This is one of my personal weak points and It’s a good week for me to post this since I have to leave town for Seattle tomorrow, and need to remind myself of best practices too!

We DJs want to crack out on music right to the last minute but that’s not much fun when you get to your gig and you don’t have shoes –  yes that’s happened to me before –  yes more than once – no not recently 🙂

My last trip (to LA) was my best effort yet and I recorded some notes through voice to text so I could convert to MDJM now

Starting packing the day, or night before, is super smart.  And before packing anything, let’s think about chargers.  The night before, you should leave your powerbank charging as that takes the longest ($20 investment btw and you will never have a dead mobile phone if you plan right).

Also remember to charge your phone and computer overnight so you start the day of travel with 100%. You may deplete these day of, so try to work with your laptop plugged in as it will need a wall outlet at an airport or an inverter in a car to charge – unlike your mobile which will just charge off the powerbank anywhere and everywhere.

Starting actual packing, I suggest begin with your clothes, and check the weather where you are going first of course!  For me plane clothes, party clothes, and daytime clothes are all different.  On a plane I tend to pack light, sometimes with a carryon (2-3 days trip), sometimes just a personal item (overnight trip).  I have a rule to always pack a swim suit cause you never know when a hot tub might be available and it doesn’t take much space.  Pack flip flops if you want but don’t forget shoes 😉

Next, pack your food, especially if you’re on a tight budget.  It’s hard to make a living DJing and it does not help to spend $20 on crappy airport food.  Keep in mind you may get hungry on a flight and airlines don’t serve much food on the plane anymore and when they do it’s not free or at a good price point.   Ditto at the airport, certain cities like San Francisco and Portland you’ll do fairly well for food options and quality but you will pay a premium for it.  And same if on a road, you will have much more control over health, quality and value if you plan ahead rather than once on the road.

If you are leaving for even 2-3 days you should survey your fridge well before leaving.  What can you prepare ahead without shopping to save time, money, and waste?

If you think your fruit and vegetables will still be good when you return, just make sure everything is in the fridge so you won’t get fruit flies on return.  If you think fruits and veggies are better used now, throw them in the juicer and enjoy a healthy, waste-free lifestyle. Zero waste is a huge goal for me!

What food you bring is of course dependent on you, where you are going, and for how long.  Keep in mind no liquids over 3 ounces are going to go through airport security, but having an empty water bottle with you is great once through so that’s a good one to pack.

I also pack a reusable napkin and a handy-dandy Tropical zero-waste stainless steel cutlery set (minus the slightly serrated butter knife which TSA apparently considers a threat in my hands) as I’m pretty serious about being a #zerowastedj. Comment if you want one mailed to you for $10 plus shipping (or better yet brought somewhere I’m going) and we can work this out – includes stainless steel spoon, fork, chopsticks, straw and cloth carrying pouch.

Toiletries are important too – take care of that smile and breath situation by remembering your toothbrush, travel-sized toothpaste, floss, and travel-sized mouthwash.

With food, clothes, and toiletries packed, the last major thing to pack is going to be your laptop, recorder, any other devices, headphones, chargers, and music.

If you have time left over before you need to bolt then by all means work on your music!  Maybe you were way ahead of the game and did it days ago — not usually me but sometimes!

Of course, any mixing you want to do needs be accomplished before you leave – in ideal world I have made my playlists, recorded a practice mix, converted it to mp3s, and stuck it on my Ipod so I can listen on the plane or in the car.

It doesn’t always work out that way but either way all is not lost if it was all you culd do to get packed well because nowadays you can get Wi-Fi in the airport for free and on the plane for a few bucks, I think that’s a great investment 🙂

You can also spend time working on music, organizing playlists etc in your hotel room or friends house where your staying if you need to… but you’re kind of screwed if you don’t have clothes, food, toiletries, chargers and charge!  Take it from this formerly shoeless dj – I learned the hard way!

Also please note MDJM Video blog has launched on my YouTube Channel, and new entries appear there every Tuesday at 2:22pm :

#moderndjmusings #mdjm #benannand #zerowastedj