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Jet lagged hours between landing and check in

There must be experienced travelers to help me figure out how to survive from 8 am to 3 pm hotel check in, Paris time, having just gotten off a ten +hour flight from Seattle, with a nine hour time zone shift. Hang out in parks and take turns napping? Fall over in a cafe? I need some safe ideas.

Posted by
2764 posts

I grant you, coming from west coast is more difficult--brutal even! Have you inquired about an early check-in? If you know for sure you are going to struggle, it might even be worth paying extra.
My usual routine is to try to get on the local time schedule and to spend a lot of time outdoors. You'll have two meals to look forward to in that time, so for the in-between, look for gardens and parks or just a nice neighborhood to stroll.

Posted by
11448 posts

The first thing you do is go to your hotel. Check in may be at 3 PM but if they have a room available, they will let you have it. Even if they don't, they are aware you are there and will try to get one as quick as possible. Plus you can drop off your luggage.

Jet lag hates sun and activity. Go outside, take a walk, grab a coffee and a light breakfast. Explore the neighborhood you'll be staying in and scout out some restaurants or shops you may want to visit during your stay. I do not suggest any indoor activies or just sitting in a cafe. You will get even more tired.

Make sure your watch has been set to Paris time when you take off. Your mind will start to think you are on that time.

If your room is ready....I do not suggest going to sleep. You will not change your body clock that way. Take a shower, change your clothes, and get outside. Get active. Make it an early night instead. If you must sleep, set an alarm for no more than a couple of hours.

Posted by
7268 posts

When is the trip?
If you have not booked your hotel, there are some that offer an anytime checkin for a fee;
I know specifically that the Ibis Hotel chain part of the the Accor Hotels brand offers early checkin so you can take a cold shower if you need to wake up. But to echo the above you do not want to go to sleep until at least 8 or 9 pm.

Posted by
2442 posts

The Le Citizen in the 10th Arr. has let us check in early. They actually emailed me a few days before the check-in date to see if we wanted to check in early!

Obviously, this was in the before time.

I'm one those people who just wants a shower and a nap after an overnight flight.

Posted by
1966 posts

Outside as much as possible. You won't be able to concentrate well so museums may not be a good idea.

Even outside, I nearly fell asleep on a park bench, or sitting anywhere, actually. It's hard.

Just try to limit any naps to no more than an hour total if you want to get on local time. Agree with EP and Frank III. Works for us.

Posted by
2278 posts

In our case, when faced with an early arrival after the long overnight flight, we've started booking our accommodation for the night before so that the room is ready on arrival. Yeah, it does cost a few dollars but we've found that the restorative effect of a shower and a (short) power nap is worth it for us, and generally makes our arrival day a productive and more enjoyable one.

Posted by
3353 posts

I really, really hope it's not raining on your arrival day because the first 2 posters are correct. Stay outside and keep moving as much as possible.

If you arrive at 8:00, it could be 10 or even 11 before you get to your hotel if arrivals immigration is busy and you need to pick up luggage from the carousels. Dump your luggage with the hotel, and if they can't give you a room, head outside. Have a late breakfast if it's still early enough. Explore the neighborhood. Make sure you have gotten your transportation pass. Rick has a few good self guided walks (check out the audioguides) that can easily kill a couple of hours. Have supper and then go to sleep. Hopefully your internal clock will reset quickly. For some reason our usually take a couple of days.

Posted by
5648 posts

We’ve had times where we could at least stash our bags at the hotel, even if rooms weren’t going to be available until much later. Is it possible to find your hotel (this way, you’ll know where it is, and be able to find it later 😊), drop off the luggage at the very least, and then check out the neighborhood there? Coffee or another source of caffeine might help get you through. Is there an interesting museum in the area, complete with benches or seating if you need to get off your feet for a spell? Having an inside option if the weather doesn’t cooperate could help.

Exploring the neighborhood after stowing your luggage could help you determine where to eat that evening. Having an early dinner has helped with a first night, somewhere closer to our room as opposed to quite some distance away, to allow getting to bed sooner. That makes the next morning easier and helps cut the adjustment period.

Posted by
881 posts

I pay for the room the night before.

With this, I look for the earlier overnights, when available. Getting to a hotel at 6 or 7 am, straight into bed, and rested, showered, and back on the streets before noon.

It's a splurge, but one that makes a huge difference in the first few days of a whole trip.

(Note that this requires multiple confirmation emails, to assure the reservation isn't marked as "no show" prior to arrival.)

