Travelling for strictly recreational reasons, such as sun/beach-trips or city-shopping trips is quite different from travelling to see rock shows.
For me, it’s important to travel light, not carry around heavy, bulky, impractical baggage – and have quick access to everything I need when I need it.
Packing for a festival is also different from packing for a regular indoor-show abroad. The festival-necessities have already been described in a different blog – but these are the things I always put in my bag when going to a show abroad :-):
Cameras (I usually bring 2, one that can be dropped or used in the rain, or when Ozzy’s hosing down his audience. Camera 2 being my “good” one, when I’m not risking any of the above. Also, it’s good to always have a backup)
Batteries, chargers and memory-cards. Lots of it! :-)
Tickets (of course)
Meal bars/protein bars/nuts (if you’re in front row, and you get hungry, the whole show could get ruined because you’re starving and you can’t go anywhere for hours to buy something. Or you wake up in the middle of the night hungry, and nothing is open. That goes for the entire trip – food is expensive at airports and hotels, and sometimes you just don’t have time to stand in line at McDonald’s for a sloppy burger. Bring bars or nuts – that way you’re always good to go)
Aspirins / cold caplets. Better safe than sorry.
Nose-spray (if your ears hurt by the pressure at takeoff or landing, that’s your best trick. Nose-spray clears your sinuses and eliminates that uncomfortable feeling when your ears feel like they’re going to explode.
Your banking-info. Anything might happen – you run out of money or you didn’t have as much as you thought you did, or just for security – make sure that you’ve got a backup and can transfer cash to your card if there is an emergency.
GPS and printed directions/maps. Phone numbers, addresses in your wallet.
Program the addresses you know you’ll be going to and save them in your “favorites” in your GPS before you leave. Then you’re ready to go.
Sometimes your GPS might not work for whatever reason (happened to me in Belgium, didn’t know that the cigarette lighter socket was broken, cause the GPS was still running on battery. But once I realized it, it was a nightmare figuring out how to get from where I was to where I was going. So, always have a Plan B)
Travel adaptors (it sucks to realize that you can’t charge your cellphone, camera battery, laptop and whatever else… Be prepared)
The right currency. Even if you use your credit card for hotels and food, you will always need cash for anything from public toilets in some countries, to buying a hotdog somewhere. It usually costs less exchanging in your own country.
- I keep all my travel documents in a folder in the order I’m going to need them. That way I don’t have to stand there flipping through everything, searching for the right paper.
It’s usually in this order:
a) Boarding pass
b) Rental car confirmation or train/bus/transfer confirmation
c) Hotel confirmation
d) Concert tickets
e) Maps, directions, phone numbers
- Not necessary but nice to bring with you – hand wipes, disinfectants or just regular wipes to freshen up when you’re on the go.
- Laptop / iPhone / smartphone I get a local SIM-card (for phones where you’re allowed to switch) A lot cheaper than roaming.
- Emergency rain poncho – cheap, easy to carry with you and believe me – you never know when you’re gonna need it!
I try to be smart about the clothes I bring, some stuff can be washed in the sink and dried near a window or hanging above an airconditioner set to “hot” (be creative, you’ll figure it out).What I do shove in the carry-on, I roll, because it keeps the garment from getting crinkled – then I roll it Saran wrap. :) Makes it easy to fit anywhere in your bag, and it’s protected in case you happen to throw something in your bag that might have stained it otherwise (such as that mealbar for instance).
Just plan everything ahead, every step of the way. That saves you valuable time once you get to your destination. And, like my friend Vera stated earlier this morning – the most important thing you need to bring is your common sense.
Safe travels! :)
Also check out The Rock’n’roll traveller’s best tips part 1 and 2: