Simon Calder is travel editor of `The Independent' and presenter on BBC1's `The Travel Show'

"I have taken my bike (1) as hand luggage several times, although it usually ends up in the hold and gets put on the wrong flight on a regular basis. Flights often go horribly wrong so I keep my schedule guide (2) with me at all times. It's a bit trainspotterish but incredibly useful. The joyous thing about my job is that I get to go to very interesting places and meet people with all sorts of intriguing views, which I record with my Minidisc (3). I always carry my upgrade tie (4) so I can look like a member of the fare-paying public. I first went to Cuba 10 years ago and noticed there was no guidebook, so I wrote one (5). I always carry dollars in my wallet (6) as almost every country knows how much their currency is worth in dollars. I bought my laptop (7) in Chicago two years ago. The man said I could drop it out of a window and it would escape unharmed - I've done the equivalent and it's still OK. I always bring my radio (8) as the BBC World Service is a great solace. They often know what's going on in strange parts of the world better than local sources."

Interview by Aoife O'Riordain

Photograph by Darren Regnier