Packing: pack light, pack tight, pack carefullyWritten by Gareth Powell
There are three areas of expertise when it comes to packing to travel: frequent travelers, airline cabin staff, butlers and valets. Strangely, all seem to come up with same advice: fold it carefully, pad it well, pack it tight. The definitive authority on packing is Stanley Ager, who was butler to second and third Lords St Levan. He would pack a suitcase for their lordships for a sea voyage to East Africa. If, on arrival, clothes were not instantly ready to wear, he felt he had failed. These are heights to which few of us can aspire, but it is something to aim for. Rules for packing a suitcase for overseas travel • Place on a bed everything you simply have to take, pared down to bare essentials. Then deduct 50 per cent. • Brush clothes with a clothes brush before you pack them. • Shirts that have been to laundry should not be unpacked from their laundry wrappings. • Fold clothes on a bed or on a flat table. • Have a pile of tissue paper for padding. It is agreed generally by experts that you simply cannot do a half-way decent job without using tissue paper. Use tissue paper to line any folds that you make and to separate garments. • Load a suitcase in following order: Heavy dresses should be laid towards bottom of case with front facing upwards. Same with men's suits. Trousers at bottom, with crease towards handle. Heavy or tweed skirts also go at bottom. Jackets are packed next. It depends on length of jacket and size of case. In a very large suitcase you can place them with collar facing handle and then jacket folded in with one centre crease. If this is not possible, lay it lengthwise across case. Make sure collar side faces towards centre of case, rather than being pressed to one side. Wrap socks around shoes, so that heels do not damage other goods, before wrapping them in plastic. Fold ties into their own folder of tissue paper. Use socks, gloves, handkerchiefs to fill spaces.
Test your stress levels before you bookWritten by Gareth Powell
You need to know your stress levels before you book a holiday. This quiz for evaluating stress originally surfaced in a Macmillan medical book in 1982 but in various forms it has been around for much longer. Basically what you need to know is whether you have been under too much stress in past six months. If you have then it may affect your choice of holiday, your means of travel. • Going through an airport is a high stress situation. • Charging around countryside on an explorer expedition can be stressful. • Driving long distances is stressful. Sitting by pool and swimming a few lazy laps is not stressful. As is resting in countryside. Or anywhere else where you feel relaxed and serene. First you need to get a point score. Notice questions only apply to last six months. Not your lifetime. During past six months: • Has your partner died? 20 points. • Have you become divorced or separated from your partner? 15 points. • Has a close relation (other than husband or wife) died? 13 points. • Have you been in hospital because of injury or illness? 11 points. • Have you married, or effected a reconciliation with your partner after a separation? 10 points. • Have you discovered you are soon to become a parent? 9 points. • Has there been a major change, whether for better or worse, in health of a close member of your family? 9 points. • Have you lost your job or retired? 9 points. • Are you experiencing any sexual difficulties? 8 points. • Has a new member been born or married into your intimate family circle? 8 points. • Has a close friend died? 8 points. • Have your finances got markedly better or worse? 8 points. • Have you changed your job? 8 points. • Have any of your children moved out of family home or started or finished school? 6 points