I have a bag that I can just pick up and take with me to the spa. It saves me precious time (which I can then spend in the sauna) because I don’t have to pack every time I head out to the spa. If you are a spa regular, I highly recommend putting together a tote (or for the guys — a messenger bag) that contains your favorite essentials and some other spa necessities.
Here’s what the contents of my spa bag looks like, and what I suggest for any spa pro tote:
1. Reusable bag
I use the bag that was given to me from the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. It’s quite perfect as a spa bag, actually. It can be used like a backpack, and it folds up flat should I want to pack it in a suitcase when I travel. It’s not too large or bulky, and fits everything I need in it. If you are the highly-organized type, you probably want a bag that has more pockets or dividers — mine has none, but I don’t really have any trouble finding what I need with this drawstring tote.
2. Favorite toiletries
I make sure that I have my own deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial moisturizer and moisturizing lip balm always in my spa bag. These are things that I never want to rely on a spa to have because either I am very particular about them or I’m just not sure whether a new spa I visit will have these on-hand. I am fairly certain that no spas provide lip balm and I really don’t like having dry lips during a treatment, so some type of lip moisturizer is an essential for me. My current favorite lip balm for use during a treatment is DermStore Lip Quench.
When I plan on using any outdoor spa facilities like at the Spa Montage, I make sure to add my own sunscreen to the bag. My favorites are Paula’s Choice Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30 for my face, the lovely organic Coola Classic Sunscreen SPF 30 in Plumeria for the body, and a lip balm with SPF 30. I always carry one or two lip balms with sunscreen and am constantly trying new ones, but the one I keep coming back to is Coola’s Liplux SPF 15 because of the tasty Peppermint-Vanilla flavor and its 70%+ organic food-grade ingredients. (Just as an FYI — many high-end spas with outdoor areas carry Coola suncare in their retail sections. When we’re travelling and only doing carry-on, we purchase Coola at our destination. We’ve purchased Coola at the spa in the Shore Club and the Delano in Miami Beach, the Spa Montage Laguna Beach, the Heavenly Spa at the Westin in Maui, the Cosmopolitan and the Aria in Las Vegas. Can you tell we love this product?)
3. Reusable essentials from spas
If I grab a razor or hair ties from a spa, I try to reuse them as much as possible. So I toss them in my spa bag and as a result now have a bunch of hair bands and razors with me that I use until I can’t use them anymore.
4. Insulated water bottle
One gripe I have with spas has to do with their beverage cups. I get that it’s more feasible to provide disposable cups, but more often than not they’re plastic and not very eco. They are also very small, so you have to constantly refill them, which is kind of a pain when you’re doing a marathon sauna session. Some bad-mannered people also just leave their cups all over the spa instead of tossing them in the trash, so I think these cups (combined with bad manners) are a real problem.
My solution was to bring my own insulated water bottle with me. My cold water stays cold even when I am in the sauna, I can go quite a while before I have to refill it (even when I am drinking lots of water) and there is no constant waste like with disposable cups. Right now I am using a Camelbak stainless steel insulated .5L bottle and have been bringing it to the spa with me for probably 5 years or so.
5. Bathing Suit
I’m a creature of habit and was using the same bikini at the spa for 4 years. I bought it in Italy and it was just so lightweight and functional that I kept it as my go-to for the spa. I recently found one even more comfortable, functional and stylish so it became my new regular spa suit. This one is by Body Glove from their 2013 line and I can easily go from the spa to the ocean in it. I also have a couple of plastic bags that I grabbed from Burke Williams for my wet bathing suit, which I try to reuse as much as possible.
6. Emergency Snack
Most spas provide healthy snacks, but in that rare case when it’s late and I’m hungry and there are no more bananas, I’ve got a little pack of trail mix or a protein bar to tide me over.
Do you have a spa bag? What’s in yours? Share with everybody in the comments below!