Traveling with Cramer
The Top 3 Tips for the Traveling Producer
The producers at Cramer are constantly pounding the pavement. From Boston to Houston, and Cape Town to Zurich, they're racking up miles traveling to events and productions around the world.
With all that travel comes lessons learned about the most efficient ways to pack, get through airport security, explore new cities while getting the job done, and more.
We recently sat down with a few of our newest producers to hear how they adjusted to working life on the road and distilled that to the three best travel tips for aspiring nomadic producers.
1. Pack for comfortability, flexibility, and mobility.
Rule number 1 - don't check a bag. Unless it is an absolutely necessity in order to accommodate the equipment you're lugging along, stick with the carry on.
Julie Jackson, who has been with Cramer for two years and was recently promoted from Associate Producer to Producer, says she stands by her Travel Pro suitcase as the best wheeling carry on bag for traveling with Cramer, and in general.
And when you're packing light, choosing clothes can be tricky. Associate Producer Shea Butler stated that whenever she heads out to a Cramer event or production, it's always better to be overdressed than under dressed and that her travel steamer is her best friend.
Julie opts to bring clothes that can be accessorized or worn differently depending on the show schedule, and most importantly, that don't need ironing. Flexible, multi-use clothes are a big space saver. The packing list may change depending on where or when you go somewhere, and what the job entails, but Julie has one list that never changes:
If nothing else, the above is getting packed and anything else can be purchased on the go. That's an important lesson that every frequent traveler will learn. Everyone has certain must haves, but a minimalist packer is a smart packer - knowing that almost everything you could need can be acquired where you're going. And that leaves more room for souvenirs!
2. Don't over schedule.
When you travel for work, often times, you're time is not your own. It's easy to watch the days pass by as the hours fill up with what it takes to execute a great event or wrap a stellar shoot. But it's important to give yourself time to explore.
Traveling for work provides you the opportunity to see places that may not have been on your bucket list. Don't let the chance pass by to explore a little, and experience the culture. Danny Dianora, a 4-year Cramer veteran, seized the opportunity to backpack around Germany for a week after producing the Siemens HSK meeting in Berlin.
Not only does experiencing the local culture help you become a wiser traveler and more knowledgeable citizen of the world, but it also "makes working with local crews that much easier," says Danny. Locals will always offer up more help, and respect, if you show genuine interest in them and their culture.
Keeping some spare time in your schedule will also give you a chance to learn about yourself. Travel is a liberating experience and Julie likes to embrace the opportunity for personal growth. So much so, she'll book her travel to arrive a day early, or stay a day late, at the very least.
3. Stay up to date on the latest travel hacking tools.
Danny's most important recommendation is to get a mileage account and rack up the frequent flyer miles. Most agencies and production companies are loyal to a couple airlines for all their business travel bookings. At Cramer, we very seldom book outside of Delta. So for Danny, that means a fast growing Skymiles account.
Travel is the gift that keeps on giving if you know how to hack the available reward programs to take your personal trips for cheap or even for free.
Beyond frequent flyer programs, there a thousand other useful tools available that help make the entire travel experience less of a headache. Shea Butler's biggest time and frustration saver is the parking app Park'ed.
Using Park'ed, Shea can walk off the plane and out of Logan Airport without ever having to wonder where she parked in the vast confusing cement sea of yellow stripes and streetlight beacons. Her phone will lead her right to the car.
When you've mastered the art of planning and packing, you've familiarized yourself with the latest travel hacking tools, and are mentally prepared for the often unexpected, unrelenting chaos that is life working on the road, you'll find yourself constantly craving the next time you have to put your seat backs and tray tables to their upright and locked positions.
Traveling for work can certainly be tough, but it also yields incredible experiences you may not otherwise have. Like when Danny tried fried alligator for the first time in Rosenberg, Texas, or when Julie and the rest of the crew found themselves face-to-face with a whale (one of many blow-up pools toys) in the hotel pool after an event in Dove Mountain, Arizona.
Experiences like these bring co-workers closer together. Much closer than the Cramer café
lunch table ever could. "Having these types of adventures with your colleagues is the best way to forge connections and really get to know each other," remarks Julie.
Shea gives a laugh and smiles as she says, "you just can't expect what happens on the road. At every show there's something ridiculous."
You'll just have to join the team to find out what's going to happen next.