The items that globetrotting celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain never travels without

Anthony Bourdain, travel, tips, advice, adventure, parts unknown, television

Anthony Bourdain is many things. He is a world famous chef. He’s a published author. He’s a television host. He’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu student. He’s a father. And of course, he’s an experienced traveler. This multi-talented globetrotter spends upward of 200 days a year on the road.

So, how does Anthony Bourdain survive a life that is almost constantly in flux? Well, he always makes sure to have a few key items in his suitcase. Bourdain revealed his must-have travel items in a recent interview with the New York Times.

Here’s his list of must-haves, along with a quick explanation of why each item is so important:

Pillow substitute

“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.”

Moleskine notebooks

“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.”


“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. I’m very aware that you need to get it in by 9 or 10 if you want it back the same day and one can’t always do that. I’m a worst-case scenario planner, so chances are I’ll bring three gi just in case the laundry cycle is not what I would like.”


“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.’ Fiction seems to capture the place in a way that’s more tangible. It just works for me better than a travel guide.”

Hidden knife

“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.”

What’s the one item you never travel without? Here’s the one product that is always in our bags (use the code WILDLIVES10 to get a discount on yours).


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This article debuted on on 8/24/2017.



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