How to recover from jet lag & explore a new city. When traveling to Europe or other countries, chances are you’ve taken an overnight flight. If you’re like us, when you board the flight, you’re wound up with excitement and anticipation, and by the time dinner is served, the flight isn’t really long enough to wind down and get some actual sleep. So you land seven or eight hours later, exhausted and ready to crash. But there’s one major problem; it’s the morning where you just landed.
If you choose to take a nap after landing, you’re doomed, and you’ll only adjust to the new time zone when you’re ready to fly home. And you will have wandered around your destinations bleary-eyed, tired, grumpy, and the wild anticipation of your adventures spoiled.
This has worked for us over the years, and while it doesn’t alleviate how tough the first day is, if you can manage to make it through that, you’ll be adjusted to the new time zone as quickly as possible and enjoy your adventures that much more.
Where we started…
The south of France was our destination, and we wanted a car for the flexibility of getting around and exploring off the beaten path. However, it’s a seven-hour drive which is not a good idea after no sleep. So we picked a town we wanted to explore that was about two and half hours south of Paris.
How to Recover From Jet Lag & Explore a New City
How to Recover From Jet Lag
Choose a hotel with a pool, jacuzzi, and/or spa if possible. We’re huge fans of Tablet Hotels and stay with them whenever it works with our destinations and schedules. For $99 a year, you can become a Tablet Plus Member, and the rate usually includes breakfast every morning and an upgraded room when available.
If your room isn’t ready for check-in, leave your bags with the bellman and head straight to the pool/spa. Take your time and enjoy the soothing nature only water can provide.
Quick shower, change of clothes, and off for a light lunch. Why a light lunch? We find it’s best to pace ourselves and have a light lunch with some protein and, of course, more water! Drink lots of water and minimize the coffee until you are completely hydrated and you’ve had your first night of sleep.
Step 4 :
Have your afternoon and evening planned in a way that keeps you moving (just enough but not too much) and doesn’t let you stop, even when you’re dying for a quick nap. Give into the urge to nap, and you’ll never adjust.
Often times we will visit a museum that stays open late. Did you know the Louvre stays open until 9:45 pm on Fridays? Perfect if you arrive in Paris on a Friday!
Hold off on dinner plans for as long as you can. Then, have a nice leisurely dinner, head back to your hotel, and then sleep! We’ve been known to take an Advil PM just for insurance.
Wake up refreshed, adjusted to the new time zone, and ready for all the anticipated adventures.
The Five Best Things to do in Tours, France – Exploring a New City While Recovering From Jet Lag
Tours is a small university city and feels very much alive with all the students and a good mix of professionals of all ages. You can cover most of the great things it offers on foot. Mass transit is available, and a very nice tram runs through the middle of the city.
Tours’ main shopping street may be the cleanest street in any city. Along the approximate one-mile stretch, you can find a mini-mall, a Monoprix (potentially our favorite store in all of France – it’s a small department store with a grocery store inside), and a larger variety of other shopping options. We can always find at least one piece of fun clothing at a Monoprix, and when in need of a snack, baguette, or sandwich, you can usually find something that will work. And even if you’re not shopping, it’s a great place for a long, leisurely stroll up one side of the street and back down the other side.
The Gardens at Cathédrale Saint-Gatien
While the cathedral is striking and beautiful on its own with all the stained-glass windows and history, the surrounding grounds are equally as impressive. We actually missed them the first time through Tours. Had we not poked around a corner on this particular trip, we would have missed them again. However, as chance would have it, we walked through the gates and ended up in front of the most unusual and amazing tree we’d ever seen. Walk a little further and around another corner, and you’ll find a large grassy area with a small cafe. You can grab a glass of wine or beer to go along with a sandwich. Or if you’re there earlier, you can have a croissant and a coffee. There are cafe tables and chairs under large shade trees.
Our daughter studied in Tours for a semester which is how we discovered this beautiful city park. Being in a residential neighborhood, it’s very much a family park.
Plumereau Square is lively and full of college students; there are many restaurants to choose from here as well. The architecture of the buildings that line this square help make it a story-book-looking environment.
Rue Colbert is a narrow street of restaurants that offers every cuisine possible. And yes, even Poke Bowls and tacos have made their way over here. But ignoring those, there are many great finds. We stopped at a charming creperie. What better way to start a month-long trip through France than kicking it off with the classic crepe?
If you’re searching for something classic French and a little more fancy, call ahead and make a reservation at Restaurant La Deuvalière (18 Rue de la Monnaie, 37000 Tours, France +33 2 47 64 01 57). For starters, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better french country pate anywhere in France. We had the roasted chicken for the main course, and for dessert, treat yourself to the Pain Perdue. It will leave you searching again and again for this treat as you dine your way through France.
Even if you don’t arrive by train, you can’t leave Tours without taking a stroll through the train station. You’ll find yourself standing on the platform, admiring the open-air architecture and wishing you had a ticket.
It’s located in the center of town and off the boulevard with a park-like walking/bike path down the middle lined with magnolia trees!
Our first night in France as we made our way back to our hotel, we saw a rainbow…so beautiful! That, in a nutshell is how to recover from jet lag & explore a new city at the same time!