#1 Save enough money
Ideally, you will already know a few months in advance exactly when you’re going on tour, so it makes sense to start saving up early. After all, you’ll need to pay for food, cover your travel costs, etc., and you don’t want to be pinching pennies, do you? So make sure that you and your band have saved enough.
#2 Plan early
You ought to ask yourself the following questions: when and where would you like to go on tour? Who’s coming with you? Mark all locations on a map and get an early start on researching venues and contacting promoters. Above all, be open to a change of plan if a venue you’d like to play says no or is not realistically an option. Set up a Google calendar, or use iCal or another similar app, share it with your bandmates and keep it regularly updated.
#3 Organise your transport
Are you travelling as a solo artist? Or with your band? Your own crew? Decide all that early on and plan for suitable transportation. Are you alone? Then a car is probably enough, or you could take the train. Are you travelling with your whole band or crew? Then sort out a van, or even a bus. Make sure there’s enough space for everyone’s equipment, luggage, etc.
#4 Make sleeping arrangements
Unless you are travelling in your own big tour bus with sleeping facilities, book hotel rooms for everyone, look for flats or rooms on Airbnb or ask if you can stay with friends. Maybe you can save some pennies here too. Just make sure that everything is booked well in advance, and for the right dates.
#5 Plan your itinerary
If you are travelling alone, without a driver, find out in advance how to get to each venue. Save all addresses in your GPS, and mark them on a map, too, just in case.
#6 Figure out what to do with your free time
Do you want to make the most of your days off? Then have a look around for gyms, wellness hotels, etc. in the area where you’ll be playing. Plan ahead and be prepared. ´
#7 Be prepared for every eventuality
There can be nasty surprises sometimes, especially when it comes to accommodation. Mistakes happen – it doesn’t have to be your fault. In cases like that, it’s always important to have a backup plan. Just in case, you should also pack a tent and blankets, and check with all your friends and acquaintances in the area.
#8 Make a contract
As soon as you get a positive answer or come to an agreement with a venue or a promoter, include all the important points in a contract and make sure it gets signed by both sides.
#9 Be clear on who is paying you
When you do get booked, make sure you clarify who will be paying you. Is it the owner, the promoter, or the stage manager? Find out in advance, and introduce yourself to the right person.
#10 Make a list
To make sure you don’t forget any of the things that you need to do and pack, it’s a good idea to make a list and to double- and triple-check everything. What clothes do you need? What equipment? Toothbrushes? Cards? Charger? And so on. Most importantly, you need to know for certain what equipment the venue will have at your disposal, and what you need to bring yourself.
Going on tour can be exhausting – but it can also be an adventure full of valuable lessons. It can help you expand your fanbase and gather amazing experiences.