See more of the story

The engaging, gaptoothed grin of actor and comedian Paul Scheer has popped up on shows from “30 Rock” and “Veep” to “The Amazing Gayl Pile,” for which he also is an executive producer.

Based in Los Angeles, Scheer travels frequently for work. But as a parent to two young children, he thinks of his travel in terms of with or without them.

“I have the New Testament and the Old Testament,” he said. “The Old Testament is traveling without kids, which feels like a vacation in every sense of the word, and now, I now know what it’s like to travel with children. And it is a whole different side of travel that I was not aware of, and it’s heinous from the minute you leave in the morning till you get to that hotel.”

He said that traveling with children brings out a parent’s worst instincts.

“It is everything that every book would tell you not to do,” he said. “It’s bargaining, it’s bribing, it’s lying — there are so many things.”

His top travel tip is to use Yelp to find the best airport food. “I’m not just eating another OK Starbucks muffin or, you know, some no-name bagel or whatever it is,” he said. “I feel like if I can beat the airport by just eating a good meal; it excites me.”

Following is what he packs on every trip.


“What I primarily like to do on planes is read comic books on my iPad. First of all, I’m never embarrassed to read comic books on my iPad because I feel like people don’t know what I’m reading so I can get away with it. I always feel so much nerdier just pulling out soft-back comic books. So I feel like a little bit more of an adult.”

Kindle Oasis

“A little while ago, I got into an accidental fight online with a romance novelist. I posted a picture of her book because I thought it was funny, and then Romance Twitter kind of came after me. And then I read her book and I actually really loved this romance book called ‘Slammed,’ and now people have been sending me romance novels to read.”


“I’ve gotten back into using actual film and bringing film cameras with me. So the last couple times I’ve traveled, it’s just making sure I’m traveling correctly with film, which is something I’ve never thought about. I love the way the film looks, and I go to this place out here that develops it and they send you a scan of all your photos, so you still have the ability to share them and everything like that — but there’s quality to the film that makes me leave my phone behind a little bit more.”

Contact lenses

“I bring enough contacts that, if I ever run across a small family, I could supply them with contacts.”

Podcast recording equipment

“The other thing I have to travel with, unfortunately, is my podcast recording equipment because I do a lot of the main housekeeping for our podcast, ‘How Did This Get Made?’ [Scheer, along with his wife, actress June Diane Rafael, and actor Jason Mantzoukas host the comedy podcast]. I’ve had to record ads or record the mini-episodes that go in between our regular episodes, so I have a little sound setup with a folder that’s soundproof that I can talk into and the echo sounds better, and a bunch of cords and microphones and stuff like that.”