2011 June 6

Polo-shirts and T-shirts are always popular holiday wear: they are easy to carry, lightweight, comfortable, easy to launder and usually acceptable. A T-shirt may be too casual for some areas of the world and for some venues, but a polo shirt with an unstructured jacket will usually pass everywhere but the a la carte restaurant and the casino.

Polos and T-shirts need to be packed well though. A heap of crumpled cotton in the bottom of a suitcase, or even worse, a few ropes of clothing tangled into the corners of a backpack, will just look like rags when worn.

Packing a Polo-Shirt

•    Button the collar of the shirt and then fold it down. Pick the shirt up by the shoulder seams and shake it gently so it’s as smooth and aligned as if it was on a hanger in a store.
•    Lay it with the buttons facing down on a flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles that appear in the body before folding it into thirds. You do this by pinching the shoulder seam and folding from that point into the centre of the shirt, then pick up the sleeve, which will have trespassed into the unfolded side of the garment, and fold it back on its own arm-hole seam. Repeat on the other side.
•    This gives you a lovely narrow rectangle with the back of the collar being the only thing that spoils the shape.
•    Take hold of the bottom of the shirt and fold it up to the bottom edge of the sleeves, then take hold of the fold and bring it up to the collar – you’ve got a perfectly square shirt which can be placed in your suitcase and will come out looking like it’s just come back from a top laundry.

Packing a T-Shirt

The explanation for this takes so much longer than the fold does, that it’s well worth watching one of the T-shirt fold videos a few times. It’s called the 2 second T-shirt fold and it really is what it says!

•    Lay T-shirt on a flat surface with the side towards you. If you are right handed have the arm/neck by your left hand, the hem by your right hand.
•    Take a pinch through both front and back of the T-shirt, around the middle, with your right hand.
•    With your left hand, follow a line up the T-shirt and pinch about an inch out from the neck, making sure you have both the front and back pinched between your left hand fingers.
•    Bring your left hand pinch down and around behind your right hand and pinch the bottom edge of the T-shirt, in line with the first pinch you made. Your hands will be crossed.
•    Keeping a firm pinch with both hands, simply uncross them. The T-shirt will be hanging down and a gentle shake will remove any creases.
•    Lower it back onto the surface, with the loose sleeve making contact first. Fold the rest of the T-shirt back toward you and over the sleeve to create a fold that is symmetrical with the fold on the other side.


2009 February 16

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You’re looking forward to a couple of weeks of sun and fun, and you’ve booked a place known for great beaches, clear water and fantastic weather. So what do you pack to ensure that you have the best possible holiday?

The answer is to travel light, but prepared.

Organise your documents carefully: you need passport, ticket and boarding passes, but take your driver’s licence too – you might have to hire a vehicle for some reason and without it, you’re stuffed.

Make sure your carry-on or overnight bag has your daily toiletries and at least one change of clothes that will get you through if your luggage is delayed. If you’re travelling to the tropics, this means taking swimwear, a spare T-shirt and shorts or jog pants, and a good ‘evening’ shirt for men, or a simple lightweight dress for women, so that you don’t find you have to buy an overpriced cossie or pair of trunks to take a dip. It also means you can get down to dinner on your first night without feeling you’re wearing the same clothes you travelled in.

Try to pack a wheeled suitcase as you often find in smaller island resorts that you have to carry your own bags.

Tropical climates are usually mild, but make sure you pack for a stormy day too. So as well as underwear, take two or three pairs of cotton trousers or jog pants and a couple of pairs of shorts. Six T-shirts, a couple of more formal polo-shirts and one or two good shirts will get men through, whereas women will need to pack a wider range of clothing – a couple of pairs of dark coloured but lightweight trousers can be worn in the day as well as with smart tops at night, a couple of short lightweight dresses can be worn with T-shirts underneath in the day to look more casual. Women will need one really good dress for casinos and shows, and men will need a tie and jacket.

You’ll need a lightweight, waterproof jacket in the event of rain, and a telescopic umbrella can double up as a parasol to protect you from the sun if you need it.