Me and my kit

Years of being a war correspondent taught Martin Bell to carry very little, except lots of cash
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The Independent Travel

I always travel very light, but it is very important to me that I take lucky charms - a St Christopher, for example. I also take a corkscrew, spare shoelaces, a Maglite torch, bath and washbasin plug (particularly when going to the Balkans) and then just a couple of white suits in a dark blue Globetrotter suitcase without wheels. The reason for this is because when I first bought these cases they didn't have wheels and I always buy the same stuff.

I always travel very light, but it is very important to me that I take lucky charms - a St Christopher, for example. I also take a corkscrew, spare shoelaces, a Maglite torch, bath and washbasin plug (particularly when going to the Balkans) and then just a couple of white suits in a dark blue Globetrotter suitcase without wheels. The reason for this is because when I first bought these cases they didn't have wheels and I always buy the same stuff.

I'm a very well organised traveller and have never lost anything on my travels nor had any amusingly bad experiences. But I believe I have visited 81 countries, nearly all on business. My preferred holiday destinations are Portugal, the Seychelles and Nice - plenty of sunshine and loads of water.

The key thing to remember when travelling is not to worry. It's only travelling. People get so uptight at airports. They behave badly towards each other. But I am always relaxed.

Formerly a journalist with the BBC, Martin Bell is now an independent MP, for Tatton. He has recently delivered speeches on his experiences of reporting from Bosnia during the fighting and of his more recent role as a politician. He recalls these moments in his new book, 'An Accidental MP' (Viking, £16.99).

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