Fr. Matthew Cashmore

Priest in the Church of England. Trustee SPCK. Father, husband, son. "Small acts of Good change the world."

5 Things I Always Pack

Stolen totally from the Practical Travel Gear blog I’m doing a quick post on the 5 things I never leave behind when I travel.

I travel a lot. I mean a lot. On the motorbike to Russia and Morocco, on a plane to pretty much every corner of the world, I’ve spent a great deal of time crushed in economy, a little time in business and a whole heap of time perched on top of my motorbike – but there are 5 things I always take with me.

1. Power Monkey & Mini Gorilla. Seriously, power is my biggest concern when I’m on the road. It doesn’t matter if your phone needs a boost or your laptop needs some juice at a crucial moment, between these (technically) two items I’m never far away from power. My phone, camera, laptop thank Power Traveller for their products.

2. Compact Camera. My Casio Exilm has been my trusty side arm for some time. I’ve always got the larger Panasonic G1 near to hand, but the Casio is small and tough and goes where it’s larger brother can’t. Grabs good-enough video with sound and slips in my pocket. It’s due an upgrade so that may be my next purchase.

Credit Card3. Fair-FX back-up credit card (pre-pay). I always have one of these to hand, they work all over the world, give you a pretty good exchange rate and are easy to top-up using a mobile or even a direct bank transfer or debit card. It means people at home can get cash to me really easily in an emergency and means I’m spending in the local currency (in Europe & US). Another tip – keep out of date cards in your ‘day wallet’ and only carry what you need that day.

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4. MacBook (13 inch – now ‘pro’). I did travel for a while with the more compact Asus EeePC – a machine I absolutely adored – but ultimately started to feel the limitations even when I wanted to do very basic photo clean-up, and don’t even suggest video editing. As my requirements increased I bought the MacBook and haven’t looked back. It’s solid (it already has dents from drops), fast and does everything out of the box.

5. Dirty clothes sack. Simple. If I’m in a hotel for a week, a B&B for a night or the tent I need somewhere to stash the smelly dirty stuff I’ve been wearing during the day. Look for something that’s airy but will keep the smell to itself rather than sharing it with your clean stuff. Sealed bags are not great, but perfect if there’s a chance you’ll have wet stuff. Make sure it’s big enough. I got mine from a random store in San Francisco last time I was in town – but google is full of suggestions.

You can read more tips from me and others at Lonely Planet in the new book ‘Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips‘. </end plug>



  1. Great tips – I never travel without a couple extra pairs of glasses and contacts! Nothing worse than losing a lens when you’re nowhere near a replacement.

  2. What about that favourite jacket or sweatshirt that saves you fom unexpected freezy times? 😉

    • I did think about that one, but then sometimes I don’t take it if I’m on the bike as I have my biker gear which is toasty warm. But if I’m on a plane, there’s always a good hoody strapped to my hand luggage.

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