Open Road Essentials


Items No Creative Adventure Should Be Without

We asked six creative pioneers to share the one item they never travel without. From savoring a little piece of home on the open road to keeping the eye on the needle this list explores how a few small items can change the game for any creative adventure.

David Preece

Professional Football Coach & Journalist


Half of a footballer’s life is spent on the road and the novelty soon wears off and the thrill of traveling turns into a chance to catch up on lost sleep.

I never went anywhere without a pillow tucked under my arm and now, during long drives for holidays, or back home from South Yorkshire where I work to my native Sunderland with my daughter, I always make sure she brings her own piece of home with her.

It’s a small comfort but the familiar smell of home, a comfort blanket in cushion form, makes the journey pass quickly and wards of the cry of “Are we there yet, Dad?”

David Whitley

Travel Writer


A 2-in-1 USB phone charger is not exactly a sexy piece of kit, but it can solve so many road trip issues. No-one ever quite knows how tech-friendly a rental car will be – some come with plenty of USB ports, others stick solely to the old cigarette lighter slot.

But now the latter doesn’t mean choosing between directions and music. Stick the charger into the ciggy lighter, with the Satnav in one slot, and a phone or iPod in the other. Job done, hassle-free.


Charlie Connelly

Author, Attention All Shipping


When my dad blu-tacked a compass to the middle of his dashboard a few years ago I laughed at him. It sat there bobbing and rotating like a gobstopper in a shot glass, the most useless bit of kit in the world. Then I borrowed the car, drove around Scotland, left Aberdeen and headed cheerfully south for London. Or so I believed.

After about an hour I glanced at the compass and noticed that ‘south’ was pointing towards me. I was heading north. If it wasn’t for the compass I’d have probably driven merrily on until being picked up by a trawler somewhere north of Rockall.

I now take a compass everywhere, because you never know.


Anna Wall



Headphones are an essential for me. They’re useful for drowning out intercoms, screaming kids at take-off, and other rowdy passengers. I usually take a high-flying brand such as Sennheisers with serious quality that double up my DJ gigs. Just as important is what I’m listening to – making sure I have the right travel playlist is also essential.

Whatever destination I end up at I always reminisce about each song after my travels; providing more memories than a photo album could ever do.”home, a comfort blanket in cushion form, makes the journey pass quickly and wards of the cry of “Are we there yet, Dad?”


Brian Cannon

Graphic Designer & Photographer


An item I never leave behind when going on a long trip in the car is my trusty Canon Power Shot G16. It’s far more practical to carry around than one of my pro DSLR’s – it’ll fit in my pocket.

The build quality is fantastic, if it slides off the dashboard and crashes to the floor it’s still good to go and the image quality for such a little blighter is outstanding. The fact I have a similar surname to the brand is irrelevant – other cameras are available.

Simone Marie

Bass Player, Primal Scream


We all have the obvious stuff we travel with, I definitely have mine and it is a list of substantial length packed into 100 ml perfection ranging from tinted spf moisturiser, moroccan oil hair serum for when you are in THE most humid place on earth, eye drops, ear plugs, good quality headphones ( no one wants to listen to plane buzz and people eating / snoring etc..) healthy snacks, because at one point you’re bound to end up landing somewhere at 3 am with the only food option being a suspect meat product between stale bleached white bread. No thanks.

So despite all the obvious supplies, my absolute item would be a pair of shades. I have a favourite pair that go everywhere with me.