Many bands that are preparing to go on their first tour are in for a rude awakening. First-timers often don’t realize how difficult and stressful touring the country as a musician can be.
The trials and tribulations of tour life are something you often don’t fully appreciate until you’ve experienced them. There are, however, certain things you can do to make the experience more pleasant.
In this article, we share some useful travel tips for touring musicians that will simplify life on the road.
Have a budget and stick to it
Musicians setting off on their first tour often underestimate costs and overestimate how financially comfortable they will be. Unless you have the monetary backing of a major label, you will likely be using most of your income for food, gas and accommodations, saving what little is left for emergencies. Nobody gets rich on their first tour.
In light of this, it’s important to carefully plan a budget for the entirety of the tour and stick to it religiously. Make sure you have enough to support yourself on the road and if you’re able to pocket a respectable amount with proper budgeting, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
Protect your equipment
All your musical equipment should be securely packed away during your travels, not only to protect the instruments and hardware, but also for your own protection. The last thing you want to see in the case of an accident is a mixing board flying towards your face.
If your band has several members, you will likely have a fair amount of equipment to lug around. Consider getting custom road cases built before your trip for maximum protection.
Take care of yourself
If it’s your first time on the road, you will quickly discover that it is a constant struggle to take good care of yourself. Lack of sleep, poor diet, anxiety and too much partying can take a serious toll on your mental and physical well-being.
Try your best to eat properly and avoid fast food, resist any pressure to stay up partying all night, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night and your body will thank you. If you look out for yourself, your performances will be much better and you will have the energy needed to perform multiple shows a week.
Get roadside assistance
Since this is probably your first tour, you more than likely won’t be traveling in an expensive luxury tour bus. It’s a safe bet you’ll be spending most of your time in a cramped van.
With this is mind, you will definitely want to avoid as many problems as possible. This is where roadside assistance will come in handy.
Breakdowns can mess up your itinerary and cost a great deal of money to boot. With roadside assistance, you can have someone come help you and be back on the road in no time.
In addition to the tips listed above, be sure to pack for an emergency (booster cables, flashlight, first-aid) since you never know what can go wrong. Also, don’t forget to explore the cities you’re in if you get the chance, you won’t regret it.
If you are venturing out on your first tour, sticking to a budget, protecting your equipment, maintaining your health and getting roadside assistance will at the very least ensure that you are prepared for most situations. Good luck and happy touring!