Widgets Magazine

A Travelling Man

Typically I will write this blog on Sundays, most of the time Sunday evenings. Today is a bit different. I’m actually caught up and am able to develop my thoughts over a cup of coffee and a quite Sunday morning. Over the last month or so I have developed a whole new respect for those of you in the industry who travel on a regular basis. Between Innovad and AVNation I have been on the road more than I have been home. There are a few things I have learned.
Email Management
One item that caught me off guard was how much I depended on being in front of a computer or tablet to properly respond and deal with emails. It is a crutch I wasn’t ready to deal with. So, I’ve had to make myself handle, respond, and delegate more than I am used to. It’s out of my comfort zone, but worth it.
I mentioned this above. Typically my management style is to do as much of the work that I can physically do. What I cannot do, I will pass it off to someone else. During this last month, I have had to make myself hand off different aspects of both Innovad and AVNation to others who are as capable, or more capable, than I am to accomplish some things. A great example of this is our new show, AV Crosstalk. The first episode of this pitted Josh Srago against Mark Coxon and was moderated by Brock McGinnis. This entire show was produced and put together by George Tucker, Chris Neto, Matt Scott and the rest of the AVNation team. All without me.
I have gotten quite good at packing for two or three days. There are a number of reasons for using a full-on suitcase. There are also reasons for using a good ole’ duffel bag for short trips where you just need to head out of town for a couple of days worth of programming.
The bottom line is, there are a number of you who have figured out these tips and tricks for surviving on the road. What are yours? Do you have a secret rewards program that only a few know about? What is the best packing strategy you have found? Put them in the comments below. And, thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

No Comments

  1. Use a carry on WHENEVER possible- Landing in London on a Sunday night just before a 9am Monday morning meeting is stressful when your bag doesn’t land with you. If you can’t carry on (i.e. InfoComm always requires a big bag) stuff a couple of pieces in your computer bag/ carry on just in case. Pack based on a color theme…i.e. bring a couple of pairs of black shoes, not a black pair, brown pair, navy pair, etc. You can mix and match options easier and more efficiently and pack fewer items with a color theme than by bringing a bunch of non-accessorized different outfits.
    And, as you said, trust your colleagues. And make sure they trust you. They will contact you with absolutely necessary information that you can deal with from the road. Make sure that you teach them what “absolutely necessary information” is.
    If you don’t already have one- get a dog. Because when you walk in the door from days of travel, your teenage boy may not be excited to see you, but that pup thinks you are God’s gift to him and will make you feel loved instantly.

  2. Rebeca Villareale on

    If you fly enough, TSA pre-check is worth it for a shorter line and the convenience of not undressing/unpacking when going through security.
    It helps to anticipate that your eating habits are going to be significantly shifted when you’re on the road. If possible, make a stop at a local CVS/Rite Aid/Walgreens/7-Eleven, etc when you first get in and stock up on water bottles for your hotel room and healthy snacks to have with you when you get hungry.
    Might seem simple, but leave contact information for other colleagues in your “out of office” email message. This way if someone has a specific need and they know they can reach someone else in your absence (and know exactly who to go to) it might make some issues disappear before you have to address them when you return.
    Lastly, and to echo Bradford Benn’s sentiments, always be kind. You never know what someone’s story is.

  3. High Denier Nylon (aka “ballistic” nylon) luggage is tough, durable, and handles the weather and rigors of travel, but unlike leather or hard shell cases is still light enough to not use up as much of your baggage weight allowance. Nylon wont last as long as a hard case, but the benefits outweigh the cost.

  4. When it comes to travelling I’ve got a few things I love. TSA-Pre is an amazing thing. As is the ability to purchase pre-boarding if you don’t have status with your airline, there is nothing I love more then the ability to just get on my plane and relax. Shure makes these great little IEM that take away all the annoying in-flight sounds and distractions.
    If you’re flying alot, then luggage you pick is very important, don’t just cram it in a duffle bag… get a bag designed to carry suits or dress shirts, etc.

  5. I’m Pro-TSA Pre-check.
    Also, the luggage you select is important- make sure it’s suitable for your needs, and simultaneously durable and light. I have a wheeled duffle bag that can fit a ton of stuff (3-6 days) which is perfect for 80% of my travel. For trips where I have to dress a bit nicer- suit or dresshirt/dresspants I bought a tri-fold suit bag, still very light and very durable, but keeps my clothes from getting wrinkled.
    I only “work” on one leg of the trip. Catching up on email, using “offline” mode is an incredibly effective way to get a ton of work done very quickly, but I also don’t spend all my flights on work trips working. At least one leg i sleep/read/watch a movie.

  6. Josh Srago, CTS on

    Hampton Inns have the most comfortable beds for a reasonable price (also include free wi-fi and a not bad breakfast).
    A portable steamer was the best investment I ever made during my traveling days. As opposed to worrying about folds and wrinkles I was able to pack neatly, arrive at the hotel, hang all the shirts up, steam them each individually, then let them rest overnight with phenomenal results. You never know how the irons will be in hotels.
    For the guys – occasionally having a v-neck sweater can extend the life of a dress shirt an extra day. The obvious reasons why not are apparent.
    I liked to travel in comfortable shoes and pack the dress ones when I did cross country trips. When that’s the case always bag your shoes – polish can rub off on things. As a side note, you can conserve space in the suitcase by packing the socks inside the shoes.
    For the non-TSA pre-check folk – a TSA ready laptop bag helps the process exponentially. I used this one for years and it’s still in great shape: http://www.timbuk2.com/command-tsa-friendly-ipad-laptop-messenger-bag/268.html#dwvar_268-4-2172_size%3D8%26dwvar_268-4-2172_color%3D2000
    Also for the non-TSA pre-checkers – always wear a jacket through security. As you’re in line you can be preparing by putting all your stuff in your jacket pockets as opposed to collecting it out of the bin after security, making collection of items swift.
    Lastly (for now), Milwaukee has the best post-security sign, EVER.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.