Last year I enjoyed my first sailing holiday around Palma (off Majorca) on a very generous friend’s new yacht, waited on by 16 staff. My friend said: “Come along and try the staff out, I want to see how they cope with a very eclectic group of people.” Palma has overcrowded touristy bits but also some very beautiful deserted little bays and we sailed around the island visiting different beaches each day. We would drop anchor at sunset, chilled champagne would be served and the company was invariably great. As we lounged around, I said, “Wow, it’s one of those moments. It doesn’t happen very often and we’re all going to savour this for a long time.” My preferred environment is by the sea or somewhere rural. I don’t want to be in a city, I don’t want to visit New York and I don’t want to go shopping. I want to experience nature, I’d like to learn to shoot, fish and kayak and that’s where I’m at now. Of course, I’m not going to turn my nose up at a Caribbean beach which would certainly come near the top of the list. It’s just that I can’t stand the sound of traffic and if I’m paying for a holiday, I want a guarantee of silence. If I leave my buckwheat pillow behind, that is a crisis because I can’t sleep if I don’t have proper head support. I’ve got so used to this damn thing that if I forget it, I’m straight on the phone to have one shipped over. A lot of physiotherapists recommend them because with a soft pillow, your head sinks and overnight your neck/shoulder muscles are working overtime to support your head. I also take my small cashmere “blankie”. It sounds slightly childlike but it’s very useful as an eye patch. So if the sun comes up brightly very early in the morning, I stick my blankie over my head and it cuts out the light as well as being very soft and comforting. Buy travel insurance. My father suffered a massive stroke on holiday in Switzerland and had we not been covered, we would have been in deep trouble financially because it wasn’t cheap to have him shipped home. I plan to spend the summer in the most glorious country in the world – the UK. Everyone in Britain should pull their finger out during this recession and get out and about. Support the English countryside and people who run the b& bs, little cottages and the National Trust which has a fantastic array of exciting and fabulous destinations. For those who are used to five-star treatment, get over it and cook your own breakfast.