Posted by
2745 posts

First, do you estimate getting into the city at 8 or does your plane land at 8? If it's the latter, you won't be out of the airport and into Paris until 9 or 10 anyway (getting off plane, passport checks, whatever vaccine or testing verification there may be, luggage, transit)

First, go to the hotel, drop off your luggage and ask for an early check in. Your room probably won't be ready at 8, but they may say you can call/text/return at noon or something to see if there is a room ready early.

Then walk around your neighborhood. Find a cafe and get a coffee, find restaurants that look interesting for later, find a grocery store if you plan on buying snacks or picnic food, find the metro stop, all of that get-oriented stuff.

Then it's just killing time. Be outside doing "easy" things. This is not the time to go to the Louvre or something indoor and requiring concentration (I made this mistake in Madrid and sleepwalked through the Prado. It was a nightmare). You can go look at the Eiffel tower, hang out in the park there - that's a great WOW moment that will wake you up! Walk through parks. Stop and get a non-alcoholic drink often. A great thing about much of Europe, Paris included, is that at most cafes you can just order a coffee and sit there for as long as you want. So sit, drink your coffee, maybe get some sort of small snack like a pastry, and people watch. Walk or sit in parks more, have lunch, and so forth. Visiting a church can be nice, but if you are too tired you might fall asleep. Still, if you can stay awake, sitting in a pew and looking at the art is restful.

If you like taking photos, that's a great activity. Go on a photo walk - this is fun and keeps you alert. You can't take good photos without paying attention, which keeps you awake.

It's really hard but don't nap if at all possible. The best way to beat jet lag in my experience is to stay up until something like 8PM, then sleep until a late but reasonable for you wake up time the next morning. You wake up a bit more on local time that way than if you get your hours all mixed up

Also do NOT think about what time it is at home. You are in Paris, it is noon, you are having lunch, what time it is in Seattle doesn't matter!

Posted by
94 posts

We pay for the room the night before. The ability to crash for a couple hours, then shower, helps us get the most out of that first day. If we arrive at 8am we are generally at the hotel by 9:30 or 10 at the latest. 2 hours of sleep and then head out for lunch really helps us set our body clocks.

Posted by
1164 posts

Do you have a choice of flight times? I try to catch a non-stop flight from SFO that will get me to Europe no earlier than mid-afternoon to minimize that long first day without sleep.

Posted by
1789 posts

May I suggest a walking tour for the day of arrival. I discovered accidentally that physically I am ok but not as great at thinking after traveling overseas. What happened is that I flew to Helsinki and arrived at my hotel about 11 am the day before a conference started. A colleague who had arrived several days earlier met me there and took me touring the city. With the bright sunshine (it was June), I did not head back to my hotel until 11 pm.

In 2018 my husband and I flew into London and arrived at our hotel at 11 am. We checked in our luggage, had a quick lunch, and walked to to parliament (about 20 minutes). Then trying to replicate my colleague guide in Helsinki, we took a walking tour of London. We had absolutely no problem with it-someone else took us around and told us what we were seeing. It was infinitely better than wandering around ourselves. When it was finished, we walked back to our hotel and crashed. It was well past check in time at this point.

Posted by
3469 posts

Your inquiry reminds me of our first trip to Europe (from Seattle). We arrived in Rome and took the train to Florence. I agree with others- Set your watch to new time as you depart, try to sleep in the air, stow your luggage at the hotel, get out and enjoy a walk, rehydrate and have a meal. Stay awake until bedtime. After many journeys to Europe we find we are ready to tour after a good night’s sleep.

Posted by
1129 posts

I, too, pay for an extra night to make sure I have my room. That way I can check in, be saved the speech about being too early, take a shower and then hit the ground running. I also like to book a tour for the afternoon or evening to make sure I am forced to be out and in the thick of it!

Bon courage!

Posted by
4611 posts

Hi, we used to live in the Seattle area and took the Seattle-to-CDG non-stop flight several times. I briefly scanned the other responses so hope I’m not duplicating.

My husband and I deal with jet lag differently. He really needs an hour nap after we arrive while I do best walking outdoors. Sometimes for those morning arrivals we stop at a small shop for a light, quick breakfast on the way to our hotel. Push yourself to walk if possible. If not, be sure to set your alarm, so you don’t sleep too long!

