Tips for being an art world traveller: Part II of III
Whether you’re travelling a few hours from home or across multiple time zones, considered preparation can make a world of difference.
Note: This article is the second of a three-part series on traveling, and if you haven’t yet read the first post in this three-part series, take a look, and to read the third, take a look.
Part II: Travel bag essentials
1. Help yourself get a good night of sleep.
When you’re travelling for a professional commitment, it’s important that you’re on top form in order to make the most of the occasion... for which a peaceful night’s rest is important. Yet sometimes, you end up in a setting that makes it difficult to get it.
Consider one summer a few years ago when I ended up sleeping upstairs in a converted barn, where there were large skylights and cows in the fields. By no later than 5.30am each day, the sun would be shining and the cows would be chatting away.
Thanks to two travel bag essentials, I was able to get back to sleep. Those were? Earplugs and an eye mask. No matter how much you might prefer getting rest without such aids, when travelling, they can make a world of difference.
2. Keep on top of the whereabouts for any check-in luggage
Have you come across blue tooth or cellular devices that you can pop into the bag, and track via your smartphone or tablet? They can come in useful when you’re not expecting it.
This brings to mind a trip I took to Arkansas to deliver talks to universities and a local maker space on how to build a career in the art world... Upon landing in Dallas, where I was to collect and re-check a suitcase, it was nowhere to be seen. The airline advised me that it hadn’t left London, and to proceed to the connecting flight without the bag and to speak with the baggage desk upon arriving at my final destination. In the meantime, I marked the piece of luggage as “missing” on the Tile app.
Unfortunately, upon arriving, the airline didn’t have any more information. My father, who had kindly picked me up from the airport, drove us to a local department store, where I purchased a fab new for the first engagement that was taking place 24 hours later.
By the time we arrived at my parents’ house, there was an update on the location of the luggage, thanks not to the airline, but the Tile app. Another app user who was then in the Dallas airport (DFW) was in close enough proximity to spot the piece of luggage that had been marked as “missing” and changed the status as “found”. This prompted a notification to be sent to my smartphone, which informed me that the suitcase had made it to Dallas. I went to bed reassured that the luggage was winding its way to me, and surely enough, after doing that first event, it arrived.
I now always make certain to place a Tile (or equivalent device ) in any bag that is checked-in, which can also mean having one at the ready for large carry-ons that might have to be gate-checked. Moreover, if attending a professional event within 24 hours of landing, an outfit is taken in the carry-on.
3. Pack a reusable water bottle.
You’ll save money, stay hydrated and help the environment with this simple step.
When travelling by air, be certain that you down any remaining water prior to going through security (as you’re typically not allowed to take a large bottle full of liquid through the security checkpoint).
You can get the bottle filled after getting through security, whether that’s from a cafe (ideally where you’re buying something) or a water bottle refill station, which are being rolled out in airports to save plastic. You. Will. Save. So. Much. Money.
Consider this observation: In a recent trip to the USA, I bought a big ole bag of mini chocolate peanut butter cups in a local store for $5.99 (+ a small amount of tax). The same item at the airport was $19.99! While duty free can be awesome, don’t be fooled with snacks and food, as those retailers often have a monopoly which drives up the prices.
A bonus tip: Carry noise cancelling earphones for long-haul flights. They make a great difference for removing background plane noise. Once you try them, you’ll never want to go back!
What are your own must-pack essentials? Add them below as a comment.