Ten simple tips for a happier, healthier, productive tour.
1. Use Twitter: to keep in touch with friends, family and fans. Twitter is great, not only for promoting shows and talking to fans, but also for keeping up with fellow musician friends. Coordinate meet ups if you’re passing through the same cities at the same time.
2. Take toiletries from hotel rooms/day rooms: This will save you a little money, especially in the long run, and prevent the challenge of finding a safe place to pack your huge economy size conditioner bottle without it exploding all over your socks. The travel size containers are easier to manage. Unless you are attached to a specific brand, using the complimentary hotel items is the way to go.
3. Sleep well: Put yourself on a regular sleep schedule that is conducive to your touring schedule. If you absolutely can’t sleep at night, and naps are throwing you off your biological clock, Melatonin and Valarian Root are safe, natural means for restful sleep. You should only take a small piece of Melatonin if you haven’t used it before. It will go a long way. If you take too much, you will be drowsy the next day. If you take it without enough hours to sleep, you’ll have the same problem. Use these products wisely, only as needed.
4. Drink a lot of water: Especially after you perform, when you’re in a hot/humid climate, after you drink any alcohol. It’s easy to forget, so keep water bottles, your environmentally conscious canteen, or cups of tap water near by. Remember: by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
5. Take your rider: Always take your rider with you after the show, especially if you’re traveling in a tour bus with a fridge. If you have limited space, take the water, beverages, and non perishable snack foods that will sustain you until the next venue. Depending on what’s on your rider, the left overs may be tomorrows lunch.
6. Bring extra phone chargers: You will lose one. Your band mate will need to borrow yours. Always plug your phone in to charge before you go to bed. You’ll avoid the hassle of trying to find an outlet at the venue the next day.
7. Bring a fan and/or a towel with you on stage. These items will not only save you from melting under hot stage lighting conditions, but will keep you looking fresh while performing. Most venues will supply towels for you.
8. Pack the right clothes for the right situations: Your clothes should be packed into one of four categories: Stage, Gym, Travel or Sleep. Travel clothing should be comfortable, loose fitting and ready for abuse. Wear them in the van, tour bus, airplane, for load in/load out. Keep them on during soundcheck if there’s enough time to change before you hit. Stage clothes should make you look good, above all else. Talk to the other members of the band and then decide what’s the best look for you. Guys, this is important to you too. The old business phrase “Dress for success” applies here. Sometimes, a T-Shirt, jeans and messy hair is the best look. Sometimes you’ll need to dress up a bit. Educate yourself on current fashion. Learn what clothes make you look good and build your own wardrobe. Gym clothes should be comfortable. You should bring some wind pants, in case you need to run outside. Gym shorts are also great, because you can wear them several times without washing them. Don’t go spending money on gym clothes though, as long as you’re not wearing jeans, you’ll be fine. Your Sleep clothes are up to you.
9. Eat at the right times: When you wake up, eat as soon as possible. This will jump start your metabolism, even if it’s not a lot of food. Don’t let your tank run on empty during the day because that will slow down your metabolism. Fight hunger by eating healthy low sugar, low fat, natural snacks. Don’t eat late at night unless you’re starving, and keep it light. At all costs, avoid eating AFTER you consume alcohol, unless you’re severely intoxicated. Why? Your body metabolizes alcohol FIRST and food calories second, meaning, you your body will convert that late night pizza into a spare tire.
10. Listen to music: while you’re on the road. This will help keep you inspired and creative. Revisit your favorite artists, learn about new music by asking your friends and band mates for recommendations. Don’t stop expanding your musical tastes and don’t lose perspective on your core influences.