HOLIDAYS - something we all look forward to and something we all feel that we deserve. Of course, some countries realise this and treat their retired folk to a week's holiday, but I can't see it appearing on our country's agenda for a while, can you?
So, what reason do YOU have for not taking that well deserved break? Can't afford it? Remember that old saying - "take care of pennies and pounds will take care of themselves"? Well, although in this modern ‘throw away' society no one appears to be particularly worried about pennies, saying is as true today as ever it was. Take an example - when out shopping, how often do we think ‘I need a rest, I'll pop into café for a coffee and perhaps a muffin'? Well, just forego that coffee and muffin every week and at end of year you have that return flight to say Spain. To this end, half way through shopping I return to car not only to drop off my purchases, but to pour myself a coffee from my flask and also to rest and relax whilst listening to radio. Alternatively, if weather is nice, you can enjoy your coffee in fresh air in park. Also, go without just one packet of cigarettes or that takeaway (you'll probably not even notice difference, but your body probably will) and miraculously at end of year you'll have accommodation as well. Follow maxim of TV beauty advert and think ‘I deserve it'!
So, now we are ready to go on holiday and we come to dreaded packing. I'm talking ladies here. (Men don't have a packing problem, do they? - they can pack in 5 minutes flat. After all, there's only a few clothes, money and passport. What's problem?)
Clothes wise - if you want to take minimum, then think basic duo colours, say black and white. It's amazing how you can mix and match and appear to have taken more clothes than you have. Also, basic clothes can be dressed up with a coloured wrap or jewellery as occasion arises, and one stole/wrap can be a shoulder wrap/pillow on plane, a wrap over your swimsuit, or over your dress in evening when perhaps its cooler.
Because I am rather absent minded and can never remember where I have put things when I'm in a different environment, I have simplified my packing using differently coloured plastic bags. Tights, pants, bras, make-up, hair products, etc. all go into separate bags, and then on arrival at holiday hotel, I don't unpack bags but just pop them into drawers relating to position on my body, eg tights (feet) would be in bottom drawer and hair products (head) would be in top drawer. (I'm assuming, of course, that hotel has provided drawers, but, if not, do not despair, just hang labelled carrier bags in order on hangers in wardrobe, or just in case hanging space is limited, take with you plastic hooks to put over doors). The bedside cabinet is reserved for essentials and emergencies, eg medicines, first aid, phone numbers, travel insurance, mobile phone, paper, pens, etc. Also take envelopes, already addressed, for holiday cards you are going to send. I find that envelopes take approx. 3 days to reach this country and cards usually arrive after I have returned from holiday. (Now, if I'm beginning to sound a bit smug with all this efficiency, I'm quickly brought down to earth by remembering initial horror I felt when after my holiday and returning from a frantic shopping expedition, I found that I had been using carrier bags boldly emblazoned with words ‘PANTS & BRAS'.)