I’m a backpack gal … what are you?

good post from Lonely Planet

It’s a longstanding debate: which form of luggage is best?

Without access to a distinguished steamer trunk that comes with a team of porters, most folks have to choose between two options: suitcases and backpacks.

Both sides have their evangelists and detractors. Often, suitcase-wielders label pack-carriers as uncouth hippies, while backpackers see ‘the other kind’ as inexperienced, awkward travellers.

The truth is that both backpacks and suitcases have their place. Choosing your luggage based on the type of trip you’re taking makes much more sense than a slavish devotion to either camp.

If you can’t decide, here are some tips to help choose.

You might prefer a backpack in the following situations:

  • You need your hands free (to carry a child, to ward off pickpockets etc)
  • You’ll be travelling over rough terrain (such as dodgy sidewalks or in the backcountry)
  • You plan to walk long distances – even in urban areas
  • You’ve packed a lot of lightweight, wrinkle-free clothes
  • You’ll be getting on and off buses, trains or other types of transportation constantly

You might consider taking a suitcase if

  • You’re travelling with lots of other luggage (such as carry-on pieces)
  • You’ll be mainly in urban areas that have smooth sidewalks or paths
  • You need to keep your clothes tidy, ready-to-wear and presentable
  • You’re hauling around a lot of heavy or fragile  items, such as books, laptops or gifts
  • You’re travelling with awkwardly shaped items that might poke you uncomfortably (such as large, firm parcels)

Either way, invest in quality. A backpack with fraying straps or a suitcase that doesn’t have solid, well-built handles and wheels will make your life miserable. Don’t sacrifice your travel happiness for pennies.

And, if you’re lucky enough to be travelling light, remember that simple carry-on luggage is the best bet for comfort, flexibility and security.

What do you think? Are you a confirmed backpack/suitcase enthusiast? Any additional tips to share?

witch required in UK – are you up to the job?

A Job Centre is advertising a “witch” vacancy with tourist site Wookey Hole, in Somerset, for £50,000 a year.

The witch, who has to live in the site’s caves, is expected to teach witchcraft and magic.

Wookey Hole staff say the role is straightforward: live in the cave, be a witch and do the things witches do.

The advert for the post, placed in the local press as well as job centres, says applicants must be able to cackle and cannot be allergic to cats.

The job has come up after the previous witch retired from the role.

“We are witchless as the moment so need to get the role filled as soon as possible,” said Daniel Medley from the tourist destination.

‘Key career move’

“Wookey Hole wants the appointee to go about her everyday business as a hag, so that people passing through the caves can get a sense of what the place was like in the Dark Ages.

“This was when an old woman lived in the caves with some goats and a dog, causing a variety of social ills, including crop failures and disease.”

The £50,000-a-year salary is pro rata, and based on work done as needed, largely in the summer holidays, but also at Halloween and at Christmas.

“Wookey Hole is advertising nationally and hopes to attract a strong field of candidates with the £50,000 serving as a major incentive,” said the site.

It said ambitious witches looking for a “key career move” should arrive dressed for work armed with any “essential witch accoutrements”.

Due to sexual discrimination law, the job cannot demand that the post is filled by a woman.

Interviews, which will involve on-site assessment incorporating a range of standard tasks, will take place on 28 July at 1100, stipulates the advert.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/07/07 13:53:29 GMT