Hitting The Road (again…..)

A huge part of my “roadie” job is traveling, and a large part of this traveling involves flying. If any of you fly regularly, I’m sure you know how stressful it can be. Security, crowded airports, crowded airplanes, inconsistent baggage policies, and lost bags are a few of the things that make air travel such a joy.

Adding to my stress level is the fact that I have to figure out a way to get expensive photo gear from Point A to Point B without it being broken, lost, or stolen. I’ve been around the world with my stuff and I’ve got a pretty good system that has worked well for me.

First of all – avoid checking any of your expensive gear if at all possible. You want your stuff in your possession at all times. We once had a video camera stolen in South America – our video guy opened the case while we were setting up and it was gone. It may have happened at the airport or at the venue, but the point is that it was out of our sight for a period of time. I keep my camera, lenses, flashes, and miscellaneous accessories in a Think Tank Airport Antidote 2.0 backpack. This backpack also has a great laptop sleeve that slides into the front of the pack. This pack stays with me the entire time that I’m traveling. I chose this specific bag because it fits in the overhead bin of any airplane, including the small regional jets that I always seem to start my trips on. I can fit a surprising amount of gear in this bag – typically I’ll have my camera, a couple of lenses, two flashes, wireless triggers, hard drive, cleaning supplies, headphones, chargers, batteries, and more in there.

There are a few things that I do put in my checked bag. I usually bring a collapsible umbrella, tripod, small reflector, and sometimes a small light stand. These are things that wouldn’t ruin my trip if they happened to disappear. Another thing I throw in my checked bag is my Think Tank Citywalker 10 messenger bag. Once I get to my destination, the Citywalker becomes my day-to-day bag. The backpack can be a bit heavy and it’s not the best for easy access to gear while walking around. The Citywalker, however, is perfect for this. I put my camera and a couple of lenses in it (and maybe a flash) and I can easily carry that around in the venue or around a city on a day off.

Always make sure you have your name and address somewhere in or on your bags, too. I prefer the laminated luggage tags that we all have on tour. If you forget or misplace your bag somewhere and someone honest finds it, they have a way to get it to you.

Do you have a travel tip that’s not mentioned here? Comment below and let everyone know!

Now go out and shoot!

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About John Zocco

Founder and administrator of ThePhotoRoadie.com

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