I’ve been working from the road for the past several weeks, only stopping home to repack my bags and maybe sleep for a night. One of the ways I stay sane when flying so much is using Bose QC25 noise-cancelling headphones. While being able to catch up on work (or sleep) in peace on the plane, the headphones come with a downside…they need a AAA battery to power the noise cancelling. But they work for about 35 hours on a single AAA battery.

Last week, I was boarding an early-morning flight to Atlanta. When I got to my seat, I put on my Bose headphones and when I flipped the noise-cancelling switch on, and the light didn’t go on. Apparently, I either left the switch on when packing, or they turned themselves on in my bag overnight. Regardless, they weren’t going to work without a battery. The carry-case has a slot for a battery (great idea), but there wasn’t a battery in the slot for me.

Frantically digging through my bag, I realized I didn’t have another battery. I broke my number one rule . . . Always have a backup.

Once you pass through TSA security, you’re basically a prisoner of the airport. Expensive bottles of water, crowded bathrooms, only plastic knives at all the restaurants…you get the idea. Luckily I was able to find an electronics stand once I got to Atlanta and was able to buy a battery, but it cost nearly $8 for 4 AAA batteries. That’s $2 each! On Amazon, I could have gotten 20 for same price with free 2-day shipping.

You may be thinking . . . It’s just a battery or its only $8. And you’re right. It was an overpriced slap-on-the-wrist this time. But what if it was something besides a common battery. What if it was your camera battery, or worse your battery charger. Or maybe it’s the cable that connects your speedlight to your Pocket Wizard. Or what if it’s your external hard drive that has all your photos on it and it falls out of your bag at the airport and breaks. Do you have a backup? Extra batteries or an extra battery charger, extra cables or card readers, extra memory cards or extra hard drives. (I travel with a lot of hard drives…)

That’s it for my mini-rant. It’s always important to be prepared and that means having backups of things that can fail. Heck, even a backup plan for the shoot because if it can go wrong, chances are it will.

Will you be prepared for your next adventure? Share in the comments if something like this has ever happened to you.