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Don't Forget the Airport Spa

© Caroline Schiff/Blend Images/Getty Images
Conventional wisdom says that when you start to look like your passport photo, it's time to stop traveling. Thanks to a new breed of airport spas, it's now possible to de-stress, beat the passport-photo blues, reduce the effects of jet lag, and actually feel better than when you left home. Who knows? You might even find yourself looking forward to your next business flight.

Red eyes be gone

A surprising development in modern travel is that while more people are opting to take the dreaded red-eye flight, upon arrival they're not running out of the airport to make their next meeting. Instead, they're checking into a spa at the airport or airport hotel and blissfully catching some quality sleep, either on a hydro bed or while being wrapped, scrubbed, massaged, painted, sprayed or coiffed. Their teeth whitened and their body refreshed, they may finish up by topping up their oxygen level so they can go to their business meeting energized or arrive home with the stresses of a hectic work trip left far behind.

Jet lag is no match for these uniquely adapted in-terminal locations, which are specifically designed, from décor to treatments, to accommodate the security and time constraints of travelers. Airport spas give businesspeople the ability to accentuate the "I" in multitasking and do a little something for themselves while at the same time helping them put their best face forward. Treatments can last anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours, all dependent on the traveler's schedule.

Meet and treat

Live bamboo trees and the sound of mini stone waterfalls greet you at the multiple airport locations of XpresSpa. Airports in cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., may find that it is not just business schedules that are influencing flight choices. Once you close your eyes and start your treatments at one of these spas, the airport surroundings seem to slip away and you find yourself floating on your own little piece of heaven. And treatments aren't just for women and savvy flight attendants anymore, either. As spas grow in popularity among men (including pilots), traditional male air warriors are being converted. They tend to opt for massages, the oxygen bar, anti-swelling foot massages and sometimes even the odd spray tan.

New to terminals are mobile spas like Absolute Spa, which you can take advantage of at the U.S. departure and arrival area of Vancouver International Airport (among other places). Spa staff will actually meet and treat you at your gate! This is a very popular choice for sports teams, groups traveling together on business, and people who haven't had time to get their last-minute pre-holiday treatments done.

Move over, booze and perfume. There's something new you can find at the airport — and it's actually good for you.