Have you ever returned from a holiday feeling completely exhausted and in desperate need of a second, follow-up vacation just to recover? I’ve found that it’s a common theme when I travel. And, really, it’s perfectly understandable. If you’re visiting an exciting new place you naturally want to soak up everything the destination has to offer. So you often return home feeling like you’ve burnt the candle at both ends.
If you follow what I get up to day-to-day, on Instagram Stories, you will have noticed that I visited Evian Resort in France, last month. And it gave me an opportunity to practise the art of relaxation (I call it an art, because I’m famously bad at switching off).
Now, obviously if you’re spending a few days in New York, or a long-weekend in Barcelona, relaxation won’t be at the forefront of your mind. But my experience at the Hôtel Royal, Evian Resort, showed me how easy it is to carve out little pockets of time to properly unwind, when you’re travelling. And here are a few changes I’ll be adopting on future trips – whether they’re for work or play…
1. Hit the Spa. Or Bring the Spa Experience to Your Hotel Room
As you know, there are few things in life that I enjoy more than a massage. And I got to savour all of the perks of the tranquil spa at Hôtel Royal, during my stay. But I also brought the spa experience back to my room, and took a long, leisurely bath each afternoon. I set my phone to ‘do not disturb’, put on music and read magazines from cover-to-cover. It’s not something I ever make time to do at home, so it felt like a real treat.
And from now on I’m going to try and carve out an hour for a spa session (or a pamper party in my hotel room) every time I travel…
2. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself With a Long List of Activities
I’m really quite terrible at relaxing, and always like to have plans or a project on the go. So I tend to overwhelm myself with a long list of activities every time I travel. But at Evian Resort I learnt to appreciate a lighter schedule (which mostly came about by accident, because some of the outdoor activities we had planned were cancelled due to the weather).
It was so lovely to move at a slower pace. Enjoy a later wake-up call, spend an hour at the breakfast buffet (which, FYI, was amazing) and curl up in quiet corners of the hotel with a book. It proved that I don’t need to be busy every minute of the day to enjoy myself. A true revelation…
3. Spend Lots of Time Outside, Soaking Up That Fresh Air
The fact that I’ve suddenly developed an interest in air quality must be a sure sign that I’m getting old. It seems like a very grown-up thing to be concerned about! But London does have a serious problem with pollution, and it becomes even more apparent to me when I travel to cleaner parts of the globe.
If you’re searching for clean, crisp air you can’t do much better than Evian, which is situated on Lake Geneva, in France. We spent lots of time outside – even when it rained – and all of that fresh, mountain air really helped to rejuvenate me.
I often travel to bustling cities that rival London when it comes to smog. But even so, I’m going to try and seek out public parks and little green havens each time I travel, from now on, as it’s so revitalising to be out in nature.
4. Indulge, but don’t over indulge
Evian Resort prides itself on providing restorative breaks for its guests. And part of that experience involves healing from the inside out, with fresh, locally-sourced foods that have been enriched by the mineral water that surrounds the resort.
I ate so well during my stay at Hôtel Royal – enjoying a mix of fresh fish caught from the lake and delicious veggies every day. Naturally, there were plenty of pastries factored into my diet too (it is France, after all). But because I was eating wholesome, nutritious food for lunch and dinner I never felt like I’d over-indulged.
Going forwards I’m going to make sure that I favour fresh, nourishing meals on the final two days of any future vacations. That way I’ll hopefully never return home feeling sluggish and run-down.
Have you ever returned from a vacation feeling like you need to take another holiday just to recover? And is Evian Resort, Lake Geneva on your travel bucket list? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts…
Disclaimer: I stayed in Evian for two nights as a guest of Hotel Royal, Evian Resort. All opinions are my own.