When checking into the hotel, I try to be very cordial sharing that I know we arrived earlier than their check-in time. Sometimes a room is ready; other times we just leave our suitcases with them. If the room isn’t ready, we walk over to the Luxembourg Garden where my husband can take a snooze in the shade while I walk. If he’s in the hotel room, or I’m traveling by myself, I will explore for a couple of hours. When I’m traveling by myself, I begin to head back to the proximity of my hotel by 4pm. My mind gets a bit fuzzy from the lack of sleep by then, and if I sit down too long, I want to drop asleep.

We’ve also arrived at CDG, taken the RER into the city, transferred to a train and headed to another location in France for our first evening. So, you will be fine - just keep that first day itinerary completely open.

There’s so many beautiful spots to walk in Paris anytime of the year! Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
103 posts

A month or so before the trip adjust your own time; move your local clock an hour ahead per week. Living in Seattle we always did this before heading to Europe. That way instead of being off by 9 or 10 hours it is greatly reduced. Yes, it will seen odd to go to bed at 5 or 6 PM and then wake up in the wee hours; but it works.
Upon arrival, follow what others have stated and either ask for early check-in or just drop your bags at the hotel. They will call/text when you room is ready.
Finally, spend time in the outdoors - rain or shine. Go on any one of the RS walking tours as described in his book; take one of the "free" walking tours in the area. Have an outdoor picnic or lunch. Do Not do anything indoors or you will crash.
Find an early dinner outdoors and call it a day around 8/9 PM.
You'll still feel some level of jet lag the next day but it will be greatly reduced.

Posted by
5265 posts

All good advice above, and as you can see different people handle "arrival day" differently. I'm in the "stay awake" group, which is why I look for evening takeoffs and afternoon landings when possible. Leave bags at the hotel, wander around looking for nearby dinner options, hit an ATM, buy a local SIM card and/or transit pass if needed, caffeinate if necessary and certainly drink water or other non-alcohol. I look for an early dinner (with alcohol) and bedtime with a sleep aid to keep me under (hopefully) till morning. If that works then I'm pretty much good to go from there on.

The idea of filling time with a walking tour seems like a good one, but I'd suggest one of the "free" tours where you tip the guide at the end, instead of an expensive tour that might be wasted on your foggy brain. Paris Walks has relatively low-cost, high-quality tours that don't require a reservation, but I see they have suspended them for the time being.

Posted by
6801 posts

We drop our bags and use the time to walk the neighborhood around the hotel, noting location of things we might need (laundromat, pharmacies, tube stops, bakeries, etc.,) and especially noting restaurants we might be interested in. No napping as that dooms us to days of adjustment.

Posted by
1804 posts

Hi Islandteacher, do drop off your luggage at your hotel (or Airbnb if possible) then take Rick Steves’ Historic Paris self-guided walking tour if it’s not raining. If it is, explore your neighborhood instead. Once you’ve knocked off a few hours, chances are your room will be ready by noon since your hotelier or Airbnb knows that you’re waiting. You can then unpack and shower and you'll be amazed at how good you feel.
You’ve received good advice about not visiting a museum on arrival day because you need to keep moving, not stand in front of a picture. Standing alone can take a lot out of you.
I also recommend eating breakfast on the plane and nothing again until dinner time. Once the gut is full, you’ll be more inclined to sleep. I also recommend falling asleep after 9p, however, it is relaxing to put on your pajamas before then and crawl into bed and read your guidebook.

Posted by
3789 posts

At my stage in life, I say pay for early check in, or book for the night before telling them you are checking in at 9am. Catch a 2 or 3 hour nap then hit the daylight.

Posted by
1585 posts

I can’t do it so I take a flight that lands between noon and 3ish. Non stop flights are preferable, but if my flight has a long layover in Europe, I might stay a night or two in that city to help my jet lag before I get to my final destination.

Posted by
4 posts

Once again, thank you everyone. Some true travel.pros who are willing to share all that gleaned info.

Posted by
1966 posts

I'd like to add that I don't see a good reason for early check-in. You don't want to sleep at 10 a.m., you want to get out and get moving. Drop off your bags and return in the early afternoon when your room is ready, take a shower and short nap, and then get back out there again. My two cents.

Posted by
8510 posts

Once the kids no longer flew trans-Atlantic with us, we got in the habit of arrival coffee and croissants, a walk, a four-hour nap, another walk, a good meal with wine, and a good night's sleep. We have always been able to move into a hotel room upon arrival, but we stay in Ibis hotels, not ones in a certain very popular guidebook.

Posted by
21859 posts

How you deal with jet lag is what works for you and not necessarily what works for someone else. Those who tell you to stay up are just as wrong as others telling you to take a nap. Unfortunately you have to try both and see what works because it is strictly how your body reacts.

