• First off, depending on where you are going, make sure you are up to speed on your Tetanus shots, and get whatever shots they recommend if you are traveling internationally. Trust me, you do not want to get sick when you are traveling.
  • Do not ever take any illegal paraphernalia to a foreign country. You can do all that stuff when you get back or find it there.
  • Travel comfortably! You'll thank yourself — jeans, a T-shirt, comfortable shoes, and a coat. That's it! Try not to wear a belt or anything with metal on it. This will save you from the added stress of stripping at security points.
  • Get a national plan for your phone if you travel from job to job like I do. I use Verizon, and they are pretty affordable and dependable.
  • Bring your laptop. Most hotels now have Ethernet connections in the rooms.
  • Be careful what you eat and drink when traveling abroad, especially internationally.
  • Pack enough underwear, just in case!
  • Always plan for harsh conditions. You never know. Pack extra coats and shoes.
  • Get good luggage that can withstand the elements. Take your more valuable things in your carry-on luggage. Thieves are everywhere, including the airport.
  • Keep your credentials close (ID, passport, visa). The less time it takes you to present ID, the easier it will be for you to get through the mess that is the airport.
  • Carry snacks with you. The size of the plane will determine how fast the attendants will serve you. Carrying bottled water is also a good idea in case you need to take pills.
  • Here's what's in my goodie bag for the plane ride: iPod, Airborne Pills, spare batteries, Kleenex, sleep mask, business cards (hey, you never know who you'll be sitting next to), eye drops, hand sanitizer (very important), and a magazine.

Happy traveling!
Nick McCord,
lighting designer
Los Angeles, CA