Our series The One aims to uncover the untapped tips of the well-travelled. Here acclaimed fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, who recently shot Grace Coddington for Smythson Travel, divulges his love of unconventional holiday reads and the necessary nature of a beret in-flight.

What’s the one thing you love about travel?

Getting there and arriving in a nice hotel room—that’s very important.

What is the one thing that cures your jet lag?

The only thing that helps my jet lag is washing my face and starting work immediately—I discovered it because I had to. It’s much better than sleeping.

What’s the one remedy, vitamin or supplement that you swear by for travelling?

A strong cup of hot tea.

What’s the one book you always turn to in transit?

I like reading biographies of jazz musicians but I’m not sure other people would consider those “holiday reads.”

Arthur4What is the one product from Smythson that you would choose above all others?

The Burlington Holdall because it holds all that I need.

What is the one thing that you always order from room service?

I prefer going down to the restaurant rather than ordering room service. The restaurant at the Ritz is one of my favourites.

What is the one Smythson product you rely on?

The Panama Diary is small and necessary for all my appointments and upcoming jobs. Anything pocket-sized is great.

What is your number one luxury travel item?

As a photographer, you always have to have your camera. I never leave home without it—I sometimes even go to bed with it. I like small crossbody bags that I can put a small camera in, like the Smythson Panama Mini Crossbody Bag.


What is the one item that you always steal (or want to steal) from a hotel?

No, that’s a secret because I’m still doing it!

What’s your one go-to outfit for travel?

Adidas pants, a t-shirt and button-up shirt with a pocket for your passport.


If you are only travelling with one bag, what do you pack?

Black Vans because they go with anything, Riccola Lemon Cough Drops, a beret and a Hermes neck scarf to keep you warm (and stylish) and my camera. The Burlington Small Washbag holds everything I need on a plane. I always have to have my Crabtree & Evelyn Gardener’s Scented lotion, a toothbrush and toothpaste and Refresh eye drops. I dry out in a plane so lotion and eye drops are necessary and I always like to have a clean mouth with fresh breath.

About This Series

The One: The definitive guide to the one thing that you must do in a city, take on your journey, or wear when you get there: from the best sashimi restaurant in Osaka, to the perfect travel-sized moisturiser; that one dress that never creases, to the place for late-night paella in Madrid. Take advice from the people who’ve seen it all, and never find yourself stuck queuing for a tourist trap again.

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