Some tips for your holiday, by Gordon Cooper president of the club for many years.

(First printed in Globe March/April 1959)

These useful hints should increase your comfort by Gordon Cooper (our long-standing President)
1. Learn in every country the differing signs for “Gentlemen” and “Ladies”.
2. Beware of street touts who offer to give you an unusually good rate for your pound.
3. A shoe-cleaning outfit is useful, especially in Spain where hotels do not generally attend to this need.
4. Take a thermos with you. It keeps cold drinks cold as well as hot drinks hot. In the hot weather you can spend a lot of money otherwise on cold drinks.
5. In countries with strong sunshine you need a filter for your camera.
6. Beware of the little grass handle that is attached to all big Italian wine bottles (fiaschi). It almost invariably breaks if you try to carry the bottle with it.
7. Even in warm countries it can get chilly Always take a woolly with you, also a light mac.
8. The cost of hairdressing is often high abroad, so have your hair cut before leaving home.
9. Carry a pocket flashlight in your car.
10. Re-check all information on train and bus connections.
11. If in doubt about fresh drinking water -stick to local bottled mineral water.
12. Follow the southern custom of taking a siesta after lunch in summer weather, otherwise you will find yourself exhausted by dinnertime.
13. On your first arrival in any city hotel make a note of its name and address, otherwise you may get “lost” and find yourself embarrassed.
14. Pack a towel in your bag. It is useful when travelling by train, or for an unexpected bath.
15. Pack also a light rug or ground sheet for it is often useful on a beach.
16. Sweets are often expensive abroad. So take your requirements. Glucose sweets are excellent should you get tired
17. Find out the postage rates for postcards bearing only five words of greeting. Often there is a big saving.
18. Take earplugs with you, for in many foreign cities and resorts the outside noise can otherwise rob you of sleep.
19. Don’t talk loudly and critically in your native tongue in public places or public transportation in the belief that no one understands you. Many more natives than you imagine understand English. We know you have no wish to offend.
20. Beware Of rocks on bathing beaches. If you walk on them, you may find yourself badly wounded.
21. In Mediterranean countries a pair of sunglasses is essential to protect your eyes.
22. Drink wine sparingly at lunch, especially in hot weather if you want to avoid a headache and drowsiness.
23. Go slow with fresh fruits, for an excess can curb your activities for a few days.
24. An air cushion that can also be used as a bag is a useful article to include.
25. Draught wine is cheaper and frequently better than the more costly bottled vintages.
26. Learn the phrases for “Good morning”, “Thank you” and “Please”.
27. Learn the continental way of telling time, for example – when 19 hours means 7 p.m., by our reckoning.
28. Be careful of sunbathing at the start of a holiday. Begin with 10 minutes, then gradually increase the periods until you acquire the desired tan. If you try to hasten the process you will almost certainly make yourself seriously ill.
29. Memorise the number of your passport and its date of issue, for you will often be called upon to fill up forms with these details.
30. Don’t forget to include soap in your baggage, for this is rarely available abroad in hotels.
31. Never leave the purchase of a ticket at a railway station to just before the arrival of a train; otherwise you may miss it. Buy it well in advance.
32. If consulting a railway timetable, read carefully the accompanying hieroglyphics for otherwise you may find yourself in difficulties.
33. To lessen pressure on your eardrums when descending in an aeroplane try to yawn or gulp.
34. Don’t go into a Spanish or Italian restaurant and expect to be served at 7 p.m. at night. In Spain no one eats much before 10 p.m. and in Italy before 9 p.m.
35. On long-distance trains it is far cheaper to buy a packed meal on the platform than to visit the dining car. A large bottle of mineral water can often stave off an unpleasant thirst during the night hours.
36. A pair of light slippers is a great comfort on a long train or plane journey.
37. Remember to take reading matter with you.
38. Health (without medicine)
(a) Be cheerful and interested in every thing
(b) Do not bother too much about you inside.
39. On Sundays abroad trains are usually packed, so journeys should be avoided Or this day.
40. In seating yourself in a motor coach, consider carefully the position in regard to position of sun during the trip, the best sightseeing side and the ventilation.
41. Ask the price of all meals, especially those items marked “s.g.” (according to weight), otherwise you may be presented with a bill which can spoil a day’s outing.
42. Remember that some fountain pens and ball-point pens leak at high altitudes in non-pressurised planes.
43. Don’t be shy; use every chance of chatting to the people you meet in trains and buses, for it can add much to your enjoyment of a continental holiday.
44. Please do not spend too much time looking for cafes, which serve “English teas”. It won’t be like English tea anyway and usually it costs the earth. Do as the natives do and drink an aperitif, a coffee or an ice.
45. In a strange town look at the postcards in a shop, for they will indicate the more important sights.
46. If you intend visiting churches, museums, etc. make sure you find out in advance the hours of opening.
47. A little pocket dictionary is a useful item to include in your kit.
48. Also pack some toilet paper, a small first aid tin, some Alka Seltzer and aspirin.
49. Golden Rule 1. Do not allow petty irritations to upset your equanimity.
50. Golden Rule 2. Not waste time seeing things which do not interest you.
51. Golden Rule 3. Do not become over-exhausted through over-sightseeing, far better to relax.
52. When abroad you are a foreigner, so don’t laugh at local habits. Remember, too, that you should be an ambassador of your own country, for the natives will often be influenced in their outlook on Britain by your own behaviour.

(Rumour has if that Mr Cooper used to travel with large leather trunks and suitcases, plus porters!)