There are many lessons — big and small — to be learned from travelling. Some notable Kiwis share theirs.

The life of a touring musician can be pretty hectic. On my last tour of Europe, I flew for two solid days — three flights and then a two-hour train ride to the AirBnB, arrived late at night and had a 4am call time for a performance on German breakfast TV, followed by 20 shows in 22 days. I take any stolen moment I can for self-care: Facetime with my family, a 20-minute massage in an airport, a manicure between soundcheck and the show, all those things allow me some much-needed alone time when travelling with a band. In addition, a few things I can't live without on the road are:

Humidiflyer: Invented by an Air NZ flight attendant, this little face mask keeps you hydrated, protects from nasty airplane germs and helps manage jet lag so I can hit the ground running when I arrive. The All-Blacks use it, as well as many professional singers. You look a bit weird, but, I wait for the lights to go off and then slip it on.

Trtl Pillow: This is a lifesaver on tour — it allows you to sleep anywhere while seated: planes, trains, greenrooms and tour vans. It looks like a scarf, but has a brace sewn inside that holds your neck upright. Paired with my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, I can grab much-needed rest on the run.


Sea-Legs tablets: I'm prone to motion sickness, which isn't ideal for a person who travels for a living.

A book: I am a bookworm and always have one on the go. Great for those long waits in airports and train stations.

— Tami Neilson plays the North West Wine, Beer and Food Festival on Saturday 9 February at The Hunting Lodge, Waimauku. Tickets on sale now at Eventfinda.

Whilst I am the type that needs to be at the airport or train station way, way too early, once the journey begins I am super relaxed and pretty much turn off until I arrive ... however my brain doesn't rest or sleep so I am constantly scribbling things down that come to mind.

Upon arriving at the destination I am wired 24/7, there is so much to explore and see. Everyone thinks I travel to see food, food and more food. Whilst this may be true in most instances, I find so many inspirations in people, culture, design and of course food. The real secret is to ensure you capture them, as you never know when you will need to be inspired.

My one piece of advice for anyone travelling is: keep your eyes wide, wide open — there is something to learn every step of the journey.

Global Baker Dean Brettschneider. Photo / Supplied
Global Baker Dean Brettschneider. Photo / Supplied

— Dean Brettschneider

Travel has taught me that a cure for a broken heart is perspective. If you're sad, the elevation of a plane ride can literally and figuratively lift you out of one way of being and into another. That new outlook — whether from another city in your own country, or on another continent, has a kind of alchemy that turns sadness and loss into adventure and discovery.


I went to Greece for a week with one of my friends. I met her, standing on a jetty where her ferry arrived, on a tiny island in Greece called Spetses. We were both lovesick and confused. We spent a week running amok, drinking beer, eating the best food I've ever come across, and reading old paperback books. In the space of days, our hearts were lifted by the blue sea and the warm laughter of strangers, and our cheeks were flushed like the bougainvillea that bloomed everywhere we walked.

Michelle Langstone stars in The Bad Seed. Photo / Dean O'Gorman
Michelle Langstone stars in The Bad Seed. Photo / Dean O'Gorman

— Michelle Langstone stars in The Bad Seed coming in 2019 to TVNZ 1

I spent 10 or so weeks in India once, on an Australian cricket film. Here is what I learnt about travel in the amazing sub continent: say yes. Say yes to the experience in all its glory. You will get sick at some point, there is no avoiding that. Once, while squatting, I spoke directly to the universe. "I have nothing left to give". I was wrong. We stayed in some very nice accommodation, but the best experiences were out among the people and the culture. It was sensory saturation. Maybe I'm being horribly naive, but saying yes and moving outside the comfort zone of guided tours made all the difference for me. That and I lost 10kg. Your call.

Ryan O'Kane stars in Shortland Street.
Ryan O'Kane stars in Shortland Street.

— Ryan O'Kane stars in Shortland Street, returning in January on TVNZ 2

● That sleeping pills are the best antidote to jet lag. But only for a day or two.
● That sometimes being 1.6m tall is a blessing, especially in Economy Class.
● That my endurance for discomfort trumps paying for premium economy.
● That I can fit very many things in my jeans' pockets.
● That even though I can get lost in Sylvia Park, I can still navigate the world with Google maps.
● That you don't need to speak Polish if you have Uber.
● That your hire car excess is covered by your travel insurance so don't get the extra cover.
● That the world is mainly filled with delightful people despite what the Daily Mail comments may indicate.
● That no matter how beautiful a vista, how delicious a mouthful, how clear the water or how tasty and crisp a beer, there truly is no place like home.

Penny Ashton.
Penny Ashton.

— Penny Ashton has two shows at the upcoming Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival — Olive Copperbottom (Feb 22-23) and Captain Pinky's Pirate Toddler Boogie (February 23).

Our No. 1 piece of advice in booking accommodation is to make sure where you're staying is close to public transport and close to somewhere to eat.
Before the group books anywhere, we google restaurants and cafes in the area, use google street view and TripAdvisor extensively. Location almost always trumps how nice a place is.

Airport stress is the worst stress. We allow so much extra time to get to the airport. It came in handy in Rome last year when we'd planned to take the train. We found out after waiting at the train stop that the train and bus drivers were on strike. Traffic was worse than ever because of it and we had to Uber. It took an hour longer but we got there in time. It's no fun being at an airport an hour more than you need to but if you've ever missed a flight (I have), you'll know which one you'd rather experience.

Other quick-fire handy tips: You can store areas of google maps offline in the app. I store areas before we fly into somewhere where I won't have data. And I carry hand scales to pre-weigh bags before we get to the airport. We're always juggling weight.

Avalanche City's Dave Baxter.
Avalanche City's Dave Baxter.

— Dave Baxter, Avalanche City

Travel has taught me a lot about myself and my culture. As a Kiwi, you don't really realise how big the world is until you travel. I'm a huge fan of Scotland, maybe because I'm ginger and feel a sense of belonging there. Edinburgh is one of my favourite spots, I love the evil history, the underground scene and the architecture. J.K. Rowling drew a lot of inspiration for Harry Potter from there so that's another reason it's my favourite city.

Travel has been hugely important for my perspective on things and as a creative I feel it's important.

Joel Shadbolt, lead singer for LAB.
Joel Shadbolt, lead singer for LAB.

— Joel Shadbolt is the lead singer for L.A.B., who have a new album out and will support John Butler Trio at The Hunting Lodge on March 3. Tickets on sale now at Eventfinda