In all of our years of travels it has been very rare for our room not to be available by late morning. For years we followed the "conventional wisdom" and stayed up, walked in the sun, had some miserable dinner around 7pm trying to stay awake. Then going to bed around 9 or so but being so exhausted we didn't sleep well. Then about 20 years ago, more by accident than a plan we were in room around 3 pm and just fell asleep. Fortunately something woke about 4.30 but we panicked because we had not been outside in the sun. ___ violated the rule --- Immediately ran outside and began walking. Suddenly realized that we felt quite refreshed. Delayed going to dinner until around 8, had an absolutely wonder dinner, enjoyed dessert and then a casual stroll back to the hotel feeling almost normal. Went to bed closer to 11, and had a good nights sleep. The next day we felt much better than in any of our previous trips.

In analysis, we concluded that the nap was the difference. Since then that is our pattern. We do set an alarm for two hours but find we naturally wake up after an hour and half or so. Then we get outside in sun for the remaining four or five hours, have nice dinner and to bed around 11. For us, that almost completely solves the jet lag problem. The next day we might feel a little off but never more than two days.

P.S. Since retirement we have added in time shifting and try to shift about four hours in the two weeks prior to departure and coupled with business class. That has completely solved our jet lag problems.

Posted by
34 posts

The only thing I can add to these great responses is to buy a hop on/hop off bus pass so you can sit up in the fresh air, see the most well known sites and come up with ideas for the rest of the trip. I did that in London and it helped pass the time.

Posted by
5697 posts

Gently disagree about the hop-on-hop-off bus -- depending on how you feel, it can be an expensive naptime. If you ARE awake, however, however, it can be a great introduction. An alternative is the Seine cruise, sitting outside in fresh air and sunshine -- and a fantastic first view of the Tour Eiffel.

Posted by
5265 posts

Yes, I'm with Laura instead of Espo on the bus question. Think of how easily babies nod off on car rides.

As you can tell, Islandteacher, you've asked one of the top questions for response volume on this forum. Everyone has a story, a technique, a cautionary tale. The only people who don't respond to this topic are the ones who can sleep on planes, either because they're very lucky or they can afford first class. That's not most of us. Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
3714 posts

My favorite routes from the US to Europe start in Seattle. It doesn't matter where I sit on the plane, I rarely get much sleep. I'm usually too excited about going on the trip.

As recommended, I set my watch to the time of my destination early in the flight. My phone automatically adjusts as soon as I turn it on in Europe.

I'm guessing that you're looking at the nonstop Delta flight from Seattle that arrives at CDG at about 08:15. This is a link to the airport's website in English: https://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/charles-de-gaulle-airport. It should help you to learn about getting around there.

It can take quite some time to get off the plane, through passport control, get some € cash, maybe get coffee and a croissant, check that your phone is working properly and prepare for the next phase of your arrival.

Rather than rushing straight to the exit door, I like to do all those things while I'm still at the airport because there are so many people there who can provide help and information and who speak English.

If you haven't already, take a look at the info on the website about the services available at the airport and at the section on how to get to town from there. After you've sorted things out, you can then work your way to a place to get transportation to your lodgings.

Depending on how all that goes it could be close to 11:00 before you arrive at your lodgings or maybe even before you get out of the airport.

This appears to be your first trip to Europe and you are looking for safe ideas about how to spend the time between arrival and check in. If I'm correct about that, I highly recommend that you thoroughly explore the Travel Tips section of this RS website:
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips.

The articles there cover much more than filling the jet-lag time and they can provide suggestions and info that could help raise your confidence level about safety.

Personally, I'm a religious money belt wearer and light packer. That means I have much less to manage and worry about -- especially during my jet-lagged arrival.

It's been my experience that every place I've stayed upon arriving was able to store my little bags or have a room for me much faster than I expected. If they have a restaurant, or can suggest someplace nearby, getting something to eat beyond my snack at the airport seems to perk me up.

Once I get into my room, I move in. I hate working out of a suitcase, so I unpack, more thoroughly if I'm going to be there longer than 2 nights. This also takes up some of the time I'm trying to stay awake.

I do my best trying to stay up until a normal bedtime for me, using many of the suggestions already provided. I find that if go to sleep too early, I'll wake up too early in the morning. Sometimes taking a brief nap before having dinner helps to push my clock forward closer to local time.

