Lately my writing career has taken me all over the world. In the past year I've travelled to Morocco, Athens, Paris, Rome, and the Seychelles, as well as all over the UK, and I'll be going to Lithuania, Turin, Belfast and New Orleans before the end of this year. So as a crime writer and seasoned traveller, I'm ready to share my top 10 tips for packing.

Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell

1. Make sure you clear the browsing history on your laptop before you set off. You never know who might examine it, and your defence about travelling for research might be lost in translation.

2. If travelling outside the UK remember to pack teabags. English tea hides the taste of poison better than any other tea.

3. Slip a spare set of finger prints into your case. You never know when you may need an extra pair of hands.

4. Pack a wig, sunglasses, and several hats. Interpol will have a harder time trying to track you if you want to go off the radar... while pursuing your research, of course.

5. Wear running shoes, in case you need to make a quick getaway. The more generic the footprint, the better, in case you need to escape from a crime scene.

6. Pack a parachute.You never know when you might need to bail out of a plane.

7. Take a map showing sites where a dead body may be hidden. This could give you inspiration when writing a crime fiction novel...(Why else would you want it?) Professional tip: don't google this too often (see point 1)

8. A manual of local police procedure is always useful, as is the knowledge of whether or not they have abolished the death penalty.

9. Take a phrase book with translations of the phrase 'You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court' and 'hot water, please' so that you can drink a nice cup of tea while you wait in your jail cell (see point 2)

10. Be prepared for anything because travelling, like crime fiction, is always an adventure.