FACT: You're an actor and you will travel A LOT. Whether you prefer to drive or fly, you have to plan ahead and need to know what to pack with you.
Since the beginning of 2020 I moved 3 times, changed 2 cars, drove about 30 000 miles, been to 11 states, earned 5000+ Delta Skymiles and did hundreds of auditions. Holy shiiiittt. When you've traveled as much as me, your brain will shut off and you'll be able to pack automatically in your sleep. Or half-asleep.
Here's what I usually pack when I book an out-of-state gig. It's different for males and females, and I will list everything for both sexes, so no one gets left out :)
1. Documents. Can't live without them. Speaking from a girl who had hers stolen.
ID or Driver's license, credit cards, debit card, social security card, passport (if you're out of the country) and vaccination card. You cannot work without it.
2. Birth pills, vitamins & condoms. We all have needs and actors want to be loved too. Even if it's a one or two-night stand. I've been there more than once when my co-star and I had chemistry and one thing led to another. We're all adults and protection is a must!
3. One business outfit, 1 casual, 1 Sunday best. It's good to have your own clothes in case wardrobe doesn't have your size or the right colour. Bring clothes for the parts that you audition for the most. Example: I audition for a lot of escorts, dancers and "sexy girl" types. Therefore, I bring short skirts, blouses, high heels and a dress that shows my assets.
4. Diary or journal. You're on set and you have to remember that experience. Write about it.
5. Self-tape equipment. I can't count how many times I got a last-minute audition during my trips. And I always had my backdrop, tripod and Lumix with me.
6. Chargers, phone & laptop. We can't live without technology and we need to communicate with people.
7. Book. You will be sitting all day in a trailer, inside the big warehouse set or outside. You need a good distraction for the time to pass.
8. Extra socks & lingerie. If you're going to be gone for a month or so, pack a good amount. If for some unknown reason, laundry at the hotel isn't working or laundromat in town is closed, wash them yourself with soap and shampoo that hotels or motels provide. If you need extra, you can always come to front desk and ask for some more. It'll cost you nothing.
9. Warm clothes in case you're going to the Northern states or country. I actually thought I had gotten CoVid after my first trip to Denver in January. I did pack a coat, scarf, gloves and sweater. And I was still cold in the 40-degree weather.
10. Makeup, feminine hygiene products. I can't go anywhere without makeup, because I look like a very much convincing zombie without it. Also, my Russian mother used to tell me that I always had to look good, in case I meet my future husband at the grocery store.
Periods can also be unpredictable, so stack up on those tampons, girl!
11. Medicine. Nausea, flu, cold, sea sickness... It gets to us super quick. It's good to have it, because hotels overcharge for it.
For males: shaving cream, razors, glasses or contact lenses.
If you're flying- grab a U-shaped pillow. Seats on airplane are uncomfortable due to many reasons. But! Having that pillow is a blessing and will make your back not hurt for 8+ hours. #personaltrauma
Pack light if you can. I manage to get all the important things in one backpack if I'm gone for less than a week.
Remember- 2 FREE carry-ons. You can fit a lot of things in there! One suitcase, one big backpack. They'll fit.
If it's going to be a long flight- grab a book, have your laptop near you and get distracted. Or you can knock yourself out with some Xanax.
Hack #1: If you're alone in the row, you can put the arm handles back and take a nap. Also, if a plane is half-full, you can ask nicely a stewardess if you can change a seat, it's totally free! I did that and got 2+ hours of extra sleep and leg room.
Hack #2: Clip your pillow on your backpack's handle. It won't come off. Or clip it around your suitcase's handle.
Hack #3: Grab headphones, so you don't have to read subtitles to "Halloween Kills". Why go to movie theatre if you can watch all the newest blockbusters on the plane?
Hack #4: This one is more of a common sense, but grabbing your own snacks on the plane is totally acceptable. Just make sure they're in a Ziplock. Plus you get complimentary ones on the plane that you can save for later.
If you're going to drive- take your car to shop few days prior for a check-up. Unless you can do it yourself- then go ahead! :)
Make sure all your tires have enough air pressure, you have new oil in the tank, enough gas, etc. ALWAYS have a spare tire and tools in case you need to change it near the highway...in the middle of nowhere. And don't forget the Red Bull in case you're driving for more than 6 hours. Driving can take a lot of energy out of you.
It's always good to be over prepared than under prepared.
Can you think of anything else?
Comment below and wait for the next blog on Monday :)