Sometimes my mind and body just doesn't play nicely with my attempts to trick it into accepting local time. At those times I let Mother Nature win.

An off the wall suggestion: I recently I read that chewing gum helps keep a person awake while driving. I tried it and it does help. Who knew? I may try that next time I'm trying to stay awake upon arrival in Europe. 🥱

Posted by
4181 posts

As most everybody has said, go to the hotel and if you can’t check in, drop off your bag. Prior to going over, research the area around your hotel for places you may want to visit. That way, unless you just want to wander, you know exactly where to head to. You can bookmark/save the places to Google maps, then download the map for offline use. In airplane mode you don’t need to use any data. Don’t think you’ll have any problem finding a cafe or pastry shop where you can spend some time people watching. Depending on the hotel, you may be able to nap in the corner of the lobby if you’re completely exhausted.

Posted by
736 posts

Frank II is wise. It seems from Nashville we always get to Europe in the early morning after a long restless flight trying to sleep. We landed in Paris a few years ago ....... we we very excited and ready to see this beautiful city. We dropped off our luggage at our hotel because our room was not available for us. We were trying to stay busy so we walked almost 8 miles across the city to pick up our paris museum pass. We were beyond exhausted but the walk outdoors revived us and we slept like babies that night. We think this is the best plan. Then we get on the local time.

Posted by
21314 posts

Yes, no buses for me on arrival day. I have slept on buses traversing jaw-dropping scenery on days when I was not jetlagged.

Surviving the jetlagged arrival day starts for me with doing what I can to get a bit of sleep on the plane. I am almost never successful, because I have sleep issues even at home, but I do try: I eat very lightly, sometimes just packing a small snack from home so I can ignore the meal service that happens a couple of hours into the flight. I don't drink anything except water. I don't watch movies on the eastbound trip. I wear an eye mask and earplugs. Those tactics at least give me the satisfaction of knowing I have tried.

If you're going to hit an ATM that day to pick up local currency, plan ahead of time how much you want to withdraw. I once didn't do that, and in making the mental currency conversion I misplaced the decimal point and withdrew ten times as much money as I intended. Fortunately, I had only planned to get about the equivalent of $40 (I use my credit cards for nearly everything), so I ended up with only $400, and I was going to be in that (non-euro) country for at least three weeks. Had I intended to get something like $200 worth and withdrawn ten times that much, I would have been in a pickle. Needless to say, I am not mentally equipped to go to a museum on my arrival day.

Posted by
34 posts

Let me clarify my bus suggestion: I'm assuming the weather is nice and you are sitting on the top tier in the fresh air and sun. I don't think I would fall asleep in those conditions but if a bus ride makes you sleepy it's obviously not the right choice.

Posted by
451 posts

From your neighbor to the south: We have had the same schedule to Paris as your flight. By the time you get through customs, and take transportation to your hotel destination, a couple of hours will have passed.
What we did: We were staying at a rental in the Rue Cler district, so we dropped our bags off at the "office." We then took a short walk around the "neighborhood," which felt great after sitting on the airplane for hours.
By then we were famished, so we had a leisurely lunch at a restaurant with outdoor seating. I think we walked a little more after lunch, and then we were able to check-in.
Incidentally, flying to Europe from the West coast means we usually wake up around 4:00 a.m for a 6:00 a.m. flight to a major airport. So by the time we reach our final destination, we will have been awake at least 18 hours. Walking outdoors in the sunlight helps to keep us awake because we usually don't want to go to bed until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. local time.
We have friends who try to "adjust" to European time from Pacific Daylight time several weeks ahead of their flight by going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. They do this gradually. We always have good intentions of doing the same, but we are not as disciplined.

Posted by
11292 posts

I agree that everyone is different. What I find in addition is that how I feel is different on each trip. Usually I'm tired the first day and struggling to do anything, but on one trip I was extremely wired (I was talking to strangers whether they wanted to hear from me or not!).

I have learned the hard way that if I am going to take a nap, I MUST set an alarm, or else I can sleep too long and really mess up my sleep-wake cycle for days. Now that we all have alarms built into our phones, that's easy.

Posted by
162 posts

In Paris, I'd suggest a stroll around the bouquinistes lining the Seine. It gets you outside, it is a low mental concentration activity, provides marvelous views of the Seine, Notre Dame, and the occasional artist at work. Sure there is plenty of tourist junk but there also books, prints, magazines, and odds and ends. Head to Île St Louis to Berthillon for the ice cream for a refresher or sit at a cafe to watch the world go by (or both). You will really feel like you are in Paris.

