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Hols in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogogoch: where better?

After the West End run of my last play Daytona, there was a one-week break before taking it on tour. My co-star Harry Shearer, the actor and Simpsons voice artist, flew straight to New Orleans and Los Angeles, where he boogie-boarded and shot hoops. My other co-star (and author of Daytona) Oliver Cotton, sped to Biarritz to watch crashing waves and eat bouillabaisse. Me? I drove to North Wales with my partner, Guido, in a Volvo, with a rain hat.

Guido is a traveller in the full sense of the word. When he retired, he donned a backpack and "did" India in six weeks, clutching a  Lonely Planet and queuing for street food with every gap year kid in England. The only places he hasn't visited are Papua New Guinea, Krakow, the Dominican Republic and Belize. His best travel experience was on an ice-breaker in the Antarctic, and he still has ebullient reunions with the friends he made on a Siberian expedition ten years ago. Prior to leaving he makes lists, packs frugally and remembers insurance and sickness bands. Me? I pack the material equivalent of a shire horse and am fond of Majorca.

I get depressed at Terminal Five. Let me amend that: I get depressed when the dog sees my suitcase. When I had a cat she would get in there and stay until eventually I had to lay my clothes on top of her. I make and then lose a list, which, when I find it, I ignore. I assemble my clothes in the pathetically middle-class belief that, like a Thirties belle on the Grand Tour, I must wear a different outfit each evening — with matching bag and shoes. Then when I feel the weight of the case, I panic and chuck out all the jackets and jumpers on my way to the front door, shiver at night for the next two weeks and come home with new jumpers and jackets to chuck out next time round.

My elder brother Geoffrey is a professor of tourism and aviation, who's been on a plane three times a week for 50 years. His card reads Geoffrey Lipman, Professor of Disruptive Architecture. Permanently jetlagged, he falls asleep mid-sentence, thinks all chairs convert to beds and all women point at exit doors. There is no spot on the globe that hasn't stamped its logo on his passport. A split week in Melbourne and Peru holds no fear for him. Although we fought like Tasmanian Devils as children, we now adore each other and even took a memorable holiday together, travelling on the glass-topped train across Canada's Rocky Mountains. He was on the board of the travel group and I was writing a piece on the experience. Within days we were known as the Battling Lipmans. Eagles swooped and salmon swam upstream while we ignored the majestic views and argued politics, ecology and which of us our parents loved most.

A cruise suits me better, so long as there's no organised jollity. I like the lectures. I like sitting on the upper deck in a cardigan, reading Howard Jacobson and rustling up an acrylic painting before a gargantuan lunch. I once took a cruise purporting to be the first to go down (up?) the rivers of the Amazon rainforest. Nobody had told the townships we were coming so there were no tenders and we failed to disembark or see a single indigenous animal. It was a pity because we thought the tin-roofed houses built on stilts into the river and peppered with satellite dishes were anthropologically interesting.

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