THE GUIDE

Insider Secrets of Luxury Travel

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Long gone are the days are of busy utility jackets and overly kitted-out camera equipment on safari. Besides the nearly-universal 27- to 33-pound luggage weight restriction, there are plenty of reasons to keep it simple. Pack light (in soft luggage). Think layers. Wear neutral-colored clothing that wicks moisture and adapts to temperature shifts. Bring essentials such as medications, health certificates and ID. In most cases, you’ll be happier if you bring the best camera you know how to use. 

Many of today’s luxury camps stock a lot of extras — from hats and reusable water bottles to binoculars and backpacks for day outings. Laundry service is provided daily, so a few changes of clothes will do. If you’re a photo buff, you might consider a photo safari or a lodge that loans guests high-end cameras. The fact is, you’ll want very little. So be sure to ask your Ker & Downey Luxury Travel Expert what’s on offer at camp. Here’s our list of the essentials.


CLOTHING

Avoid white clothes, busy patterns, camouflage prints and loud colors. Your wardrobe should blend in with the landscape and vegetation. Go for technical fabrics that adapt to your body’s heating and cooling systems.

  • 2 pairs of lightweight pants
  • 2 long sleeved shirts
  • 3 short sleeved or cotton tee shirts
  • 2 shorts or cargo shorts (depending on the season)
  • 1 swimsuit (cover-up is optional but smart, like a sarong)
  • 1 lightweight jacket
  • 1 hooded sweatshirt (for layering)
  • 1 pair pajamas
  • 1 pair hiking shoes (Break them in before traveling!)
  • 1 pair of comfy shoes for evening
  • 1 pair sandals or flip-flops
  • 5 pairs undergarments
  • 5 pairs socks
  • 1 scarf or bandana
  • 1 packable, wide-brimmed hat
  • 1 pair sunglasses

TOILETRIES

Most camps stock things like sunscreen, insect repellent, lip balm and first-aid kits. Still, you should bring a pared-down kit with your personal selection of these items.

  • Aspirin
  • Allergy medications
  • Antiseptic cream or hydrocortisone
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Bandages
  • Hand wipes or similar
  • Eye and nose drops
  • Hair brush
  • Shaving kit
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss
  • Insect repellent with DEET

ONE STOP SHOP: EX OFFICIO

Try one of our go-to sites for attractive, modern, travel-specific clothing and accessories, from insect-repellent bandanas to UV protective hats. It’s perfect for one or two supplemental pieces, like convertible pants, that will help you travel lighter.  

TECH SUPPORT

  • Extra camera batteries
  • Adaptors

LITTLE LUXURIES

  • Journal and pen
  • Reading materials
  • Luggage locks
  • Small, bright flashlight

LEAVE BEHIND

  • Valuable jewelry
  • Black camera bags
  • Anything you think you might need
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STUFF WE LIKE

Keep your safari gear simple

 A roomy carryall with a sturdy, separate compartment for muddy or dusty shoes.  Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote in Forrest Green  $118 |   www.loandsons.com

A roomy carryall with a sturdy, separate compartment for muddy or dusty shoes.

Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote in Forrest Green

$118 | www.loandsons.com

 The un-messy, multitasking bar soap that works for washing hair, skin and undergarments.   Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap | $5       

The un-messy, multitasking bar soap that works for washing hair, skin and undergarments. 

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap | $5 

 

 

 Lightweight and weatherproof — the new standard.  Best Made Company Large Bonded Canvas Duffle  $228 |   www.bestmadeco.com     

Lightweight and weatherproof — the new standard.

Best Made Company Large Bonded Canvas Duffle  $228 | www.bestmadeco.com

 

 Designed for photographers, the feather-light backpack is configured with compartments for easy access.  Peak Design Everyday Backpack in Ash | $260   www.peakdesign.com     

Designed for photographers, the feather-light backpack is configured with compartments for easy access.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack in Ash | $260 www.peakdesign.com

 


OUR FAVORITE PODCASTS FOR TRAVELERS 

Long-haul flights and lazy vacation days are a great time to catch up on inspiration without adding the weight of books and magazines. Just download and go.

 Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II

Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II

Travelogue

For critical tips, far-flung tales, seasonal guides and destination overviews, Conde Nast’s podcast engages leading experts and storytellers to inspire you before, during and after your journey.

The Travelers

This is a virtual trip, full of stories of wonder and discovery as well as the ups, downs and profound insights of a traveler’s life on the road. 

This American Life, The Moth, Revisionist History

Many classic NPR favorites and pods from the world’s most influential columnists and writers — like Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” and The New York Times' “Modern Love” — are available for listening offline. 

Amazon’s Audible

OK, it’s not a podcast, but it is the standard-bearer for audiobooks. Hear the novels, poems and biographies you’ve been meaning to get to on your next trip.


 Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

SUMMER IS CALLING

They say life is a beach. But it’s so much more than that — especially in the longest season. Choose an adventure that delivers you to surf and sand or someplace wild. Make it epic and stay awhile. Here’s some inspiration for your new summer spot.

Unplug in the Maldives and turn up simple beach days in a place that feels like your own private island. As the crowd heads east, live safari dreams in Zambia, where wildlife converges around a mighty river. Or blaze a path on the ultimate road trip in Montana along Glacier National Park’s magnificent, 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road. 


FAST TRACK

There are an increasing number of options to get you through airport security quickly and stress-free. You might need one, or all of them, depending on your frequency of travel.

TSA Precheck

A designation on your boarding pass that whisks you through an alternate security line and the security checkpoint without having to take off your shoes, belt or jacket, or take out your laptop and 3-1-1 liquids for screening. 

Investment: $85 every 5 years and a quick interview.

Global Entry

Ideal for frequent international travelers, Global Entry includes TSA Precheck and cuts down immigration and customs processing time when you return the U.S. or arrive at one of the 50+ international airports that accept Global Entry. Skip the long, serpentine line, go straight to the Global Entry kiosk and you’re out of the airport in no time. 

Investment: $100 for 5 years and a somewhat lengthy enrollment process and interview.

CLEAR

Perfect for business travelers who want to get from ticketing to the gate in 10 minutes or less, this non-government option works in partnership with airport authorities. Travelers in the program are escorted to a dedicated screening lane that skips all the other lines, including TSA Precheck and Global Entry. At the screening point, you will still need Precheck to get through without removing shoes or unpacking electronics. Enrollment is easy, too. 

Investment: $179 annually