One would think that taking 8 days to travel Paris and London would be heaven. 2014-04-06 05.49.13

One would be right.

But even traveling to heaven and back can be exhausting. First there is the 9+ hours of flight (including a layover from Western Canada). Then there is the time change, which means, you’ve not only been up for a full 24 hours but you’ve also lost a day. Add to that a head cold that put you in bed four days before you were to leave…your body is already a little exhausted.

But this is Paris. PARIS. You don’t go there to sleep. You go to walk the cobblestone streets, to discover hidden chocolate shops with amazing macarons, you visit the Louvre and Notre Dame and walk the back streets behind Sacre Cour and get lost in the plethora of cafes and patisseries and enjoy the leisure afternoon hours sipping wine and eating cheese. You go to bed late and rise early because there is so much to see and do even when you board the train to London after four fabulous days, you still feel like you missed something.

And you probably did.

But you can always go back.

But the next time you go back, you’ll be smarter. You’ll be better prepared. Maybe. (This was my second trip in 2 years and the only thing I was smarter about was my footwear).

So…how do you take an amazing trip to Europe for 8 days, come home for 2 and then leave again to attend a conference across the country and not be exhausted? Let me tell you how.

  1. Get lots of sleep before you leave. Even though you might be so excited to go and your up 3 hours before your alarm is to go off…try to get some sleep.
  2. Sleep on the plane. If you can. Unless you have toddlers surrounding you who want you to color with them or like to kick the back of your seat.
  3. Fly First Class. At least you’ll have a nice seat and can sleep. Yes…sleep on the plane.
  4. Don’t watch movies on the plane. Sleep. Remember? You’re tired or should be.
  5. Drink lots of coffee the moment you arrive. Yes,  you’re excited and want to rush off to the hotel, but take your time and find a little cafe that sells coffee. Trust me. You’ll need it.
  6. Do not lie down on the bed once you arrive at your hotel. DO NOT. Get what you need and head out to the great outdoors. Enjoy the sun shine and warmth. Eat some pain au chocolate, get a cappuccino, enjoy the sites. You did not come to Paris to sleep.
  7. Go to bed early your first night. Or try to. Snuggle up in that nice hotel bed, plump up the pillows, eat some chocolate you bought during the day and read a book that will put you to sleep.
  8. Relax. Enjoy your time. Don’t feel like you have to fill every single moment with busyness. Sit at a  cafe and people watch while drinking your coffee. Enjoy the moments of being there. Sit in silence. Laugh with friends. Try to speak French and laugh along with your waiter as he corrects you and then flirts with you. Take it all in and enjoy it!
  9. Take your vitamins. Melatonin is crucial for your sleep. And drink lots of water. Lots. It’s hard to find bottled water in Paris, so make sure to stop lots at those little cafes and ask for water and drink it often.
  10. Sleep on the flight home. If you’re smart, you’ll plan your flights so that you can trick your body into thinking you should be sleeping on the flight home. And go first class. Especially if your plane has those seats that level out so you can sleep lying down. Now that’s pure heaven!