There is only one day left before you leave on your spa holiday, and you’re in despair over what suitable clothing and other necessities to take with you? Here’s a short list of handy hints and things you should not forget.

Consider the season and the area where the spa you are visiting is located. Generally speaking, during the summer you can expect daytime temperatures of 20º up to 32º Celsius, and in the winter the mercury usually drops to between 2ºC and -15ºC. European spas offer an active social life with an atmosphere of their own, and at the same time tranquillity in natural surroundings untouched by industry.

Even though the majority of spas in Europe do not have their own international airport, at the same time they are places with excellent services and facilities, and are designed to cater year round to every desire of visitors and patients. Never fear that your stay here will leave you completely cut off from civilization.

If you are still hesitating over what to take with you, make sure that you have suitable shoes for the sauna, pool and massage rooms. You will also need comfortable shoes for walking around the curative natural springs and colonnades. You should not miss the regular evening programmes (thés dansants, concerts, theatre shows), and they require evening dress. If you are body and soul into sport, work out your daily programme and remember to pack suitable clothes for each sport, such as tennis, squash, undemanding or more challenging cycling or hiking (a waterproof windbreaker can be useful, as well as warm clothing in the winter). At least two swimming costumes will be necessary, even if you are just going for a shortish stay (women’s one-piece costumes are more suitable for the pool), and good sun glasses will unquestionably be useful. You need not worry about towels and bath towels; they are always available. Your own bathrobe will come in very handy, but there’s no problem borrowing one on site. If you are taking balneotherapy, you can get from one procedure to another in comfortable sports or leisure wear. For the dining room or restaurant, street clothes are more suitable.

While waiting for spa procedures (wraps, baths, massages), or just lazing beside the pool, you will appreciate having a favourite book. Daily newspapers and magazines in English, German and Russian are usually available in the larger spas. In the smaller ones, you can keep up with news from home and the world on the internet.

The city spa atmosphere frequently has a 1900s feel, so if you want to participate with just a little flair, women should add a nice hat to their luggage (or buy it there) and men a walking stick. But possibly that is only for a real connoisseur.

If you are coming as patients for a specific cure, you will need to have your health documents and medical history. Even as a tourist it’s a good idea to have your medical records, and it’s not a bad idea to carry a warning if you are allergic to a specific element in mineral water. Curative springs have important healing mixes of a variety of elements; positively charged (sodium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, etc.), negatively charged (phosphorus, chlorine, iodine, etc.), and others.

Travel and health insurance, personal medication and identification documents (ID card or a passport, international driver’s licence, credit card) are essential to any holiday abroad. The majority of European countries accept Euros; otherwise you can change money in hotel receptions, in local exchange offices or banks. VAT refunds can be sorted out at the airport (validating sales tax refunds on goods taken out of the country).

If you do not want to be separated from your pets, make sure they will be allowed to stay at your destination. There is usually a charge for these services. Keep in mind laws affecting transport of animals across borders. Current legislation requires you to have ID papers for the animal, including a vaccination certificate.

Before you lock the door to your flat, check all domestic appliances, windows and security systems, to ensure you don’t lose all that wellbeing right after you come back from your holidays.

We wish you undisturbed health and happiness on the trip to your European health retreat.