My home club are part of the Liverpool Society of Lady Captains. Your club may have a similar affiliation. Anyway, I had the chance to go with the society on a trip to Switzerland recently which, as I'm hardly a raving extrovert, was quite a challenge, but one I couldn't resist.
But what did I need to take, what was the itinerary, and what protocols would I need to be aware of. Questions, questions! Luckily for me, I knew a couple of ladies who had been on this trip before, so I mercilessly pumped them for information. The trip was over four nights but, after some discussion, it transpired that a few of the ladies were travelling a day ahead of everyone else, so that they had time to acclimatise and get used to Crans Montana, where we were staying. I'd definitely do that again, as the rest of the trip was packed with activity, and the extra day meant we had sightseeing time the other ladies didn't have.
What to wear? Lady members of the local Swiss association kept us informed of weather, though it was hard to get my head around taking summer clothing when the weather was starting to change here. Plus Switzerland expected snow to start falling within a week or two, so a range of eventualities needed to be covered!
I took my own clubs, though some ladies hired when the arrived, which saved them the hassle of dragging extra luggage around. I booked a case into the hold: some ladies travelled super-light, with just carry-on luggage and the golf bag travel cover to hold a few extras.
Currency - how much to take? Again, I asked the experts! Cards are in such use these days that you probably only need local currency for incidentals - and tips. We hired a bus to take us back to the airport on the return, and clubbed together with a tip for the driver. I had only a smidge left, and felt a little embarrassed I hadn't thought about tips and incidentals for the journey home. All worked out fine in the end, but next time I'll make sure I save a little extra for that last day!
Language - my French and German is restricted to schoolday learnings from well over 30 years ago, so isn't great, and my only regret is not being bilingual. However, the Swiss (and Belgian) ladies couldn't have been more accommodating or willing to switch languages to help us Brits.
The trip as a whole wasn't cheap, but the ladies I met and played golf with, and the courses we played, couldn't have been better. I already have my eye on the next trip, which is in two years in Belgium.
This is yet another reason not to say 'no' to being Lady Captain (or Ladies' Captain). Just look at the new world that has opened for me - and yet more 'friends for life'. Where's that French language book....??