How to Tour Like a Pro

  1. 1.
    Resourcefulness: Be prepared for anything! Tour can throw you some crazy punches and being able to think quickly, and keep your sense of humor, will be your saving grace. The best stories come from everything falling apart, so embrace the shit show.
  2. 2.
    Documentation: Have all your personal info, passport, I.D., emergency contact info, work visas, etc. readily accessible. Also it is good to have scans or photos of these documents on your phone for quick digital correspondence if necessary.
  3. 3.
    Simplify: Tag all your luggage/bags with matching, bright colored, easily recognizable laminated tags, with your info on it, in case it gets lost. Easier to spot at airports and in bus bays/junk bunks too.
  4. 4.
    Organization: Invest in some good luggage, toiletry bag, packing organizers, etc.. If you are doing a bus tour, pick up a small zipper bag or backpack to throw all your daily misc crap in (i.e.: laminates, snacks, headphones, wallet, iPad, phone charger, etc.). Grab 'n' go saves you time.
  5. 5.
    Packing: Do NOT overpack! Bring the bare minimum. You can always buy cheap items along the way if necessary. Depending on the length of the tour, try to get it down to just carry on items ( big backpack & small bag). Saves a lot of time at airports and having to lug around a huge suitcase. Also, invest in a QUALITY waterproof jacket. (oh, I know)
  6. 6.
    Diet: If you have dietary restrictions, such as allergies or being veg/vegan, inform the TM to request this from catering and put it in the production rider. Do a little research in the area for restaurants/grocery stores that are near by. Bring a small stash of snacks that can get you by in a pinch (cliff bars, fruits, nuts, etc.).
  7. 7.
    Hydrate: Drink some water. The amount of water and plastic wasted on tour is mind blowing. Take advantage of the surplus. Bring a few bottles back to the hotel or bus. Bring a few more back for the band and crew. Bring a few more to hand out to homeless people you meet along the way. Just remember to drink some water!!!
  8. 8.
    Mental Health: Allow yourself some personal time. Meditate or at least sit in the sunshine for a few minutes to recharge. Bring a book. Listen to music. Take a walk. Trust me, a little bit goes a long way. Touring can be very stressful, try not to get caught up in the drama. A positive attitude helps the camp.
  9. 9.
    Exercise: Stretch, walk, bike, swim, push ups... whatever gets you moving. Travel and touring can be extremely taxing on the body. A good stretch and quick walk does wonders, especially if you don't have a condo bunk.
  10. 10.
    Attitude: Remind yourself you are doing something you love. Take pride in your talents. There are a thousand other people dreaming of your job, be it band or crew. Stay positive. Influence others. Learn something everyday. Pay it forward. Be kind. Keep it real. Laugh. Breathe. Smile.
  11. 11.
    Dummy Check: Either it be venues, bars or hotels, do a dummy check. Take an extra walk around to see if you left anything behind (clothes, keys, chargers, toiletry bag, etc..). Nothing like realizing you left your phone charger in the green room 300 miles away when your battery is at 8%.
  12. 12.
    Keep in Touch: It is real easy to live in the the touring bubble and the next thing you know, all your friends are missing. Stay in contact. Instagram, Facebook, texting, a phone call (yeah, this is a thing) will keep you in the loop of civilian life. Family and friends were probably there before tour started, so make an effort to keep it that way.
  13. 13.
    Post Tour Blues: Be easy on yourself. Living a few weeks or several months experiencing 8s, 9s and 10s of what life has to offer can be surreal. Coming home to daily 4s and 5s can be a bitch. Treat yourself to a favorite meal, restaurant, movie, friends. Whatever will normalize you back into a realistic routine before you do it all over again.
  14. 14.
    Share your Story: No one likes a braggart, but we all love a good road story. Some of us can't wait to hear, or tell, all about the magic and unicorns in the "everything goes" touring kingdom. Just be respectful of all those involved. (remember that NDA you signed prior to tour?) So, that being said, "This one time..."