Disclaimer: this guide is not intended to advocate illegal activity. NEVER break the law by disregarding "no trespassing" signs, or entering private property to use a hot tub you shouldn't. PLEASE be familiar with the rules and regulations posted in any area with a hot tub you intend to use, and don't to anything unsafe or illegal.
Hot Tub Hopping the Right Way
Hot Tub Hopping- v - the act of enjoying someone else's hot tub when you yourself are not a hot tub owner.
There is nothing more romantic or relaxing then lying beneath the stars in a tub of hot water, jets massaging your shoulders, the stress of a long day melting away. But the sad fact is, many of us can't afford a hot tub or don't have the space or time to install or maintain one. So what options do you have to get your spa on? Well, there is always the illegal route of finding a poorly monitored hot tub in an apartment complex on your block and letting your self in, but by breaking the law you risk a fine or arrest or worse. In this guide, I will discuss how you can start hot tub hopping the right way, and provide legal options for those who do not own a hot tub to enjoy this relaxing past time.
Hot Tub Hopping Hazards
If you want to start hot tub hopping the right way, here are a few things to look out for.
- "No Trespassing." As a hot tub hopper, no trespassing signs are your number one enemy. If you see a "no trespassing" sign, you have no excuse to be in a hot tub nearby: you are breaking the law by crossing these signs, plain and simple.
- Gates and fences. If you have to hop a fence or climb over a gate, chances are you are on private property. Again, pretty clear cut case here of breaking the law.
- Angry buzz kills. Even if you are in an area legally, look out for that one cranky Negative Nancy that thinks it is their job to shoe you away or start a conflict.
- "Don't Swim Here" signs. Of course, you won't see a sign this clearly printed, but signs that say things like "for resident use only" or "pool key required" are as good as "no trespassing," and shouldn't be crossed.
Even if you have permission to be in an area, be very careful of the above obstacles to legal tubbing.
Legal Hot Tub Hopping Options
So what options do you have to legally enjoy hot tub hopping? There are a handful of options for you to keep in mind. First, use a friend's hot tub. Second, use the hot tub in an apartment where you know someone. Third, use a hot tub in a hotel or resort that has a day fee. Fourth, use a hot tub in a community pool or shared pool area. Fifth, use a hot tub in a gym. Whichever option you choose to pursue, relaxation and warm welcoming water is waiting for you!
Relax, Put Your Feet Up, and Get Hoppin!
Relaxing Hot Tub Listening Mix #1
1. Use a Friend's Hot Tub
A friend in need is a friend indeed, and a friend with a hot tub counts for two without. If you are lucky enough to know someone who owns a hot tub, and you are in need of a soaking, drop your friend a line (or a text or an instant message or whatever the kids do these days.) Be straight forward about your intentions; nothing is more awkward than asking to open endedly "hang out" with a friend, and then trying to introduce into the conversation that you are only using them for their sweet Jacuzzi jets. Chances are, your friend with a hot tub gets asked to use it a lot, and if you are polite and offer to bring them a beer or their favorite pint of ice cream, they probably won't have any hitches about you dropping by. Alternatively, ask a friend who you know isn't home if you can enjoy their tub while they are gone. No harm to them and no awkwardness for you=win win!
2. Apartment Hot Tub Hopping (The Legal Way)
Many apartment complexes or housing communities have good quality hot tubs and pools, and the people living in them are often allowed to bring guests. If you have a friend or know someone living in an apartment complex, ask them the rules for hot tub use laid out in their lease or housing agreement. Often if an apartment complex allows guests, it can be as easy as saying hi to your friend and heading straight to their hot tub; simply by being their guest, you are often legally allowed in their hot tub, even if they aren't with you at the time. Of course, be careful that this is the case, and look out for people who might get upset if you are perceived as "breaking in."
3. Use a Hotel or Resort Hot Tub
Many hotels or resorts have very reasonable day fees for pool and hot tub use, and with a little research you can find a hotel near you where you can easily and cheaply get use of a hot tub. Call around to nearby hotels and ask if they have a hot tub and if they have a pool day use fee, and plan accordingly. Get creative with who you call; sometimes even big name luxurious resorts with out of this world pools and hot tubs have options for visitors to purchase day use guest passes. Hot tub hopping at a hotel or resort could be a very memorable experience if you find the right hot tub to enjoy. Treat yourself!
Relaxing Hot Tub Listening Mix #2
4. Hot Tub in a Community Pool!
There may be an obvious, cheap or free, and entirely legal option right under your nose: hot tub hopping in a community or public pool! Many areas have community or public pools designed for recreation, which are super cheap to use or even free. Using a hot tub in a community or public pool will let you get your hot tubbing fix in with minimal effort and maximum ease. Do some research first though, to make sure that the community pool you are headed for has a hot tub included. Nothing is sadder than getting all ready to soak and having your hot tubbing hopes dashed.
5. Hot Tubbing at Your Gym
Many gyms and fitness centers are smart enough to know that nothing feels better after a good workout session than soaking in some rejuvenating hot water. As such, the gym you already belong to may have a hot tub you can use that you didn't even know about! If it doesn't, call around to local gyms and see if there are any nearby that have a hot tub included in their membership or have a cheap day use fee. YMCAs are a great place to look, as the clubs often have pool use free for members and cheap guest passes for non-members. Set aside any fears you have about spa-ing at the gym: despite what you have seen in the movies, gym hot tubs are usually well maintained and free from naked creeps.
The Water is Waiting. Go Find a Hot Tub!
Relaxing Hot Tub Listening Mix #3
If you don't like the ideas above for hot tub hopping the right way, you do have other options. You can always pay a day use fee at a designated spa; hot tubbing at a spa usual means privacy, a quality experience, and a lot of nice perks. However it often means a big price tag as well, and can be an impractical option for many. Additionally, you can pursue less legal options, but remember that trespassing can come with a hefty fine and possible arrest, and might end up costing you a lot more in the long run than paying a day use fee at a hotel, gym, or spa. When you have a hankering for a hot tub, consider all your options, and start with the five legal ideas above.
In Conclusion: Hot Tub Hopping Etiquette
No matter what option you pursue to get your hot tub fix, remember a few things while using others' hot tubs.
- Be clean. Don't leave someone else's hot tub dirty. Make sure you have showered recently before dipping in, and don't leave towels or other things around the tub. Nothing will make your friend regret letting you use their Jacuzzi like left behind beer bottles and body grime.
- Be polite and courteous. If you are in an apartment complex, make sure you are staying quiet and following all of the rules of the pool. If you are at a hotel or gym, be polite and friendly to other guests.
- Share the love! Bring a friend on your hot tub hopping adventure. Nothing goes better with relaxing water than good company!
What are you waiting for? Come in, the water is lovely!
Cassidy Michael Kakin (author) from San Jose, California on November 12, 2014: