MSNBC Road Warriors: Tips for surviving on the road while covering politics

Every election cycle produces a new crop of road warriors as hundreds of reporters across the country pack their bags to cover local, state and national races.

In 2016, MSNBC introduced its Road Warriors, a group of young correspondents who hit the campaign trail to report across MSNBC, NBC News and NBC News Digital.

As the midterm congressional elections draw near, MSNBC has brought back its panel of Warriors.

USA TODAY spoke with three MSNBC Road Warriors to learn some of their hard-earned travel knowledge from life on the road. Here are their tips for parachuting into major cities, farm country, border towns, wealthy suburbs and more.

Jacob Soboroff, MSNBC correspondent

Covering the elections requires taking off at a moment’s notice to any part of the country.

Soboroff likes to show up with few planned meetings.

For a segment of the “What Matters?” series, he and his team showed up at the border in Eagle Pass, Texas, and met people while driving and walking around. He met people on a home porch, outside a beauty college and on a golf course along the Rio Grande.

“Generally, one thing leads to the next,” he says. “You just have to talk to people.”

Being on the road so much can take its toll on one’s physical and emotional well-being. For TV personalities, they have the added pressure of looking camera-ready all the time.

His tips for looking good on camera? “Drink coffee. Shower. Drink more coffee. Shave occasionally. In that order,” he says.

He tries to stay fit by doing push-ups and a short Pilates routine in his room every day. His colleagues have running and stretching routines. “We could probably just start a workout class,” he says.

Soboroff has a few other secrets for traveling well. He only carries on his luggage. And he always carries a puffy jacket for planes. “They make great pillows,” he says.

Covering this election cycle has been a unique experience, he says.

“This election, we’re focused on putting people on TV who don’t live in Washington, New York or L.A.,” he says. “It’s way more interesting – and informative.”

Gadi Schwartz, NBC News correspondent and co-host of “Stay Tuned”*

Schwartz turns to Snapchat to prepare for a trip. He posts where he is headed to and what he is going to cover.

He usually ends up getting messages from viewers of his “Stay Tuned” show in the area. The majority of his viewers are millennials, those in their 20s and early 30s.

“I’m always blown away at how engaged and earnest they are with opinions…

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