Essential kit: 3 top gadgets Chelsea FC players can't travel without
Whether they’re settling down on the team bus en route to a domestic game or jetting off around the world on international duty, it’s safe to say Chelsea FC players are pretty well-travelled. With that comes experience. The more you travel, the more you learn what you really can—and can’t—live without.
With the right kit, travel offers an opportunity to rest up between gruelling matches and training sessions. As these top Blues players reveal, it’s all about packing that one thing that makes the journey easier and more enjoyable. Chelsea stars Jessie Fleming, Pernille Harder, and Christian Pulisic reveal the gadgets that help them tackle every trip.
Be the official photographer like Jessie Fleming
Every family or group of friends has one: that person who always has their camera on standby, ready to capture every special moment or take a photo of the landscape in the perfect light. In Jessie Fleming’s family, that person has always been her. The Canadian international, born in London, Ontario, joined Chelsea Women in July 2020 and was previously at UCLA Bruins in Los Angeles. So she’s covered a fair bit of distance in the air as well as on the pitch.
For Jessie, who’s considered one of the best box-to-box midfielders currently in the game, a smartphone just doesn’t compare to holding a proper, old-school camera in your hands and snapping away. She considers photography one of her hobbies and likes to use a camera loaded with film while exploring her adopted hometown of London, whether by foot or on her road bike.
“I can’t travel without my camera because, on family vacations, I was in charge of taking pictures,” says the Olympic gold medallist, whose goal secured Canada’s victory at the Tokyo games in 2021. “My camera makes my travel better. It’s special to me because I think it’s a unique way of capturing moments with friends and family and to be able to reminisce those moments in later years.”
The star player isn’t the only one attracted by the solid feel of a camera wound with film and the tactile nature of printed photographs. Film has made a bit of a comeback, as have retro-style and instant cameras. The latter make great gifts for those new to photography or anyone who likes to snap photos on the go.
Jessie also loves selecting her favourite images to create photo books that she and her loved ones can treasure for years to come—another wonderful gift idea if you’re looking for something a little more personal.
Sleep soundly on the go like Pernille Harder
Jessie’s teammate Pernille Harder has a simpler, and smaller, travel essential: a pair of earplugs. The Danish team captain is rated one of the world’s best players, so it’s important she gets some decent rest in between matches and training sessions—and especially when jetting around the world for tournaments and pre-season games.
“I can’t travel without my earplugs because I need them to sleep,” she says. “I can’t sleep with noise, so my earplugs are really important to me to get some sleep during my travels. They keep out all the noise and that’s amazing.”
Pernille made history when she joined Chelsea in 2020 for a fee of more than £250,000, a record high for a female player. The forward, who previously played for Linköpings in Sweden and then Germany’s Wolfsburg, has consistently performed as one of the team’s top scorers and is regularly named as Denmark’s top player—partly, perhaps, because she sleeps so well.
Bring the music with you like Christian Pulisic
Years of travelling around Europe and his home country of the USA have taught Christian Pulisic a few things. One is that he just can’t do it without his headphones. For the attacking midfielder and winger, who joined the Blues in early 2019, they combine music, space, peace, and quiet in one easy-to-transport package.
Finding the best pair can be a bit of a minefield, with a huge range of styles and prices on the market. Christian prioritises a noise cancellation feature, so he can relax in his own little bubble even if he isn’t listening to anything. The best ones will even block out the noise of engines on an aeroplane or on the team bus. Bigger is often better, too, as extra cushioning means they should be comfortable even if you drift off to sleep or slump against the window.
“I can’t travel without my headphones. I love listening to music or simply using the noise cancellation feature to block out all the noise,” says Christian, who was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania and also plays for the US national team. “It keeps me in my own little world and allows me to listen to whatever I want. It makes my travels a lot ‘quieter’ and allows me to have my own space as I don’t have to listen to everything else that’s going on.”