Tips for packing for life’s great journeys abroad

Posted on in by Denis Isbister

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As host of the TV show Wild Fish Wild Places I have travelled extensively over the past few years and this year is no different. I have been to 14 countries on countless flights, from the farthest outreaches of the Alaska bush to the steamy jungle tributaries of the Amazon, all while filiming fishing shows.

Embarking recently on a trip to the southern edge of Patagonia to the famous Jurassic Lake with a few novice travel buddies, I realized there is a lot of knowledge we have gathered over the years that can help prepare travelers for their own adventures abroad. Here are a few of my personal travel tips to make your journey more enjoyable:

  1. Pack light - When I first started travelling I would pack as heavy as possible pushing the limits of how much extra travel weight I could carry only to return home to find I had only used two thirds of what I packed, if not less. Think it through in detail and take only what is absolutely needed and if you get in a pinch you can usually find a place to do a little laundry. Make sure you pack plenty of underwear and socks but everything else can be worn for few days. This makes lugging your bag around much easier too!
  2. If you can't live without it, carry it on - I always carry a backpack as my carry on, filled with my fly rod and reel just in case everything else is lost I have enough to film a show if needed.  Beyond my fishing needs, I always carry my laptop, travel itinerary, passport and wallet in the main pouch so I have quick access to it and it is close to me to prevent theft. The bottom compartment contains a zip lock bag with a small stick of deodorant, wet wipes, socks, t-shirt and underwear. In the middle compartment I carry Nature's Bakery fig bars for snacks, cords for electronics and sunglasses. If you plan your carry-on in preparation for losing your main bag, you will be ready for life’s great journeys no matter what scenario you end up in.
  3. Make copies of everything - Always make several copies of your passport, driver’s license and bank/credit cards and stash them in different areas of your bags and of course make sure you have them close by. If anything gets stolen you will have less stress getting a new passport and cancelling your cards if you take the proper measures.

These are a few of my basic, yet fundamental tips for travelling abroad that I hope can help anyone looking to get out and take a trip.


Denis Isbister

Denis has traveled to many different countries in search of fishing adventure from the steaming jungles of the Amazon, to the remote Arctic wilderness of the Northwest.


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