photo: Rob Tannenbaum


Packing for the Amazing Race is almost as stressful as the race itself. So we went to a pro. We asked Martha what we should pack on the race and we got five great tips – not only for the Amazing Race, but for anyone taking a long trip. Here’s what Martha told us to pack:

1. Packets of real lemon juice. It’s important to keep healthy on the Race. Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant that can be used to clean surfaces. It can also be added to drinking water to kill some germs, and mask unpleasant tastes. (Though of course it won’t make non-potable water potable.) Real lemon juice also contains Vitamin C which may keep some illnesses at bay. Because the Race involves multiple airports, it’s great that the packets are small enough to take through airport security.

2. Dried figs. Most fruits lose much of their nutrition when dried, however figs don’t. Dried figs are high in folic acid and potassium. Plus they have a lot of fiber to combat travelers constipation.

3. Brightly colored pencils. With the many different locations you’ll hopefully be visiting, it might be helpful to color code your notes when writing down clues and travel itineraries. And since you cannot bring a camera with you, you can also sketch the sites you see to help remember them later. And hopefully you’ll be in the race long enough so that you can give them away as gifts to children that you meet along the way.

4. Lavender oil. Lavender fragrance is a potent relaxation aid. Since it’s doubtful that you’ll have room to pack a travel pillow, you can dab a touch of lavender oil on the airline pillows and be well rested for the next leg of the race.

5. T-Shirt translations. The most helpful travel tool is politeness. Use an iron-on transfer to make a T-shirt that has the phrases “Please,” “Thank You,” and “Have you seen Phil Keoghan around here?” printed in every possible language.


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  • By: Heather

    My favorite travel tips: Emergen-C (1000 mg of vitamin C in .3 oz packets), Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (biodegradable and can be used to wash any part of your body as well as clothing) and the most supportive footware you can find (your feet carry you everywhere!)

  • By: Jane

    My tip for traveling to Ireland…..pack extremely light so you have room for all those beautiful Aran sweaters. The first time I went there I had to pack them in everybody’s ‘ suitcases besides mine. I had to sit on mine and bounce up and down

  • By: RK

    Should I be frightened or just unsurprised that Martha was quite close to predicting the final task in her last tip to you? She is indeed all-knowing!! 🙂

  • By: David

    With everything considered, …. who can blame her (i.e. “No Martha, I’m not normal now; but it was a close call.”

  • By: Abraham Leon Jr.

    Were these things you asked Martha on her show or is the picture from your segment when you had the baby goats and talked about the soap (I just got to book 2 in “The Bucolic Plague”).

    • By: Dr. Brent

      Hi, This photo was from a segment we did with her after the book. In this segment on the show we were making our goat milk caramel cinnamon rolls

  • By: Cathey

    Traveling is the best education there is. China travels taught me to always have a Z-pack on hand from my doctor. Eye masks are great and can be squished up and stuffed in a bag. Take chap stick for dry air on planes-lavender scented and you are golden! Take a dri-fit shirt for layering and clear zinc oxide for moisturizer and powerful sunscrean

    • By: Dr. Brent

      Great trips, Cathey. You sound like a world traveler. We could not agree more that travel is a wonderful educational tool

  • By: eriko

    i thought for sure vodka would be on that list…

    • By: eriko

      especially with packets of lemon juice onhand… instant lemodrop!

  • By: Sandy

    She sure has an interesting thought process! Love the tips!!

  • By: junglegirl

    Lavender oil, check. It’s also a great anti-septic for cuts and scrapes. You don’t want foreign germs in even your smallest booboos. Bring band-aids. They’re flat and invaluable.

  • By: nlforst

    Those are great tips. I think Lemon Juice would be my best friend on a trip like that.

  • By: Jack

    This put a smile on my face. Does Martha always look like she’s roll her eyes at Josh when he speaks?

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