When is a holiday TOO busy?

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I would call myself a fairly energetic person – I like to be busy. But I think I managed to ‘out-busy’ even myself on our recent holiday to France! When is a holiday TOO busy?


Our holiday plans are usually pretty full-on and include visiting multiple cities, and on longer jaunts, having periods of downtime in between (such as spending a week at our French abode).  But on this occasion, we set ourselves a packed itinerary, including some DIY work in France… and I think it ruined me!


Here’s a quick download of our 16 day road trip across France and Switzerland:


Day 1:  Drive the 465 miles from Edinburgh to Folkestone and catch the Eurotunnel to Calais, stay overnight.


Day 2:  Drive from Calais to Mont Saint-Michel. Check into our hotel (the Auberge de la Baie), then walk the 4 mile round trip out to the tidal island and back (as the dog isn’t allowed on the shuttle bus)!


  Mont Saint-Michel 1 - When is a holiday TOO busy  Mont Saint-Michel 2 - When is a holiday TOO busy


Day 3:  Drive from Mont Saint-Michel to Saint-Malo for lunch – wander round and take pics of pirate ships! I visited Saint-Malo back in 2007, so we decided not to stay on this occasion. Drive to La Rochelle. Check into hotel and then wander around the old harbour, have anniversary dinner with husband!


  St Malo - When is a holiday TOO busy  La Rochelle - When is a holiday TOO busy


Day 4:  Drive inland to our house in the Vienne.


Day 5, 6, and 7 involve a lot of DIY:  cutting and refitting doors (after laying a floor on the previous holiday) and clearing the garden (the grass was 2ft high)!


DIY - When is a holiday TOO busy


Day 8:  Drive the 370 miles from our house to Couvet in Switzerland, to attend the annual Fête de l’Absinthe (read more here)! Check into our hotel (the marvellous Hotel de l’Aigle)at about 2pm and then head to the distillery for a tasting, followed by a fondue dinner and more absinthe.


  Fondue dinner - When is a holiday TOO busy  Absinthe - When is a holiday TOO busy


Day 9:  Go to the Absinthe Festival in Boveresse; drive up a big hill to a mountain auberge for röschti pizza; then have a BBQ in a friend’s back yard while drinking more absinthe.


Day 10:  Groan. Drive the 230 miles back to Vichy in France.  Have dinner in the 32c heat and then sleep!


Vichy - When is a holiday TOO busy


Day 11:  Drive the 3hrs to Montmorillon to pick up a friend.  Have lunch in Montmorillon and then drive back to our house to have a BBQ.


Day 12:  Sit on the terrace and relax for the first time in days, then drive to Confolens for lunch on Hotel Emeraude‘s new garden terrace – NOM!  Then after lunch, drive to Chabanais to visit the vet to get #Moosethetravellingdog ‘s passport stamped for returning to the UK.


Day 13:  Drive our friend back to Poitiers to catch her flight, then drive home to play the Fête de la Musique in our little village.  Play a set in 36c heat, then sit down to drink a beautiful cold G&T and eat dinner in the street, watching bands until midnight – bliss!


Day 14:  Clean the house in preparation for leaving.


Day 15:  Drive the 400+ miles to Calais, catch the Eurotunnel, drive to the Ibis Thurrock to stay overnight.


Day 16:  Drive the 400+ miles back to Edinburgh!


With over 3000 miles driven in 16 days, is it any wonder I’ve put my back out and feel exhausted? Perhaps I’m getting old…


I’ve been travelling extensively for 18 years, so I’m no rookie, but I think your travel plans have to evolve with your energy levels – perhaps it’s time I re-adjust mine a little 😉


All photos © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine, though!). Images shot with a Canon DSLR T3i Rebel + Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM; and an iPhone6s.




  • Haha yes, they say holidays are supposed to be restful!

    But I know the feeling. When I go away for trips, I take the vew that every day I’m away is special and must be used – the idea of doing “nothing” and just resting doesn’t occur to me as I consider it to be a ‘waste of a day’!. The bad outcome of this is I can get overly tired and stressed about it so I don’t necessarily enjoy the holiday as much as I should …

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      We have the same approach – it’s always busy busy busy, but we love that… until we get home and go back to work exhausted! On our last trip to France in August, we decided to do very little and spent much of it reading in our garden and actively not doing stuff – it was the first time in ages that doing nothing was just what we needed!

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