By Rebecca Poizner
Thinking about hitting the road with your band? I'm sure the first thing you thought of when you booked the tour was "but what should I pack?!" I know, that's the first thing I thought about too when I went out of my first cross country tour. So I figured I'd let you guys in on 5-key things I never leave home without before starting a tour:
1. Portable Cell Phone Charger
I honestly don't know what I would have done without 2 of these in my pockets at all time. I was on the management side of the tour, managing a pop artist on a 41-date U.S. tour, and spent 80% of my day reading and sending emails. I couldn't get through a few hours, let alone a full day just on my iPhone battery. This goes for musicians as well. There is TERRIBLE cell service in most venues...and trust me, your battery takes a beating because of it. So a portable charger really is worth every penny.
Backstage is never well lit, plus there's hundreds of bumps and cables all over the floor. As someone who has seen probably a thousand people trip backstage, I never left the bus without a flashlight so I wouldn't have to face that same embarrassment.
3. Scented Spray / Tide Pen
As often as you'd like to shower on tour, the luxury unfortunately doesn't happen as often as you'd like. There are some venues with showers, but let's be honest, they are disgusting. If you are going to brave them, definitely bring some flip flops with you. But for the few days in a row you (and the rest of the bus/van) have to go showerless, scented spray and tide pens come in very handy. The entire bus will thank you.
You'd be surprised how often this came in handy. It's usually for a miscellaneous use, or someone asking if anyone has a Sharpie on them. You'll be the hero who always has one in their pocket.
5. Soundproof Headphones
And not just regular Apple headphones. Ones that also block out sound. This is a biggie, especially if it's a long tour. As well as you get along with your tour mates, you are all confined to a very tight space for a very long time, so having some alone time is vital. Going into your bunk with the curtain shut and your sound proof headphones on is one of the only escapes sometimes. They will help you stay sane (or at least as sane as you were before the tour started).
Hope some of these suggestions help you out when you and your band hits the road. Obviously you should probably bring some clothes and your gear along as well, but trust me, people will think you're a touring expert if you always have these 5 things in your bag! Happy touring!
Rebecca Poizner is the Director of Digital Marketing for BEGIN.
The BEGIN Blog features posts about branding, social media, entrepreneurship, and other topics relevant to young professionals.