Welcome to the T+L Carry-On, where we take a look inside the luggage of jetsetters—and gain a few expert tips along the way.

By John Scarpinato
February 14, 2017
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
T + L Carry On: Luke Bracey
Credit: Kira Turnbull

Travel + Leisure caught up with Luke Bracey, the new face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Red Extreme fragrance, to talk all things travel at the Park Hyatt New York.

Bracey, who is known for his recent roles in "Point Break" and "Hacksaw Ridge," has found himself traveling more than ever. In addition to promoting the new fragrance, he has been on the road celebrating "Hacksaw Ridge" at various award shows. The film is currently nominated for six Academy Awards.

We sat down to discuss how Bracey’s work has led him to incredible destinations, the essentials that make it into his luggage, and the travel habits he’s picked up along the way. Plus, don’t forget to check out last week’s column with "The Vampire Diaries" actress Kat Graham.

On His Hometown, Sydney:

“It’s a beautiful part of the world. I always feel lucky that it’s my home and that I get to go back to it. When I’m home, I like to do the simple things. That’s the great thing about Sydney. The lifestyle is beautiful, there’s so much to do, and the art scene is great. There’s something about the way you live your life there, which is really the draw for me. It’s very relaxed.

We have the beautiful harbor and beautiful beaches, so that is a must. Most of them have barbecues set up, so you can just take down your food, sit by the beach, and cook. That’s always a beautiful way to experience Sydney.

I like to try and really experience a place the way the locals do. So, that would be my tip for Sydney—get outside and see the beaches, because that’s sort of what we do when the weather is good.”

On Filming "Hacksaw Ridge":

“Normally when we make movies, we get shipped off to a new country where we don’t know the language and have no friends. The first couple of weeks are pretty lonely trying to figure out what you’re going to do with yourself. But filming "Hacksaw Ridge" was the complete opposite, because we were in Sydney. All of my family and friends are there.

I could go to my sister's, have barbecues, and hang out with my family on Sundays. After a day’s work, I could call up a good mate and grab dinner and a couple of beers. It was a luxury that I had never had while working before. It made it almost like a real job. I had a routine with family and friends, and for the first time in six years, I got to spend a good extended amount of time there. It was a real pleasure. I don’t know how I’m going to make movies other ways now.”

On Traveling the World for "Point Break":

“I think we went to 10 or 11 countries in six months, which is nuts. I was working the entire time, trying to stay fit and healthy while telling the story and taking in all of the beauty and amazing things. It was such an amazing experience.

We went from Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and all around Europe to Tahiti, Mexico, Venezuela, and Utah. It was insane, really. It was one of the most special experiences I’ve had. There aren’t many movies other than the James Bond films that go around the world in that kind of way. Typically filmmakers are looking to save money, which usually means sticking us in a studio with lots of blue or green fabric. So to be able to go to these places is a rarity today in movie making. I was very fortunate to do that.

Angel Falls was amazing. It’s very hard to get to these days, so to be able to go there was very lucky. I’ll never forget those two weeks. We were literally in the jungle of Venezuela hanging off of Angel Falls, 3,000 feet above the Earth. Tahiti was also incredible. There was an amazing 40-foot swell that came through, and as a surfer that was next level. Getting to watch these pros just absolutely tear apart this wave was amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever have another job in which I’ll get to do that.”

On His Favorite Place to Surf:

“I would say back home in Sydney is my favorite place to surf. The amount of days, months, and hours I spent growing up in the water there has got a special place in my heart, and I’m very connected to it.”

T + L Carry On: Luke Bracey
Credit: Kira Turnbull

Tips for Dealing with Jet Lag:

“My biggest tip is sunshine. If you get to a place and you’re really tired, don’t go to bed. Get outside and walk around. If you can get on it straight away, that’ll help you. Otherwise, you’re just going to fight a losing battle. Also, I’ve found that jet lag is much harder going east than west. If you’re traveling from America to Europe, that jet lag can be really hard, but if you’re traveling the other way, it sort of works out. Also, if you can get some sleep on the plane, that always helps too. Invest in some eye masks and earplugs. I have so many of them.”

On Staying Healthy While Traveling:

“It’s very difficult, especially if you’re traveling from a hot, humid place to a cold, damp place. That will really wreak havoc on you. I think if you can eat well and drink a lot of water, that helps. I try to do 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups a day. If you can get up in the morning and pump those out, then you’ve done something for the day.”

What to Bring on Long Flights:

“I like reading on a plane, and I find that a good book mixed with the motion of the plane tends to rock me to sleep. I’m not the type of person who can listen to music and read at the same time. The music distracts me, and I’ll end up reading the same sentence 50 times. Instead, I’ll pick up a newspaper and a couple magazines. That’ll give me a nice range of things to read.

Currently, I’m reading a bit of Hemingway. I really like those classic books that we’re all supposed to read. I’m also reading Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. It’s about how geography, even in 2017, can play a role in the politics of the world. It’s quite interesting.”

T + L Carry On: Luke Bracey
Credit: Kira Turnbull

The Destination Topping His Bucket List:

“I’ve always wanted to go to India. I feel like it would be a sensory overload with all of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. Hopefully I’ll get there soon.”

His Carry-On Essentials:

"Well, I have the tradition I mentioned about bringing a book and a few magazines, but I also typically throw a few t-shirts and a pair of jeans in a duffel bag. Earplugs and eye masks are a must. Also, it’s good to have a nice pair of sunglasses."

On the First Thing to do in a New City:

“I try to walk around without a map or anything and just get outside. Usually, I’ll find a nice bar to have a beer in and will sit and watch people pass by. It’s a great way to get a vibe for the city. I like people watching and observing the energy of a city. It usually informs me on how to go about conducting myself there.”

On His Travel Routine:

“I've started this routine now where I take off my belt and put my phone and my wallet in my bag as soon as I get out of the car. I try to be as contentious as possible, because everyone is trying to get out of there as fast as possible.

I also have a ring that my mom gave me when I was younger. I’ve had it for a really long time, and when I started traveling by myself, I took it with me and always have it with me when I fly. I either wear it or keep it in a little bag with my passport. It reminds me of home and my mom.”