Backpacking is the favorite cheap travel option for students while whirlwind tours are popular with Americans, who average only 2 weeks of vacation time off work each year versus the 5 week European average.
Personally, at this moment, alone time and alone-together time (kid free) are scarce! Our soon to be three year old daughter is a handful! We knew we could only get away with leaving the kids for one night with my parents- in- law while visiting them in France. Without asking first (too risky), we booked one night in a hotel on Belle Ile, an island just off the south coast of Brittany. My first recommendation; if you have only one day to get away, you can’t go wrong choosing a destination with a name like “Beautiful Island”.
When it’s just for one day, do you make choices differently too? One extreme or the other? On a recent overnight in Amsterdam at the trendy V Hotel, I knowingly booked the “sous-terrain” room because it was just for a night. Let’s call it like it is; a tiny basement room featuring a typical, small basement window with a view of the basement window of the adjacent building. It was fine, but just for one night…
On Belle Ile we went the other direction entirely. Selected the most luxurious hotel; and why not upgrade to a beautiful sea view room with a balcony, since it is just for one night? We left our car parked on the mainland and rented a very special and totally impractical buggy. It had no doors or windows or space for luggage, but how often do you get to rent a car that has a smiley face?
Thalasso treatments; why not book one in the evening and one in the morning, my husband shockingly suggested. You bet I earned those treatments after being dragged around the admittedly beautiful rocky coastline to see every jagged rock and cliff all in one afternoon. When we decided to go for a dip before dinner and discovered the indoor pool had just closed, we sneaked in anyway! It was, after all, our only chance to enjoy it. Fine dining on the freshest local products at the hotel’s restaurant? Bon appetit!
I am not a morning person, but I found myself wanting to get up early, set the alarm even, to have extra time to relax, huh? The time constraint did put some pressure on us, but we packed so much into our 29 hours on Belle Ile that is seemed as if we had been away much longer and we felt refreshed, exhausted and inspired all at the same time.
In the morning came the moment of truth (besides the bill). After one Abhyanga massage “for her” and one hike “for him”, we walked out to the terrace in our robes. We had seen one crazy woman swimming in the outdoor pool when we arrived the day before. Soon it would be time for us to check out and go explore the other side of the island. The sun was shinning, but the temperature was barely 12 degrees, (53 F). Without much hesitation, we dropped our robes and dove right in! It was divine and we laughed at the poor saps we could see inside on treadmills as we splashed and swam in the sunshine.
You have this day, just one day. Do you take the plunge?