Friday, May 09, 2008

Visit me at my new address

My blog has moved. You'll find me from now on at the new Travels with Jane.

The idea is the same: tips, deals, trip logs, photos and conversations about travel strategies and issues. I hope you'll bookmark the new address and visit often. Make it easy on yourself and sign up for an RSS feed.

See you there!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Affordable spa - a fab find

I've never done the destination spa thing because, well, it's expensive. And, I figured, the benefits wouldn't last. As much as I love a good massage, the rosy glow of relaxation lasts only a few hours before I'm heading back toward Stress Level A.

But when a friend suggested meeting at the Ixtapan Spa in Mexico, I plunked down the credit card. Between a dying parent, wacko workplace, a Zero birthday and The Husband's emergency appendectomy, I needed a break. And the price was right: $830 for a four-night package including a single room, all meals and a bunch of services (three massages, two reflexologies, two golf lessons, mani-pedi and more.) Book a spa day at a top spot in South Florida, and you'll end up with a tab of $785 for the day.

So what did I find? A comfy -- though not luxurious -- hotel in the mountains two hours south of Mexico City, aerobics and yoga classes (I bypassed the morning walks and water aerobics), a sweet safe town, two big pools, tasty food, beautiful golf course (I actually took a lesson) and tennis courts (I passed).

Well worth it -- even when you add in 16 percent taxes and airfare. Transportation can be a killer -- roundtrip from Mexico City costs $360 in the hotel van -- but if you go with a gang, you can split that amount for up to four people, which make it a much more manageable $90 per person roundtrip.