'The Amazing Race': Contestants Aren't Told What They Need to Pack for the Show

'The Amazing Race': Contestants Aren't Told What They Need to Pack for the Show

December 4, 2020

The Amazing Race is more than just a reality competition. It offers competitors the opportunity of a lifetime to travel the world, experience new cultures, and have an unforgettable experience. While the perks (and possible $1 million prize at the end) certainly outweigh the tough aspects of the competition, there are still many trials competitors must go through.

It seems one of the trickiest parts of the show happens before it even begins. Competitors aren’t told what they need to pack before they hit the road.

‘The Amazing Race’ is even harder than it looks

Nothing about The Amazing Race looks easy. Not only do competitors need to communicate with their teammate to figure out how to quickly and effectively get from one point to the next, but they also have to budget their money, complete time-consuming tasks, and learn new cultural norms along the way.

One past contestant explained the show is even more difficult than it appears on TV. Hayley Keel told She Just Glows that there are plenty of sleepless nights spent on airport floors, and contestants have to be fit enough to move quickly from place to place. “I prepped by eating FitLife Foods for every meal, and I also started Orange Theory before the race to build endurance and shed a few pounds,” she said.

Contestants also don’t have outside support to help them get through the long days and nights. Only immediate family members can know they’re on the show. “I told my dad, but everyone else thought I was going on a technology-free backpacking trip,” Keel admitted.

Contestants aren’t given guidance on what to pack for the show

While competing on The Amazing Race isn’t easy, contestants also have to think about what to pack for the show. And that seems to be a challenge in and of itself. Keel told She Just Glows that after she was accepted on to the show, she only had a month to get her ducks in a row and prepare for her major adventure. But packing her backpack was one of the most difficult aspects.

“Before the race, I’d sit around watching YouTube videos, like, ‘How do you pack for a backpacking trip for a month in different climates,’ and I’d pack and repack,” she explained.

As far as what she ended up taking with her, she had all of her clothing plus Tide packs, body wipes, and sticks of deodorant. And other contestants found it helpful to pack protein bars, as they served as good meal substitutes when funds were low.

Host Phil Keoghan has given a list of what he can’t travel without

Not only do contestants learn how to pack light for the show, but host Phil Keoghan has also learned a thing or two about traveling. Keoghan meets competitors at the end of each leg of the race, so he also needs to be prepared for weeks of travel in all climates.

Keoghan told AARP he always packs earplugs, an eye mask, sunscreen, and a “breakaway” bag that can be used aside from his large suitcase. And he also had some great advice for travelers venturing into new countries. “Strap your passport and emergency supplies (cash and credit cards) to your body — they should never leave you,” he said. “Leave valuables in the hotel safe only in a modern city. That doesn’t include your passport, by the way; I think it’s always better to keep that with you.”

Finally, Keoghan’s biggest piece of advice is to know you’re a guest in other countries. “You need to get away from complaining that things aren’t like they are at home,” he added. “Treat people with respect and they will do the same.”

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