As a war correspondent for the Times of London and Vanity Fair, Janine di Giovanni has reported from battlefields worldwide. Her latest book, Madness Visible, is a memoir of her 10-year experience covering the Balkans conflict. From her home in Paris, di Giovanni shares some well-tested travel wisdom.

I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT PowerBars, a flashlight, and a good medical kit, which includes strong painkillers. Also key: earplugs and eyeshades.

UNDER THE RADAR Despite the unrest, Jerusalem remains an essential must-visit. Stay at the American Colony Hotel (Nablus Rd.; 972-2/627-9777; doubles from $290) to feel the history and the grandeur of the Holy Land.

KEEPING CALM IN CHAOS I always try to bring a bit of Zen with me on assignment. It can be an uplifting book such as Thomas Merton: Essential Writings, a small bottle of Chanel No. 5, or a fig-scented candle by Diptyque. Anything to help transcend the reality of war.

SAVE ROOM FOR A little black dress. No matter how lightly I pack, I always include one sexy outfit, because you just never know where you will stop over on the way home.

STILL ON HER LIST I want to walk down Brazil's Copacabana beach in a bikini. It's something every woman has to try once.
—David Kaufman

American Colony Hotel