From Minnesota Monthly
New York. West Lafayette, Ind. The cast and crew of A Prairie Home
Companion® have taken their show around the world. Now that
another tour season has (almost) ended, we asked some of our resident
globetrotters to share their best travel tips-from how to beat jet
lag to where to find the best meals to how to pack your clothes
wrinkle-free. You'll want to read these helpful hints before your
on the Plane
Rich Dworsky, leader of The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and music
I'm often sleep-deprived on travel days. To catch up on my rest
while flying, I bring along my airline sensory deprivation kit:
ear plugs, night mask and favorite feather pillow (which squishes
up nicely into my carry-on bag, so I don't look like a big baby
walking through the airport).
With bags looking
so similar these days, it's easy for someone to accidentally walk
off with your luggage. Add something distinctive to identify yours.
I once created a giant happy face on the side of a hard-shell case
using yellow tape. No fear of theft after that.
to read People magazine in airports and doctors' offices. So indulge
Tim Russell, cast member
Be creative when you're stranded. We once missed a connection from
Memphis to Knoxville-an eight-hour delay. We rented a car and went
to Graceland-a worthwhile pilgrimage if ever there was one.
"Thank ya, thank ya very much."
Get a "rollaboard"
piece of luggage-one with a suit compartment-that won't raise the
ire of the "bag nazis." Fill it with no more than two
outfits. Don't overpack; you won't see the same people more than
twice anyway. Throw in your underwear, socks (stuff them in your
dress shoes), T-shirts and toiletries. Bring a second small travel
bag that straps on to the rollaboard for your camera, books, magazines,
travel documents, etc. Rollaboard overhead, travel bag underneath.
Jet Lag Remedies
Sue Scott, cast member
Since I struggle with motion sickness I can feel jet lagged flying
from St. Paul to Chicago! I use all the holistic remedies: seaband
wrist bands, ginger tablets, sugarless peppermints (which actually
do settle the stomach). I try to drink a lot of water on the plane
and sit over the wings (the steadiest place).
I always travel
with my super echinacea drops, chewable vitamin C, Advil, etc. The
worst thing on the road is
getting sick, being in a strange
town and trying to find a drug store or health food store that carries
all this stuff.
When I pack
I put all of my show clothes on hangers and then put individual
plastic dry cleaning bags over each item. (Our illustrious producer,
Chris Tschida, taught me this.) Works like a charm. Things can be
scrunched up in the suitcase for hours and they completely straighten
out once they're unpacked!
Alan Frechtman, marketing director
Being the "public" radio guy that I am, I'm always trying
to eat well but not spend a week's worth of pledge money. In New
York, on 44th St. off of Broadway, is Ollie's Noodle Shop-some of
the best Chinese food east or west (depending on which way you fly)
of the Yangtze River. The food is tasty and downright cheap for
the amount you get.
When I find
I have a few hours to kill at the airport, I visit as many men's
restrooms as I can and scrawl on the wall tiles the name of our
radio show, the time and the local station that airs it. As marketing
director, I consider that part of my job.
Kathryn Hauser, assistant to the music director
The greatest bar I ever found on the road is Jimmy's Corner in New
York's theater district. I never would have known about it if not
for the stagehands at The Town Hall. Jimmy's is a normal, working-person's
bar, and not all fancy and tres chic like every other place in midtown
The best book
I ever read on an airplane was A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering
Genius by Dave Eggers. It is hilarious and has an excellent conversational
flow to it. I could pick it up, read a few pages, put it down, pick
it up again, forget what page
I was on, and not care when I realized I had already read that page,
because it was so funny.
Gary Raynor, bass player for The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
Most of the hotels we stay in cater to business travelers-people
either on expense accounts, or carrying more cash or head room on
their credit cards than me-so when I'm looking for restaurant recommendations
I don't ask the concierge, but the service staff: the doormen, the
guys carrying the bags up to the room, etc. When walking around
the towns and stopped at a light, I ask anyone waiting to cross
with me. Even people who don't speak English will like to try their
high school stuff on Americans.
If I'm in a
city for more than a few days, one way to keep in touch with my
family back home is to take pictures, have them developed to a disc
and send them as attachments to email.
travel rule: Never check anything at the airport. If the airlines
can possibly lose your stuff, they will. If it doesn't fit in a
couple of carry-on bags, then you don't need it. I carry extra cash
in my shoes. That may seem weird, but good pickpockets can separate
you from anything except your feet.
shirt and undies
all-in-one tool set