This year, Colin and I made the decision to travel to Cannes three days before the start of the Market, to give ourselves a chance to get over the jetlag and also spend the crucial 48 hours before it all begins confirming meetings, responding to emails, and being generally available and reachable, instead of being offline and in transit, sitting on airplanes and in airports with spotty wifi.

A relaxing train ride from Nice, just one of the benefits of arriving early.

A relaxing train ride from Nice, just one of the benefits of arriving early.

It can be pretty difficult to set aside an extra two or three extra days when you’re already going on a long trip. It might depend on your job situation, whether you’re taking time off from a job or whether your job is sending you and therefore dictating the details and dates. It might depend on your family situation, and you might not want to be away from your kids or at home responsibilities for any longer than necessary. All that is fair enough. The first two times I came, I was battling a busy work schedule from which I was taking time off to be here. It was all an unavoidably frenzied rush and I ended up with a bad cold after each trip, because I was so run down and exhausted.

But if you are working for yourself or have a flexible enough schedule that leaving early is an option, I can’t recommend it more highly. Three days is luxurious, but even one extra day can make the difference between starting your festival experience off tired and disoriented, or starting it feeling like you’re on top of the world.

If you’re already shelling out the money for a flight and accommodations, adding one or two extra nights probably isn’t going to break the bank (or, if you worry that it might, you can start planning and saving a month or two earlier with this strategy in mind).