Whether you’re a part of the band, a helpful roadie or just a follow-you-anywhere fan, traveling with a musical group can be equal parts invigorating and exhausting. If you’re preparing to hit the road with a band, keep some basic travel principles in mind to ensure your musical adventure is as stress-free as you can make it, despite the hectic schedule and nights of activity you’ll surely face on the road.
Plan Your Accommodations
Staying on the band’s bus is an option; however, if your vehicle is home to more people than it has beds it may be necessary to book a few hotel rooms. Save yourself stress and money by making reservations ahead of time. If you don’t do this you may find yourself wandering around, trying to select one of the many hotels in Chicago, New York or whichever city you happen to be in that night. It can be tough to find a place to stay at the last minute that both has a vacancy and fits within your potentially tight budget, especially when you’re already exhausted and ready to crash.
Schedule Your Days
Because the times of your shows will likely vary substantially from venue to venue, you may not be able to follow a terribly consistent schedule. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to throw your day planner out the window entirely. To reduce the stress you have to struggle through as a result of running late to important performances, spend a few minutes before you go to bed each night planning out a tentative schedule. If, for example, you know you have a show at noon, take into consideration how long it takes you to conduct all your prep procedures and create a self-imposed call time.
Feed your Creativity
Don’t allow your busy schedule to leave you skipping meals or noshing on unhealthy foods. Instead, make it a point to eat a relatively balanced diet. By putting effort into eating healthly you can reduce the likelihood that you fall ill while traveling. This doesn’t mean you have to skip those elephant ears at the fair where your band plays, but it does mean these sugary, fried delights shouldn’t be the only thing you eat for the entire month of August.
Build Some Bonds
Traveling with the band can be hectic and taxing. Mitigate your stress by working to build bonds with your traveling compatriots. Spend time winding down at the end of the day with your band mates, fellow roadies or other diehard fans. As you form these bonds with your traveling companions you’ll develop an on-the-road family, making it easier for you to assuage the pangs of homesickness that will undoubtedly set in.
Stop and Smell the Roses
Traveling with—or following—a band can make for a hectic travel schedule. When hitting the road day after day it can be easy to allow the sites where you stop to blend together in one giant, music-filled blur of equipment set-up, frenetic performance and stage tear-down. To make the most of your adventure on the road, force yourself to spend at least a little time exploring the sites where you stop. Take as long as you can spare out of your day and venture out to see the city, seeking inspiration. By taking in the sites you not only give yourself a chance to pause and breathe, but also ensure that you don’t allow a potentially inspiring sight to pass by unseen.
Traveling with the band is, for many, a dream. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to live this dream, take full advantage of your on-the-road time by putting conscious effort into making your trip as enjoyable, safe and productive as possible.