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5 Items Anthony Bourdain Can’t Travel Without

5 Items Anthony Bourdain Can’t Travel Without

Anthony bourdain

If you’ve travelled as much as Anthony Bourdain, you’d have the whole packing thing down to a tee. The dude spends 200 of his 365 days a year on the road so it’s safe to say, he knows what he’s doing.


When The New York Times caught up with Bourdain, he may have just revealed what he can’t travel without. The answers are surprisingly run of the mill, and remind us that travelling is the pretty much the same for everyone. Celebrity travel expert or not.

Regular guy! Photo: Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr

#1 A Scrunchable Lightweight Down Jacket To Use As A Pillow

The first thing he brings is something to rest his head on in case he wants to catch some shut-eye. But definitely not a travel pillow. “I always carry a sweatshirt or a scrunchable lightweight down jacket, in case the plane is cold. But just as useful if I need a pillow in an airport, if I have to curl up on a floor or a bench. Actual neck pillows are too bulky and take up too much space.” Same, tbh.

#2 A Notebook To Record Experiences

Of course, a notebook to record thoughts and experiences is extremely important when you’re travelling. Bourdain agrees, preferring the Moleskine brand: “I bring three or four. Any writing I do, I do quickly by hand first. And then as a function of inputting it onto the laptop, I edit as I copy it in. That process works for me.”


#3 Specialty Exercise Wear

His third item is probably a little more obscure than most. “I practice jujitsu; that’s how I stay in shape. It’s mentally good for me and I try to train literally everywhere I go. I bring a couple of [the uniforms called] gi, actually, because one has to give serious consideration, always, I have found, to laundry cycles in hotels.” We can file this one under “exercise wear”, right?

#4 A Good Book

For Bourdain, fiction captures a place better than a travel guide, in “a way that’s more tangible”. He says, “I bring at least one physical book, I find that comforting. Often a book set in the country that I’m headed towards. A work of fiction, preferably. The perfect book to read before you go to Vietnam is Graham Greene’s ‘The Quiet American’.”


#5 A Hidden Knife

And of course, a weapon. Wait, no, what? A weapon?? “If it’s a place with heavy street crime, I have this sneaky credit card that turns into a knife. It’s not something you’d want to get into a serious fight with, but it might be a rude surprise should someone grab you from behind as you enter your hotel room.”

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Four out of 5 ain’t bad. Anthony Bourdain is basically the same kind of traveller as us!

Check out the full interview, including his excellent airport food court recommendations, here.

(Lead image: Anthony Bourdain / No Reservations Facebook)

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