How to Book Wellness Travel for Kids and Teens

In addition to Teen Spa beauty treatments such as manicures and pedicures, 11- to 17-year-old guests at Club Med Punta Cana are permitted to use the Jacuzzi.
In addition to Teen Spa beauty treatments such as manicures and pedicures, 11- to 17-year-old guests at Club Med Punta Cana are permitted to use the Jacuzzi.

One trend to consider when qualifying your family clients for their summer vacation is the importance of an amenity spa at a hotel or resort or on a cruise ship. This vacation attribute was deemed desirable by 44 percent of respondents to MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers — a marked increase from 38 percent in 2014 and 36 percent in 2013.

Moreover, according to the 2015 International Spa Association (ISPA) U.S. Spa Industry Study, spa experiences for kids of all ages are certainly making a splash. Nearly a third (31 percent) of resort/hotel spas now offer treatments for teens, while one quarter (25 percent) of them provide services for children under 13. These numbers have experienced steady growth over the years.

According to a report in American Spa, a Questex publication, the advantages of spa treatments for kids and teens are many, the first of which is the creation of a new generation of potential spa vacationers. Plus, spa-going is fun and can be a great bonding experience. American Spa also notes that there are certain services that, depending on the age of the spa-goer, better lend themselves to kids and teens. For pre-teens and children, nail services are an ideal option, as are hand and foot massages or mini-chair massages. Spas avoid deep tissue massage, full-body massage, and intensive body scrubs for younger clients. Generally speaking teens, and especially pre-teens, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who may have to sign a consent form.


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That said, here are some choices to consider for families.

At Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, spa services available to teens ages 14 to 17 include body work, skin care treatments, makeup, hair styling and nail services. Canyon Ranch recommends that all teen guests and the parent or guardian meet with a Nurse Educator at the beginning of each stay, for guidance and suggestions on making the most of their experience.

Ascent Spa at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite in Fish Camp, CA, offers guests eight to 12 a 90-minute Kid’s Spa program on Tuesdays and Fridays. Children create a custom sugar scrub using Salt of the Earth products, sample a green tea mask from Taste of Tea, participate in discussions about the importance of hand washing and caring for the skin, and receive a spa tour.

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, CA, is offering three different Mother- Daughter experiences this year. The Mother/Daughter Duo, June 5-11, was created for moms age 50 and older and their adult daughters, offering tranquility, pampering, gourmet meals and a variety of health and wellness activities and topics to help them refocus, revive and reconnect. Mom/Teen, for mothers with daughters, runs June 12-18, and Mom/College Age Daughter is set for July 31-August 6.

Spa Oceana at The Loews Don Cesar in St. Petersburg, FL, appeals to youngsters with the Oceana Teen Scene menu and services such as the Sherbet Splash Mani/Pedi ($60, 60 minutes) that comes with a sherbet treat for spa-goers ages five to 12.

Beaches resorts in Jamaica (Ocho Rios and Negril) and Turks & Caicos offer Ginger Lily by Red Lane – spa treatments designed for, and inspired by, teens. A variety of massages, sugar scrubs, facials and manicures are available.

A number of Club Med resorts, including those in Cancun, Punta Cana and Sandpiper Bay, FL, offer a Teen Spa with a menu of beauty treatments (no massages) for 11- to 17-year-olds, available at certain times to introduce them to the world of well being.

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