Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The second tool an artiste needs: a good travel bag. An analysis of what constitutes the best luggage for you.

An artiste sometimes have to be like an air steward. Working round the clock. Sleep at uncertain times. Travel around the world, or for local artistes, travel between states. The spirit of travelling is once again bidding me, for I received an offer to travel abroad for a movie shoot. I cannot reveal too much about the movie, for it is still in production, but God willing, I will show you pictures to you all soon. Here's some interesting tips I can share to all aspiring artistes, the second tool you need (the first being a diary) and it is the travel bag.

Before you buy a travel bag, think of WHAT to bring
Enough of the normal duffel bag, where you have to carry around your shoulders. Nowadays, I see a lot of my air steward friends using the roller luggage with 2-wheels. Before I go to my trip abroad, the first thing I need to assess is WHAT to bring. For an artiste, it is best to ascertain how many days of shoot you will be doing. Sometimes you may not even have a definite schedule yet, but need to plan ahead. So the best assumption is to pack for 1 week. Clean underwear, check. Also be aware of the country you'll be travelling to. Like my trip, the weather there now is freezing cold, so a few extra sweaters is good. If the film production is providing you the wardrobe, then the hassle of packing extra clothing is not your responsibility. To save space, roll all your clothes like in a sausage-shape where possible.

Determining the type of travel bag
So off I went to the various shopping centres for travel bags. At first I was captivated by the colourful bags on display KLCC Isetan, for it was on sale. The bags can be divided either hard cover or soft cover. Since I have decided early on the pack very light, I've learned that the ideal size for a bag to be taken into the cabin with you is 20cm. I prefer to take my luggage with me because then I will not have to wait at the terminal for my bag and save time. Then there was the handle which I liked, so I can carry with me while I walk. The duffel bag where I carry with your hands can be tiring. So another wonderful feature I like is also the backpack with the shoulder straps which can prove useful in certain roads where rolling your bag is not possible. ( I read in certain part of East European cities, the roads are so uneven and bumpy)

Shortlisting the travel bag in terms of size and features
For a travel bag of my type, I believe the exterior needs to be sturdy enough with wheels and handle that is easy to pull up to roll. I went to another shopping mall, and discovered a pleasant choice of travel bag with all the features I have in mind. But the problem is, they are all sold out with only the display unit for sale! But again, its good for me to simply just place the top 3 travel bags together and for me to determine further which I would like.

All the bells and whistles - good and bad
Firstly I look at the wheels. The inverted wheels with an iron centre looks much more steadier compared to a plastic wheel that seems to be very standard these days. Then, there is the wedge in the front bottom part of the bag, which is the support to level the bag when rested onto the ground. The inside of the bag is also important. Bags with many compartments can be good and bad, depending what you may bring along with you in the trip. Be aware of the zippers too. Some travel bags have only a single zipper per compartment, which is not advisable, if you cannot ledge a padlock. But a bag with too many zippers can prove to be troublesome too, for you may get confused of the keys you need to keep the locks. So choose a travel bag according to your most basic needs. Do not carry too many stuff with you, only the essentials. Don't bring shampoos or other cosmetics where you can buy in the country you're visiting. Saving space is key for travelling in comfort and at ease.