Posted by
140 posts

I hope it's alright if I jump in on the thread instead of starting one that is similar. We are going to France in late October of this year if traveling is allowed. I live on the East coast of the USA. France time is 6 hours ahead of mine. Our flight is on a Monday afternoon so what I'm going to do is the prior Thursday I'm going to set my time to France and do the same thing each day to try and prepare myself for the time difference. So, I will have Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday to hopefully make somewhat of an adjustment. Has anyone tried this? And, did it help?

Posted by
6801 posts

trblee, yes this is a legitimate technique I've heard of, but never had the time luxury to try. But usually its adjusting gradually, an hour per day at a time, until you are synched. But I think its just as important that meal times also be adjusted, so your body isn't expecting dinner when its breakfast time. G.ive it a try and report back

Posted by
6729 posts

We have done this so many times. Usually by the time we get into town it is mid morning. We drop the bags at the hotel -- sometimes a room is available, but usually not -- we then go get coffee and second breakfast and take our time with that -- and then stroll if weather is good and go hang out and read in a park.

Posted by
21859 posts

We are eight hours out. We do it fairly frequently since we are retired. IMO and from what I have read and our experience it is best to do it an hour at a time. Our goal is to adjust at least four to five hours out of the eight. A little like daylight savings adjustment. We will start two, three ahead and move the clock an hour, three to four days later move another hour, and repeat. Everything goes on the new schedule goes on the new time -- meals, pills, body functions. Then the day before total shift to the landing time. That means the day of departure we are probably up at 3am, breakfast, at 4, lunch at 9. Our direct flights departure around 8 pm. So we may be in the airport by 4, have a big dinner in one of the better airport restaurants with wine, settle into the gate area around 6 and do what we normally do in the evening - read, watch evening news, as we prepared for a routine bedtime of about 8. When we board the plane we settle in quickly, remove our shoes, put on eye shades, ear plugs, and ignore all food services. With in 30 minutes of wheels up we should be sleeping light and we are physical tire since we have been up since 3. Around an hour and half prior to arrival, we wake up, do the bathroom routine, take whatever breakfast is offered. Generally feel pretty good, hit the ground, check-in at the hotel, catch a two hour or less nap around 3 pm. And we are pretty much good to go the next day. It takes some discipline to do that but it works pretty well for us. For you just focus on shifting three or four hours instead of all six.

Posted by
140 posts

Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, we do not have a direct flight. I should be able to make a 4 hours time shift with ease before we go. Our flight lands at CDG at 6:30 AM Paris time. With a few hours sleep on the plane and the excitement of being in France, I should be able to make it alright.

Our trip is still 6 months away. I'll start another topic later and get thoughts and ideas for our itinerary.

Posted by
18 posts

Sometimes It can help to email your hotel the day before and let them know your approximate arrival time.

Posted by
298 posts

Before moving to France I flew many times between the west coast of the U.S. and France or Switzerland; often landing in the early morning Central European Time. When I did, I followed the usual advice to stay up the first day, and found that walking, walking, walking was the best prescription for me. After my hotel room became available, I would check in, unpack, take a shower, put on fresh clothes, and head back out for more walking. There's so much to see in Paris by foot it doesn't get old (at least for me). The trips to Geneva weren't quite as straightforward, because outside old Geneva or the lake front I haven't found Geneva to be so interesting.

And -- despite another comment describing dinner after staying up all day as a "miserable dinner," I had one of the most pleasant dinners on my very first visit to Paris at what was little more than a bar that served food. There were few other guests, and the food was simple but quite good. With a small carafe of wine, it was great -- the chef even came out to ask if I liked it, since the staff knew by then it was my first visit and (at that time) I could only draw on my high school/college French from decades ago.

I enjoyed seeing the lights on my way back to the hotel, amazed at how quiet the smaller streets were by then, and hit the sack, very tired, but content. Woke up the next day ready to go.

I've used the same formula every time when possible (some business trip schedules meant I had to get on a train at CDG to head south after clearing the passport check).

Posted by
6801 posts

. . . And -- despite another comment describing dinner after staying up all day as a "miserable dinner," . . . "

On our first RS tour. We had arrived a few days early for Ambien-facilitated adjustment. When we had the first evening's group dinner, after the initial meeting and orientation walk, we noticed the people who had just arrived that day, falling asleep at the dinner table, one of whom literally face-planted into his plate. We still laugh about it, and didn't ignore the lesson.