Travel Tips From A Touring Entertainer
As a corporate entertainer, traveling to over 100 events a year, I've learned a few travel hacks that make life on the road much easier.
Touring becomes a blur after a while. A wonderful blur of people and cities and hotel rooms and banquet halls and airports. But a blur nonetheless.
Here’s a few travel tips I rely on when I'm on tour. You may find them helpful when on your next trip as well:
1. Under-pack. It’s easy to pick up a few supplies once at your destination, much harder to track down lost bags. That’s why I rarely check a bag when traveling. I once flew to Tokyo, Japan to film a TV special and my bags didn’t arrive on the same flight. I had to borrow a suit from one of the PAs on set and almost wore it on the air. My luggage arrived at the studio about 10 minutes before airtime! Ever since then, I’ve taken everything I need to do the show right on board the plane with me. If you can avoid checking bags it’ll work out better for you in the long run.
2. Clip the curtains shut. There’s always a rogue sunbeam that slices it’s way between hotel curtains and into your room at the break of dawn. If you don’t want to be awoken by it then simply take a hanger (with clips) out of the closet and use it to secure those curtains together. Turn it sideways for best results :-)
3. Audiobooks. Why waste your time when in transit playing games on your phone or endlessly scrolling through social media posts when you could be learning things that will improve your life. That’s why I’ve got a subscription to Audible and always load up my iPhone with useful, intriguing, innovative audiobooks. Shameless plug for my own audiobook "Finding Focus In A Busy World" on Audible and iTunes
4. Upload all important documents. Photograph or scan your passport, drivers license, etc. Then upload everything to Dropbox or Evernote. Or email them to yourself. That way, if you lose them somewhere in transit you can still board a plane or rent a car. Do it now while you're thinking about it. This save your entire trip someday.
5. Commit to loyalty programs and use them. Pick your preferred airline, hotel, and rental car company and register with them. Link them all together if they offer incentives for doing so (for instance: Southwest will give you double points for renting your car through their website). Connect your credit cards to really maximize points.
Every year I get a free Travel Companion Pass from Southwest and can take my wife or children with me on trips for free (you can change the recipient up to 5 times a year). This is in addition to all the free flights, hotel rooms, and rental car days you can get just for taking the trips you were going on anyway. All those point accumulate fast when you've got flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars all contributing to the same loyalty program and doubled through usage of airline rewards credit card.
BONUS TIP: Use those free rental car days on one-way rentals. If you're picking your rental car up in one city and dropping it off in another it will typically cost you hundreds of dollars a day. But the free rental car days in your rewards account can be applied exactly the same as for a standard local rental. That effectively doubles or triples the value of those rewards. You're welcome :-)
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