It’s Monday, the 10th of November. I did two shows yesterday after driving all night from Bay Shore, Long Island to Bridgewater, Vermont. I slept from 6 am to noon and did my first show at 3 pm. The shows went well, but I was so out of it. I use to pay good money to feel like that.
In any event, last night after the show when I was packing up, I realized that I have a lot of little tricks that I use to keep a light travel bag and, just in case I hadn’t passed them on to you, thought I would do so now.
You want to take the minimum of stuff with you on the road, and still be prepared for everything you can think of, so...
Toiletries: the sample size of shampoo, toothpaste, a few of those floss sticks, two or three throw away razors (hotels frequently will provide you with plastic throwaway razors, but they are always so cheap they just tear up my cheeks, so I bring my own), throwaway contact lenses and saline, an extra pair of glasses, toothbrush, small hairbrush, and for my little balding head, rogaine.
In my travel bag are a few bandaids, aspirin, Tylenol pm, moisturizer, packets of towelettes, salt, pepper, and honey, and a few sleepy time and throat coat tea bags. This entire package is no bigger than my fist.
Clothing: I bring a weeks worth of underwear and I bought the slightly more expensive but thin cotton undies. Ten pairs of socks; five white, five colored. And if you have to you can wash a pair of socks and undies in the shower the night before and hang them to dry while you sleep.
Two pairs of performing pants (okay, the pants don’t perform, but I perform in them), one pair of jeans, two pairs of slacks, performing shoes, cross trainging shoes, reversible belt (brown on one side black on the other), running pants, two t’s and one sweatshirt, and six dress shirts (which I leave on those skinny hangers. That way, I can pull them out of the suitcase and hang them up as soon as I get where I’m staying. I also leave them in the plastic from the dry cleaners as they get less wrinkled if they are inside those bags..
Gear: One extra wall wort more than the two I require. Three complete sets of Elixir Strings, half a dozen .24’s and half a dozen .32’s. Two more chords than I require. A set each of batteries for my looping box and my effects box (in case there is no power for some reason).
Half a dozen posters, 8x10 glossies, and bios.
All this fits into one standard size Samsonite suitcase (mine is bright orange and is very easy to spot as everyone else has a black bag) and with my pedal boards still only weighs 49 pounds, so the airlines can’t charge me for extra weight.
There’s another thing that I do that may be less desireable to you, but works for me. When I get back from the gig, I take the shirt I performed in (unless it is soaking wet from the performance) and hang it outside if at all possible. I let it hang there all night while I sleep and the next day, it has been completely aired out and then I travel in that shirt.
That saves me having to bring too many pieces of clothing, and it doesn’t offend. At least, no one has run screaming from the room holding their nose when I enter and no traveling companions have the car windows open and their heads hanging out there, while they gag. I hate when that happens.