Vegas DJs fly on planes more than anyone up in the air — even more than pilots and airline attendants — so I have been asking them for travel tips to make your next vacation nicer.
First up, TJR — he DJs Sunday at Hakkasan nightclub in MGM Grand:
“The best tip is: I carry a hoodie with me,” says TJR (real name, TJ Rozdilsky, a Connecticut native in Los Angeles).
“It’s always on the side of my bag no matter where I go, (regardless of) climate.
“If it gets cold while you’re flying, you put it on. If it doesn’t, use it as a pillow. Just scrunch it up.
“I put it on my face if it’s too sunny. It’s my multipurpose piece of clothing.
“That and dental floss. I hate when there’s (food) stuck in my teeth. I’ll be in the bathroom flossing my teeth. If I don’t have that, I’ll freak out.”
TJR’s big flying frustration: shopping for a perfect under-seat shoulder bag to carry his laptop, iPad, other gadgets and clothes.
And as a tall but not heavy guy, he’s not happy about airlines’ shrinking seat widths.
“Dude, America is getting fatter. What are they doing?”
British DJ Michael Woods — he performs Dec. 30 at Hakkasan with Hardwell:
“The hoodie is definitely my top tip,” Woods says. “I always do that! Sunglasses, too. Sometimes, you want darkness so you can sleep. It looks a bit diva-ish, but when you have a 14-hour flight on no sleep, you stop caring.”
Swedish DJ John Dahlback — he performs Dec. 20 at Encore’s Surrender nightclub:
“Always pick the window seat to lean your head against, to get some sleep,” Dahlback says.
Several DJs told me that tip about choosing the window seat.
Dahlback says if you’re not flying first class or business class, at least try to get a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible for a smoother ride with less waiting.
“If you’re in the furthest back, even when the plane is landing, you’re going to have to wait 20, 30 minutes to get out of it.
“I always check-in on my phone and save the boarding pass on my phone, because I hate the lines.”
He uses a phone application called Passbook. Most airports let him use the electronic boarding pass on his phone, instead of a printed boarding pass.
Sometimes, Dahlback will book a flight himself on Kayak or another site that lets him mix and match multiple airlines.
But mostly, he gets his travel agent do her magic.
“It’s just nice to have someone. If I miss a flight, she will always put me on the next one or reschedule it. It’s just a great, easier way to do stuff.”
Scottish DJ Chris Lake (who lives in L.A.) — he’s a resident DJ at the Wynn clubs XS and Surrender:
“I’ve got this little contraption I wear around my neck which sends out positive ions. When you’re wearing it, these positive ions repel germs,” Lake says.
Oh come on. Who do you think you’re kidding, Chris Lake?
“Honestly, it repels germs! I wear it around my neck. I’ve been wearing it for the past six months. I haven’t got sick once, except for the one day I got onto a flight and the batteries had run out.
“I’m telling you these things are brilliant, for $80.”
Australian Matt Stafford, half of the Stafford Brothers — they’re a resident DJ duo at Light nightclub in Mandalay Bay:
“Get this thing we call a ‘neckie.’ It’s like this memory foam cushion thing.”
A U-neck cushion may sound like standard flying gear, but Stafford suggests paying $80 for a top-notch Tempur-Pedic U-shaped neck pillow.
“You’ve gotta have the Tempur-Pedic soft foam stuff,” he says.
“The other tip is: Don’t fly China Air, because that will always be nine-hours delayed on the New York flight.
“We just had a flight with them. It was delayed nine hours, so it turned into a 40-hour journey.
“We landed in China, and a guy goes, ‘Well you flew China Air, it’s always delayed nine hours out of New York.’
“That was brutal.”
But the best DJ travel tip I know of is to do what Afrojack did: He bought his own plane.
Doug Elfman’s column appears on Page 3A in the main section on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.