PACKED LIVES

John Sinclair, Lord Thurso, was general manager of Cliveden and is now managing director of Fitness and Leisure Holdings, owner of Champneys.
Click to follow
The Independent Travel
I'm a disciplined, Spartan traveller, with a fetish for carry- on luggage only. When I ran a Florida property, it was out Monday, back Wednesday, and I managed with a suit to travel in, shirts, a tie for each suit, swimming trunks, casual trousers, and sports shirt, and I bought lightweight American trousers.

I travel in lace-up shoes and take, or buy, loafers. Since working on a ranch in the United States I love cowboy boots. I get odd looks travelling home in a new pair in crocodile skin with silver caps under my city suit.

I go to Scotland once or twice a month to look after the family business, so I keep kilts for all occasions there and just take three shirts and an electric toothbrush in my briefcase.

I go back and forth to Brussels, where a Champneys branch is opening next year, and look at potential sites in places like South Africa and Tunisia. A good hat is a travel necessity, so for hot spots I take a roll- up Panama and always carry a pair of sunglasses. I hope for the best weather- wise, and usually get away with it. For long haul flights I carry loose track suit bottoms plus a sweatshirt top into which I change on the plane, so I and my business suit arrive in better shape.

I love gadgets but don't take many - my electric toothbrush is my favourite. A small pocket torch is useful. I have a snakey torch which usefully bends round bedheads for reading in hotels, but my children are always borrowing it. My wife has just given me a useful mini shoe cleaning kit and I take nail scissors, as my moustache grows quickly and often needs clipping. An alarm clock is a must - I can sleep anywhere and go on sleeping, so it's vital.

I used to take a laptop computer but it only caused more work for my secretary, so now I just take a small Dictaphone for meeting notes, a mobile phone and fountain pens. I have a collection - all of which leak. Most of them are from British Airways, who send them after something has gone wrong.

I hate working on planes. I prefer to enjoy the food and read the papers. I must have a good book; currently it is Roy Jenkins's biography of Gladstone. My travel comforters are a pack of Polo mints and airport purchases of Havana cigars.

I visit other spa resorts taking towelling slippers, shorts, polo shirts - Champneys logoed of course - and trainers. I assume robes will be provided and buy the rest there, as I love shopping.

Comments