Spa-ing it up, Scottish Style

by Andy on July 14, 2012

While you might not expect Scotland to be a hub for spa travel, there are a surprising amount of choices if you’re looking for a getaway. Guest poster Andy Hayes gives us the rundown.
Night view of Edinburg

My friend and fellow Value Luxury writer Andy Hayes is an expert on Scotland (he wrote the book on it. No, really). You don’t usually think of Scotland as a spa destination, but he’s uncovered a few finds for those heading north of Hadrian’s Wall (hint: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the famed monster theater festival, […]


Photo Friday: The lovely landscape outside Schwandalpweiher, the Swiss home of kneipp.
Swiss Alps

This is the latest of our weekly travel photo series, inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. This week’s #FriFotos theme is GREEN. There are few countries greener than Switzerland, where it’s hard to get a bad view. This photo was taken in Schwandalpweiher, a small town known as center for Kneipp, a naturopathic remedy that’s based on hydrotherapy. […]


Fascinating Finland: The Cult of the Sauna

by Chris on October 24, 2011

No one loves a sauna like the Finns. A look at Finnish sauna culture.
Finnish sauna

In September, I made my first trip to Scandinavia when I took the train throughout Finland, hitting Helsinki, Lapland and a few other towns. In a way, though, it seemed quite familiar; the result of growing up in Minnesota. All throughout my trip, people kept mistaking me for a native Finn, even though I never […]


Burrowing down in the mud baths at Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Spring Resort in Calistoga, California.
Calistoga Mud Baths

Most of the time, Don loves being the husband of a travel writer. He tags along to five-course meals and stays at hotels where the thread count exceeds the average American’s rent. He visits destinations that he once dreamed about while reading National Geographic in a basement in Iowa. But trying new things means that you’ll […]


Looking for things to do in Hungary? A visit to Széchenyi thermal bath in Budapest.
Széchenyi thermal bath, Budapest

By Michael K. Lavers, Contributing Writer What’s the best way to counter sleep deprivation from a late night out in Budapest? By taking the waters at Széchenyi thermal bath in the Hungarian capital. Széchenyi is a complex of a dozen thermal baths and five swimming pools in Budapest’s City Park, the largest medicinal bath in Europe. […]


The Kardashian moment of my #VisitLanai trip: creating a signature scent at the Four Seasons Resort of Manele Bay in Lanai
Signature scent, Four Seasons at Manele Bay, Lanai, #VisitLanai

I’m not exactly a girly girl. My manicures chip, my makeup wears off  and now that I’m in Seattle, I wear too many hoodies. Yet my secret diva self is much like Kim Kardashian – and I love experiences that are custom built to my  tastes (I mean, really, who doesn’t?) So when I found […]

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How do you get a cheap spa day, with first-rate products, at half the price? Visit an Aveda school, located in 52 places around the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Day spa alternative, Gary Manuel Aveda Institute, Seattle

When it comes to cheap day spa alternatives, the Aveda Institutes – there are 52 around the U.S. Canada and Australia – have to be the gold standard as far as value is concerned. Usually the services at these Aveda schools, which train the next generation of stylists, cosmetologists, and estheticians, are a little more […]


Looking for cheap massage treatments? Try the regulated student clinics at massage and bodywork institutes, available in almost all major American cities.

I do love myself some spa treatments. My idea of a good life includes regular massages, along with mani-pedis, facials and a perfect haircut. But my wallet can’t handle the high prices that most day spas charge (plus it’s hard to find all these things when you’re on the road as much as me). It’s […]


Floating in the Dead Sea at Israel’s Mineral beach.
Dead Sea mud, Israel

Spa types have always told me that minerals and mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, are good for your skin. But our guide Tamar from the Israel Ministry of Tourism made it sound more like the Fountain of Youth than a facial. “People come out and say they feel 10 years […]