my feet won’t need traction.

Spa Treatments Ideas

Attractive young woman standing in the bathroom with a facial mask
  • Exfoliation – A loofah or dry brush is a great tool to add to your home spa. Use the dry brush before your shower or bath. Use the loofah in the shower or bath. If you don’t have either of these, a washcloth can exfoliate skin in a pinch.
  • Scrub – Buy a great smelling scrub, or you can even make your own with basic ingredients found in your grocery store, like seat salt or sugar, olive oil or nut oil, fruits and other ingredients.
  • Facial – Use high quality, natural products to give yourself a mini-facial. Cleanse and tone, then apply a mask. When the mask is rinsed off, moisturize.
  • Hair – Now is a great time to try a deep conditioner while you are soaking in the bath or taking a spa-like shower. Apply conditioner or hair mask, put your hair in a shower cap and let the conditioner work. Rinse according to the directions.

Beverage – A glass of wine or champagne is the standby for relaxation in the tub, but there are other choices for the at-home spa too.  A cup of herbal or green tea is wonderful.  I love Teavana teas.  You can also try fruit or herb infused water.  Add cucumbers, mint, citrus fruit, berries, even watermelon to a pitcher of water.  Or try a blend of your favorites.  Chill the water for several hours, the longer the better for more flavor infusion.  Sip this during your home spa experience or anytime to stay hydrated without added calories.

In just a few easy steps, you can turn your bathroom or bedroom into a spa environment and have the benefits of a spa getaway in your own home.  Enjoy!

Michele McIntyre is a spa enthusiast from Syracuse, NY who blogs at

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