Pack light, and carry a smart bag
We fly private a lot, but sometimes at the beginning of a swing I’ll fly commercial. So you learn to pack light. I’ve learned how to pack a week’s worth of stuff into a carry-on, like a medium-sized duffle bag. Then my “personal item” is for my gear. It opens you up so you can move much easier, like taking ghost flights where you book a trip that connects through your final destination. It’s often a lot cheaper than a nonstop to that city.
I typically travel with two cameras and two lenses, a laptop with an external hard drive, wires, chargers, and a laptop bag. That laptop bag is pretty neat -- it’s a shapeshifter that’s fairly small but has an accordion-style zipper that opens to be three times the size. When I travel I keep my camera equipment in there as well, so it opens into one big bag and I carry just that and my duffel on board.
Friends and family don't understand your schedule
One of the hardest things is explaining to people how fast-paced the whole experience is. People think I'm sitting around for hours with nothing to do, but in fact we have almost no downtime because as soon as an event is over, we're on the move to the next city. And even if I’m in a city where I have friends or family, I can’t commit to meeting up ahead of time. We get our schedules the night before. So people get mad when I hit them up last minute like, “Oh, hey, I’m in Nashville tonight. You busy?” But that’s just the way it runs.