August 28 - 2018

Personal , Tips & Tricks

My Travel Product Essentials

by Brett McCormack
After traveling for over 6 months out of the year last year I learned a bunch of things. What to do and not to do when booking travel, how to master airports and planes, how to make traveling go as smoothly as possible, how to use a lot of different foreign toilets, how to scout for photos without being there in person, where to find the best chai, how to connect with other creatives and souls along the way, and how to basically make your trip as comfortable and as easy as possible. Some of which, relies on a few products that I’ve found over the past few years of countless international and stateside trips. I get asked all the time what products I couldn’t live without on the road, so here’s my favorites!

TSA Precheck

It’s $80 for 5 years of walking right through security and not having to unpack all my gear, laptop, take my shoes and jacket off, all that annoying stuff. Makes it so I can show up to the airport 15 minutes before boarding every time.

Meds + Health

If you don’t take care of yourself and your health on the road, you bet your bottom dollar you’ll probably get sick. I don’t do or pack anything extensive as I like to travel pretty light, but here’s what simple things I’ve found to work for me while I’m on the road.

Triguard, for whenever I feel I’m getting sick. I’ll drop some in my water or just slurp up a capful (it’s actually really sweet) and it helps me a ton.
Vitamin C packets. These are a give in, but I drink one of these before flights and each day I’m traveling. Traveling can be rough, but it straight up sucks when you’re sick.
Hand Sanitizer. Don’t even get me started on talking about all the places in airports and planes that never ever get cleaned. Every time I have to reach into my seat back pocket I cringe. Yuck.
Tissues to blow my nose before and after flights, your nose acts as a filter so you basically trap in any germs you’re breathing in unless you blow.

Self Care

Meditation — I use the Headspace app for meditation on the road, which is super helpful if you can’t sleep on planes or adjust to new time zones easily like me.
Healthy snacks — I typically pack my own snacks since all snacks at airports or on planes just taste like shit or are shitty for you. I’ll typically pack Justin’s peanut/almond butter packets, Clifbars, a big baggie of mixed unsalted nuts, my own tea (usually Four Sigmatic), homemade powerballs, fruit, fruit leather, and jerky.
Hydration — hydroflask so I drink tons and tons of water, rather than just the two little cups they bring you at the beginning and end of each flight. Flying dehydrates the crap out of you (as well as caffeine, pop, and alcohol) which is why when you get off a plane, your skin usually feels dry (or you’ll come off with new breakouts), you’ll feel lethargic, bloated, and hungry. I drink a full flask before my flight and try to drink at least 1/2 the flask for each hour of the flight. I’ll go to the back and ask them to fill it up for me when I run out. DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT DRINK PLANE SINK WATER haha.
Wool Socks — Because why the crap do airplanes blast freezing cold air on your feet and also into your left eye only?
Dryer sheets — Probably dumb to even include this and it has nothing to do with photography but I hate my clothes smelling weird when I travel. I stuff these suckers everywhere when I’m packing clothes.
Goosebumps swaddles  This is basically a baby blanket made for adults. It’s crazy soft, is heavy for how thin it is (I love weighted blankets), and pack down really small. Airlines only wash the provided blankets every 30 days unless they’re visibly soiled. They just repackage them in plastic. EW EW EW. When I found that out I never took one of those blankets out of their packages again.

Gear + Tech Stuff

Here’s all the gadgets I’ve found that make travel way better, specifically as someone who works from their computer on the road, not just as a photographer.

Noise cancelling headphonesThese are must haves for anyone who flies frequently. I’ve had this pair for two years and really like them, although after a couple of hours of wearing them I do get a headache so I’ll probably get a more comfortable pair down the road.
Tile slims I have these in my camera bags, luggage, and purse. Luckily I still haven’t had to use them to track down my stuff, but it’s peace of mind knowing that I’ll be able to find my gear if I need to!
Powerbank travel chargerI have a Ventev charger that is no longer available, but this one has a ton of really amazing reviews. I use mine almost every time I travel.
Power Invertergreat for for road trips. These make editing on the road and keeping your gear charged easy. It actually pumps out energy really quickly too. I’ve had a couple different power inverters and this one is definitely my favorite, I’ve had it for about 3 years.
Universal Power Adapter I’ve tried 5 different power adaptors and this is by far the very best one I’ve found, others are usually janky and don’t charge quick enough. It’s fast, can charge my batteries, laptop, travel charger and phone at the same time.
Pelican Cases for hard drives I pack my hard drives in these guys inside my backpack so they’re extra safe, always keeping them on my body. I’ll usually stuff a sock inside as well so it doesn’t bounce around in case it’s dropped.
Pelican case for my gear This is what I pack my gear into when traveling, you can pick and pull out the foam cubes so you can make it fit your gear perfectly. In mine, I can fit all of my gear (2 camera bodies, 5 lenses, batteries, flash, cards, accessories). It’s a carry on so it never leaves me when I travel.
ONA bagsfor when I am shooting a wedding or session where I need to hike or be constantly moving around while shooting. Their packs fit all of my gear, but they’re soft so they’re not as durable as a pelican case obviously. I love them though and love the simplicity of them! I have an over the shoulder Brixton messenger bag, as well as a backpack they no longer carry, but their new ones are improved versions of it!
Passport Wallet I travel with this to keep my passport, copy of insurance, birth certificate, cards, etc safe in and all in one place.

Welp, there you have it!

A list of my favorite essential products for travel. Happy travels!