Fran Kelly's Foolproof Packing List


She interviews newsmakers before breakfast but flying is all about catching up on television for this radio presenter.

Are you early or late to the airport?

Veering on early. I hate being late and stressed for a plane. I think it was [former prime minister] John Howard who, when asked how he stayed so young and energetic, said, “Because I always get to the airport early to save myself the stress.” I get what he’s talking about.

Do you sleep well on flights?

I don’t sleep on any form of transport.

Is there anything that helps?

I have [sleeping] pills for occasions when I really need to sleep. I’m a meditator – I do it most mornings – so I can employ relaxation techniques quite effectively but it’s not the same as just dropping into a good sleep.

What do you do midair while you’re awake?

I only listen to podcasts on planes if I’m in work mode. When I fly for relaxation, I tend to read or watch a movie.

Do you binge-watch?

I love a good TV series. On one flight recently, I watched Riverdale, got hooked and watched three more episodes when I came home. That’s the level I resort to. 

What was your most memorable flight?

I was lucky enough to go to Anzac Cove for the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli [in 2015] on the special Qantas flight that flew the family of veterans [to Turkey]. All the staff had a connection to the story as well. On the way home, everyone was quite uplifted by what we’d been a part of. The whole vibe was very warm and a bit spiritual.

Have you ever felt uplifted on a regular flight?

After I spent two years abroad as a Europe correspondent, I came back to Australia for my current job. There’s nothing quite like hearing Aussie accents on the flight and that sense of coming home.

How do you approach packing?

Most of my packing is done very last minute – in fact, some of it’s done at 4am before leaving for work. 

What’s on your checklist?

My No. 1 thing is making sure all my devices are correct. I’m a radio reporter and if you travel without the right cord you could be in big trouble. So I always check that I have all my chargers and batteries and plugs.

How do you dress for a flight?

As soon as the lights are down, I put on my tracksuit pants and flight socks and snuggle in. That said, I’m mindful of my tracksuit pants not being too daggy after I flew long haul with a prime minister who used to get changed into his – it just wasn’t a good look. 

SEE ALSO: Sarah Ferguson's Very Memorable Venice Trip


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