By The Hon. Mrs. Fitzroy Stewart
Incessant travel is a sign of the times. Our fathers and mothers contented themselves with three months of London, a month at the sea or on the Continent, and the rest of their year spent in the depths of the country.
Now we live in our boxes. After the London season comes Cowes; then we go off to Aix, Ostend, or Homburg, and again after that to Scotland. November brings its round of country-house visits, big "shoots," and smart race-meetings. In December there is a gay time in London, and after Christmas comes travel in search of sunshine. We put in a time in Paris on our way home, then London once more - and we begin our programme over again ! And all this without any count of the long trips to New York, Japan, or South Africa, which, with some of us, are the rule and not the exception.
Even if we do not belong to the so-called "smart set," we seem to be for ever on the move, in trains, in trams, in taxis, or in motors. Even women of small means take their week-ends, go off abroad, yacht, and pay visits in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Luggage and packing have been raised to an exact science. How we should laugh at our grandmothers' tin boxes, carpet bags, and leather imperials ! Americans have shown us the advantage of large, well-made boxes, and Parisians have also taught us sound sense on the subject. So it behoves us one and all to make our luggage as ample and as handy as possible.
Modern women have many wants, and do not live the narrow lives of their forebears. We now need food for our minds and work for our hands, as well as many articles of dress and all sorts and kinds of personal adornment. A certain well-known married woman is said to take about with her a dog, a parrot, and sixteen big boxes. This may be in excess of the needful, but no doubt we require a large and varied collection. The average woman - and it is for her I write- requires a couple of big but light dress-trunks, another good-sized box for books, boots, and linen, a Gladstone-bag for sundries, a dressing-bag, a despatch-box, a holdall, and a case for umbrellas.
Size, strength, and lightness are the qualities in demand for up-to-date luggage; and a trunk, box, or bag should be more or less waterproof. A woman who travels much needs light luggage, in order to avoid heavy excess charges from the railway companies; and also well-made goods that will stand rough usage and the wear and tear of travel both at home and on the Continent., In these days, too, we rebel against big luggage, and the modern box runs to length and narrowness rather than to the square bulk of the past.
Even the dressing-bag of to-day must be a natty thing, and the huge and heavy bags, which required a tall footman to carry them, are now happily out of date and forgotten. Their place is supplied by a light, portable bag, with ample space and but few fittings.
On the other hand, we give ourselves quite an outfit of trunks in 1911. There is baggage for the week-end, the week, the fortnight, and the month; and this list of variously sized trunks is an acknowledged necessity of the modern trousseau. All are fitted with patent locks and a key which will open the whole set - a most welcome simplification. How to Baffle Jewel Thieves
Jewel robberies are a current scare; and the writer recently saw an ingenious device which would safeguard one's treasures from the clever cracksman. This was a jewel-box solidly fixed to the bottom of a trunk, in which one's jewels could be locked away, and covered with the protecting folds of gowns, cloaks, and lingerie. However, many women prefer to carry their jewels in their own handbags.
If this is done, a wash-leather roll must be made in which rings, brooches, earrings, and necklaces can be arranged with great neatness. But, to my mind, one's precious pearls should be worn on one's own person. A pearl necklace can be fastened round the neck, and hidden by the bodice of one's gown. Some women carry also what they term a "fuss bag," which is smaller still, and carries the purse, powder-puff, and handkerchief. Even into this one can put many jewelled trifles; but, in either case, the golden rule should be observed that a bag must never leave the hands of its owner.