The Art of Giving Spa Gift Cards

Get a wrap on gift-giving with these spa gift card insider tips!

GOS: Acronym for Gift Of Spa. Stash it under our pillow, wrap it in a pretty box or cram it into a Ziploc baggy for all we care. Just give the gift that makes just about every woman (and maybe a guy or two) as giddy as a schoolgirl. Studies show that the higher the gross national GOS, the more apt people are to let you merge onto the highway or get away with 16 items in the 15-items-or-less checkout lane.

So whether it’s a hand-written gift certificate or gift card purchased online, give the GOS and help make this world a better place. GOS is also used to refer to Grossly Overdone Surgery but that, our dear readers, is for another time! Some tips from the insider on how to give the GOS:

Monetary increment or package? If she’s the easy-breezy type who just wants a few hours off for good behavior, give her an all-inclusive spa package so all she has to do is show up. If she’s a Type A or control diva, give her the GOS in a monetary amount so she can plan out her visit.

Where, oh where? First, decide how much you want to spend. A $50 gift card won’t go far at an upscale resort spa and may end up costing her more just to use the certificate (and some gift certificate sellers actually bank on the fact that many people don’t redeem their certificates). Second, determine what type of atmosphere she might prefer. Choose a neighborhood day spa for a less expensive, more intimate atmosphere or a resort spa for a more amenity-rich, vacation-like escape.

How much to spend? Nothing less than $50 if you can swing it. At the typical day spa, $50 will get her at least a spa pedicure while $100 is standard for an hour service plus tip. At a resort spa, shoot for at least $200 to cover an hour treatment plus gratuity. But do your research. The best bet is to call the spa front-desk or concierge and ask the price of a one hour massage or facial, calculate in an 18% gratuity and round up. That leaves her wiggle room for a light lunch or small self-indulgence from the boutique.

The generic way or the highway? If you do decide to go with a generic gift certificate or card, it’s not the end of the world. But do add a personal touch by dropping by a bath and body shop and pairing the gift certificate with an aromatherapy bath set or sensual candle.

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  1. I love your suggestion on whether to get a monetary amount or package certificate! I have been trying to figure out what to get for my mom for her birthday coming up, and I’ve been considering a spa gift card for a while. She’s definitely the type that should just get away for a day, so I think I’ll end up getting her an all-inclusive package!

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