'Amazing Race' Contestants Face a Packing Dilemma, Can't Bring Certain Items

Season 34 of 'The Amazing Race' has been an absolute whirlwind. However, the burning question remains: what are contestants allowed to bring?

Haylee Thorson - Author

Nov. 9 2022, Published 10:32 p.m. ET

Claire, Luis, Derek, and Michelle on 'The Amazing Race'
Source: CBS

So far, Season 34 of The Amazing Race has been an absolute whirlwind. With a European kick-off, zero non-elimination legs, positive COVID-19 results, and a Big Brother power couple, the newest season of the reality television race hasn't had a shortage of twists and turns. However, after debuting over two decades ago, the Emmy award-winning series has remained remarkably consistent.

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With characteristics such as Pit Stops, Road Blocks, a $1 million prize, and more, fans have long admired The Amazing Race’s remarkable ability to withstand the test of time. However, the burning question remains: what are contestants allowed to bring on the race around the world?

Derek and Claire
Source: CBS
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What are 'The Amazing Race’ contestants allowed to bring on the show?

When contestants are invited onto The Amazing Race, they aren't told what to pack. Hayley Keel, who competed in Season 26 of the series, told She Just Glows that she was completely in the dark when it came to what to bring. “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.” However, contestants are told what not to bring.

The Amazing Race contestants aren't able to pack credit cards or their own money. They also aren't allowed to bring cameras, GPS technology, maps, and/or language guides. At the beginning of each leg, teams are provided “leg money” when they open a new clue. When People spoke with executive producer Elise Doganieri amid Season 33, Doganieri said, "We have figured out how much the taxi might cost, or a bus or train ticket. So we give them just enough money for that leg, and they have to be very careful not to overspend."

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Teams also aren't able to beg for money. If contestants don’t budget properly at the start of every leg, it’s up to them to make the most of the situation. While they can’t outwardly ask for money when they are running low, they are able to barter. Doganieri told People, "They can say, 'I've got this cool necklace! If I give you this necklace, can you drive me to …’”

Abby and Will
Source: CBS
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Can 'The Amazing Race’ contestants use cell phones?

Personal cell phones are prohibited in The Amazing Race. In fact, no personal technology is allowed on the reality television series. From Apple watches to iPads, contestants aren't able to bring any device that gives them a leg up on the competition. However, cell phone use isn't banned entirely. "They can't bring their own phones,” Doganieri said. “But they can ask other people for their phones.”

Aubrey Ares
Source: CBS
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Do ‘The Amazing Race' contestants book their own flights?

Because teams on The Amazing Race aren't allowed access to their own money or credit cards, they aren't able to book plane tickets in advance. Not only that, but they are also responsible for booking flights for their cameraman and sound person when it comes down to it. "If they can't get tickets for the four members on the plane, they have to wait until they can find four seats. Their entire crew has to travel with them," executive producer Bertram van Munster told People.

To stay up-to-date on Season 34 of The Amazing Race, tune in to new episodes on CBS on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.

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