Design by Emily Blevins

When we talked to our 2018 Travel Vanguard, we asked them the big questions: Why they love travel, where they see travel going, and how they hope to make the world a better place. We also asked these world travelers about how they travel. And more specifically, about the things that they won’t travel without.

1. Journals

Record your travels like Evita Robinson does: in a bound journal.

Design by Emily Blevins

“My journals. I’m constantly writing. I’d even bring a journal before a camera, which is crazy nowadays. Sometimes it’s a $30 leather-bound from Barnes & Nobles and sometimes it is something that costs less than $5 from the side of the road in a different country. I’m 34 years old and I’m on my 32nd journal. They’re my own personal therapy, my time capsules. I want my kids and my grandkids to learn all my secrets through my journals, like ‘Oh my god, Grandma was crazy!’”—Evita Robinson, founder of the Nomadness, a travel community and lifestyle brand for millennials of color

2. Spare phone charger

“An extra pocket charger for my phone—I always seem to run out of charge. My daughters know, and they always have an extra one for me.” —José Andrés, chef, author, and founder of World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit specializing in food aid

3. The right backpack

A well-designed backpack is a traveler’s best friend.

Design by Emily Blevins

“My XD Design Bobby backpack. I have everything in there. I can fit my laptop and my notebooks and everything I need for the whole day. I want to travel very light. When you move from one location to the other all the time—like I do—the backpack is perfect, because you have everything you need.”—Gillian Tans, CEO of

4. Candy and antibiotics

“I’m a bit of a candy person—I always travel with Wine Gums, because they don’t taste the same in other countries. I also always travel with antibiotics and painkillers. You know how toothaches appear in middle of nowhere, [when you don’t have access to] proper dental care? I had a toothache in the Galápagos; it just happened overnight, and now I travel with antibiotics and penicillin and painkillers always for dental emergencies. [They’re] even in my backpack when I’m at work!”—Bruce Poon Tip, founder of group-tour company G Adventures

5. A prepacked dopp kit

Liz Lambert uses a dopp kit to organize her electronics.

Design by Emily Blevins

“I always have a bag packed, an over-the-shoulder vintage Louis Vuitton that I love very much. Inside is a dopp kit by This Is Ground. I probably got [the bag] five years ago, and it’s been the most brilliant thing. I have all my cords, the keys to my house in L.A., some Xanax, and my passport. I’ve got a measuring tape and some basic stuff that I use. I keep [the bag] packed and ready to go; I can walk out the door and get on a plane anywhere and not have forgotten anything.”—Liz Lambert, hotelier and interior designer, founder of Bunkhouse

6. A favorite dive mask

“My American Express card! And my cameras. And my favorite dive mask, the Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Crystal, just in case.”—Sven Lindblad, CEO of adventure cruise company, Lindblad Expeditions7. Binoculars and swim trunks

Spot endemic creatures easily with Swarovski binoculars.

Design by Emily Blevins

“My Swarovski EL [Range] binoculars, Nike running shoes, and swim trunks. Jumping into water is a fantastic cure for jet lag. And you can bird[watch] and run in any city in any country.”—M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International

Jennifer Flowers Jennifer Flowers is an award-winning journalist and the senior deputy editor of AFAR.

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