As the presenter for a television travel series, I am asked a lot of questions. What is it really like filming around the world? (Brilliant). Is it glamorous? (no). Is it hard work and long hours? (yes). But the most frequently asked question of all is ‘what are the top items that you always pack?’.
So, for everyone that has ever asked me this question, here they are, my top five items that I always pack, no matter where I am going!
Note: Considering I take my phone everywhere I decided not to include it. It’s an obvious choice. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself without my phone as it’s like another body part! Oh, how times change….
No. 1. A powerboard.
Yep I take a powerboard with me wherever I go. If I am overseas where electrical adapters are needed, it means you only need to take one. But most of all, it means that I have one central place to charge all of the necessary equipment.
We are constantly charging something, whether it be the phones, tablet, kindle, camera batteries… The list goes on! I have a powerboard that also has USB ports so that you can just take your leads instead the whole charger (I am always looking at ways to cut down on unnecessary weight and bulk).
It also serves as a central place for the whole families chargers, you can just scoop up everything together when you move on and not worry that you might have left one charger in the socket beside your bed and another in the bathroom.
No. 2. A Camera in a great camera bag.
I have a DSLR camera that I never travel without. Sure, I take a lot of photos on my phone, but for both personal and professional trips, I also take the big one. There is just no substitute for the images you get on a professional camera – despite the bulk.
But this is where a great bag comes in. To make it easy to carry around, access and store all the lenses and accessories, I invest in a great case that doesn’t weigh me down and has padding and straps in all the right places. I use a Lowe Pro but any good camera shop will be able to set you up.
Like my scout leader always said “Be Prepared”.
No 3. Long sleeved light shirts.
Simple but the best thing “ever” to wear on holidays in the sun! They’re breathable, sun resistant and dry easily… They don’t take up much room in your bag and they cover you from the intense sun, which we all know can cause serious damage. Plus you’re not applying sunscreen to yourself five times a day and then handling your greasy camera…
I tend to buy them from outdoor adventure gear specialists such as Patagonia and Columbia as they are long wearing, are made with a breathable, technical fabric and are super comfortable.
No 4: My Kindle.
Or any e-reader. My kindle has been a recent purchase but I absolutely love it.
Small, and able to store lots of books on it, it’s perfect to travel with as it doesn’t take up much room, unlike the three or more books I used to pack on a long trip! You can read in the dark (thanks to its special light) so you don’t keep the rest of the family up at night and it doesn’t hurt your eyes! Also many models have free, worldwide 3G connection so when you finish one book, you can instantly download another, no matter where you are in the world.
No.5 Colourful, sturdy baggage.
I spend a lot of time at baggage carousels waiting for our luggage, and as a family, and a TV crew, there is always lots of it. It is ESSENTIAL that our baggage arrives in tact as we are carrying essentials for our children, and necessities for filming when we are working.
When the queue of black suitcases starts to revolve in front of me at the end of a flight, some even split open along their journey, I am always relieved that I have packed colourful cases that endure the trip. Easy to spot and easy to describe if they go astray. My go-to brand is Antler – super lightweight so I can pack more, lots of colours, and I have never had one break on me yet – and we certainly put them to the test!
I know that there are many more essentials but these are my “Go-to’s” for every trip regardless of where I’m heading to and for how long!
I would love to know what your travel essentials are – I’m always looking for ways to enhance the travel experience so let me know in the comments.