Summer Travel Tips

June 3rd, 2016
Summer Travel Tips

I have just returned to Melbourne, Australia for the first time since paying $700 in luggage overage, but more on that later… In my life on the road I keep learning new tricks for navigating airports to get to my engagements on time. So as you plan your summer travel, here are five tips for a more pleasurable (or at least less irritating) experience.

    Never wear an embellished T-shirt with anything sticking out or sewn onto it when going through airport security; no bijoux pearls or grommets. It sets something off and you get a thorough body massage by the TSA guards. I have a tank top with a galaxy of tiny rock studs  all over it. I wore it three times and every time I got completely fondled by the TSA. So unless you’re craving that extra human touch, leave your inner Liberace at home. 
    Just because it’s a carry on doesn’t mean you can carry it on every plane. Many of the vacation towns with summer festivals where I play are quite small, like Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Sun Valley, and the airplanes to get there are tiny. You can barely fit a burrito in the overhead space!  So I always pack a Longchamp Le Pliage bag which folds into nothing. You can keep it in your carry on and quickly take out the really important things you can’t afford to lose (like my music) and shove them into the bag. These things always fit on the tiny planes.
    The best cocktail for the in-flight experience (if you don’t have rehearsal later that day) is what I call Airborne Vodka. Bring your Airborne herbal supplement (it comes in powder and capsules) and have it on the rocks with one of those mini-bottles of vodka. First of all, it’s much better than a Screwdriver AND you get your Airborne immune system booster. Some of my musician friends joke that I should trademark my drink to be served in-flight. Would you like a sparkling Joyce Yang Martini?
  4.  TAXIS:
    I once hitchhiked to a concert because my taxi never arrived. This was pre-Uber in a small city in the middle of nowhere. I accosted the first person I saw and asked, “Sir, can you drop me off on the other side of the highway?” I got there in style…in my gown…in his pickup truck. True confession: I grew up in New York City and never learned to drive, so I actually don’t have any tips for when the taxis don’t materialize. Do you?
    It’s hard to do that when you’re touring for more than a month and need a variety of gowns and heels to go with them. I had no trouble bringing two gigantic suitcases to Australia a few years ago, but when I checked in for a flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, I was WAY over the weight limit. $700 over to be exact. My ticket was only $550. I debated: “$700? My shoes! $700? My shoes!!!” I paid the $700. And cried.

What’s the worst lesson you’ve learned in your travels? Send me your stories to read on my next flight!