Top 10 Can’t Travel Withouts

Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.

Passport, Ticket, Money:  Sounds obvious, but this is my travelling mantra: PTM.  If you know where your passport, ticket and money are at all times, no trip will become a disaster. And always have back-ups for all three: photocopy of your passports, a separate note of your ticket reference number and a Tilley secret pocket stash of cash!

Tilley:  Quite simply, the perfect travel clothes. Easy to pack. Easy to wash. Tough and practical. They also look good. I have Tilley’s from top to toe - and even underneath - when I travel. Their iconic hats are the crowning glory for any Tilley Man (or Woman), but my favourite bit is the secret pockets they design into many of their items.

Blundstones:  Footwear is always a challenging thing to pack. You want the minimum, but you need versatility, and you definitely need comfort. My solution is my trusty Blundstone boots. They are light, durable, and comfortable and they match up with almost anything from jeans to dress pants to shorts. Made in Tasmania - where they know all about combining urban living with wilderness joys.

Lonely Planet Guides: My first choice in destination guides.  They tell it like it is, without fear or favour. They are the world’s most successful travel publisher, printing over 120 million books. Along with guidebooks and eBooks to almost every destination on the planet, they also produce coffee-table titles, a magazine and a range of digital travel products and apps.

Maps:  When I travel, I need a map. I need to have a sense of where I am – and where I am going to. Don’t rely on the GPS unit in your rental car, or even your own car if you are road-tripping. Take a hard copy map and support it with Google Maps on your smart phone. That way you’ll never be 100kms up the road before you realize the sun should be in the other direction!

Bentley Luggage:  This leading Canadian luggage retailer is the place to go to find the right luggage for your next trip. They have a wide and well-priced range of the best brands both in their stores and on their website. I road-tested their hardside Swiss Gear Dom luggage and I recommend it as light and durable, which are the two yardsticks I use to judge luggage. 

McLennan Travel Insurance:  Never, ever, travel without good travel insurance coverage – even to other Canadian provinces. Either you will spoil your trip by worrying about “what if’s”, or you will be entirely unprepared for the travel disaster when it happens. As I travel frequently, I have an Annual Plan: simple, cost-effective and comprehensive.

Canon Digital Rebel: Everyone wants to capture unique travel moments and as a travel journalist, it’s even more important for me to use a camera that I can rely upon.  I use a Canon Digital Rebel because what I see through the viewfinder is what I get in my image. Lightweight, versatile and intuitive: it’s my perfect camera.

Sony Headphones: There are times on long flights when you just want to block out the rest of the world: my Sony noise-cancelling headphones allow me to do exactly that. For through-the-night flights, matched up with eye shades, I find undisturbed slumber easily. They are also infinitely superior to airline headphones for in-flight films.

Smile: Travel is fun: it’s a joy and a privilege. And the best way to start any journey is with a smile. As I close my front door behind me, I allow myself to muse over the delights that I will enjoy on my trip. And as I travel, a smile unlocks doors and experiences that I would otherwise miss. Never leave home without one!