The artist you are working for on tour determines the way you go about traveling for the tour. If they are a prominent artist, you will be traveling a lot nicer than a small artist. However, nicer does not always mean better. For example, on a bus tour, you get to sleep every night – because you have to drive to the next show. But if you are on a plane tour – you might have to fly every night and not be able to sleep as long. There are so many factors it is impossible to say one way is better than the other. However, I can lay everything out for you and let you make up your mind.
How To Travel On Tour
There are a few vehicles that make up the different ways you can travel on tour.
- Band Wagon
- Tour Bus
- Fly Dates
- Private Jets
You will probably spend most of your career in tour buses; they are the most popular and widely used.
The vehicle you are touring in matters because they not only change how you live and sleep – but how you work on the road. For example, what gear you bring, how you travel with it, and where you store it will change each time you switch vehicles. Here is a basic overview of what it’s like touring in each vehicle.
Touring in a Van
Touring in a van is one of the roughest ways to tour; however, it is also the most fun. You cram yourself, your gear, and your luggage into a van and then live out of it. Eat, sleep, hang out – it is all in the van. The van is your home. If there is one thing you learn while touring in a van, it is crucial to stay clean. Always have a way to modify your body temperature, and earplugs/ headphones are a must. You are living very closely with 6-8 people; it is not easy.
Touring in a Bus
Buses are a significant upgrade. You get a bunk, you get a bathroom, a fridge, and you get your own space. At first, when you are touring, it’s all about just surviving each day. As the tours get more significant, the survival becomes more manageable, and the difficulty shifts to make sure you do your job the best you possibly can. Luckily for you, you will be able to sleep at night on a bus. After a while, the gentle rumble of the road will start rocking you to sleep every night.
Touring in a Plane
It seems fun, seems quick – but in practice, it gets quite tricky. It depends on how packed your schedule is. Some artists might have a few days off in between each show; some might go go go. Make sure you pack light. Your future self will thank you. Hopefully, your time spent touring in less optimal situations has trained you for all the hardships that pop up for this one.
That was a fundamental overview of how traveling on tour scales as your artist gets bigger. There is a lot more, and of course, we cover it all in the podcast.