… and the kitchen sink too?

May 25th, 2016 Sections: Calendar, From an Expat, Tourism
The caption says it all!

The caption says it all!

Ever since 2001, 25th May has been designated as Towel Day – in honour of Douglas Adams, the author of the classic cult story The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and the subsequent sequels.

It was inspired by admiration as an opportunity for fans to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and their author … and not, unlike many unofficial commemorative days, by a commercial interest.  Three days following Adams’ death, a post appeared on an internet forum proposing that a day should be set aside to celebrate the author and all his works … and a date, two weeks on from his death was suggested.

They could have chose a whole of themes – an obvious contender might be 42 – the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything … or a celebration of Vogon Poetry … or … well, they chose a the Towel … because , well, “any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

Or, as it says in the good book:

Oddly enough … many travel writers actually advise against carrying a towel in your luggage when traveling on holiday; most hotels, for example, provide them as a matter of course and it is only if you think you’ll want something special like an extra large towel for the beach, that’s its worth packing one.

Of course, if you’re camping … then you’ll probably need to pack one.  So, the decision really depends on where you are going and what you are planning to do on your holiday.

There are some things, of course, which are essentials …

  • your passport (and copies) … and you sure that it is up to date and has all the necessary visas … you might want to take an alternative form of a photo ID, such as a driving license;
  • a copy of your itinerary … with contact details of anyone you might need to get in touch with while you are on your journey … and any tickets or vouchers that you are going to need …;
  • any medicines that you need …
    • if they are prescription medicines, check that they are valid/permitted in the country you are visiting and carry a copy of the prescription;
    • a range of proprietary, over the counter, medicines, (Immodium, malaria tablets, paracetamol, antihistamines) – but, once again, check that they are valid/permitted in the country that you are are traveling to),
    • you might want to include some travel sickness remedies and sun cream;
  • money, traveler’s cheques and/or credit cards – with notes about what to do in the event of loss or theft;
  • insurance documents;
  • personal items like glasses and glasses case;

… and you might want to think about:

  • Mobile phone (but don’t forget to arrange roaming – although, personally, Ids think about that at hole ) and/or Camera to record your experiences … and if you do take take them, don’t forget chargers and adapters;
  • if you are taking a player like an i-pod (am I showing my age here?), don’t forget the earphones … and charger … and adapter;
  • sunglasses;
  • tissues;

Think about appropriate clothing … appropriate for your destination and the type of holiday you have planned.

Try to pack things that is versatile and easy to ‘mix-n-match’ and think about rolling them rather than folding, it actually save space in your luggage – but in that case you’ll also need to avoid things that need to be ironed (like ‘proper shirts’) unless they are absolutely necessary … like, for Dinner at the Captain’s Table on an Ocean Cruise;

Be ruthless … try to cut down rather than give in to temptation and add that extra little item, (just in case).  Try to pack/take only a bare minimum … but also make sure that you have a change of clothes in your hand luggage.

  • something warm, a sweater;
  • a hat – even if you don’t normally wear one;
  • underwear;
  • rainwear;
  • shoes – suitable for the terrain and type of holiday you are planning;

Some people recommend …

  • a First Aid kit;
  • a Sewing kit;
  • Adapters;
  • a small torch;
  • Pen and paper …
  • A spare bag – for example, to carry any purchases you make;
  • Contraception … well, you never know.


On the other … things that some people say it is best to avoid, and these might be debatable:

  • Towels – as I said above …most hotels, for example, provide them as a matter of course and it is only if you think you’ll want something special like an extra large towel for the beach, that’s its worth packing one;
  • Toiletries – because most things like shampoo and conditioner can be bought in situ  once you arrive … although I think you might want to have your own toothbrush … and some one-off sachets might be an idea for the first night, until you have the chance to go shopping;
  • Books,
    • especially “heavy” holiday reading … although they might be useful in case you have to idle away some time waiting for planes, trains, etc. … but some people say avoid heavy ‘holiday reading’ books … which take up space and your weight allowance;
      • this is where a well stocked e-reader comes in handy … but don’t forget that you’ll have to charge it.
    • Some actually suggest that you leave your Guide books at home … saying that you should have done your homework about what the destination has to offer before you travel … and, anyway, it is better to have a first hand experience than relying on someone else’s judgment.  Personally, I am not convinced … but I think it depends on what sort of holiday you are planning;
      • I think I would think about carrying a simple phrase book;


If that seems a little overwhelming … at least it doesn’t include the kitchen sink!





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