Anyone man travels as a performer whether musician, singer, comedian, actor – whatever – knows that the long journeys and sitting around waiting can induce serious boredom. So I’ve compiled a list of Essential Items For the Travelling Performer to ensure you don’t get caught out (and can keep your mind occupied whilst killing time).
Why only for men? Because I’m a man and I have no interest in what women carry in their handbags/makeup bags/suitcases. Plus there are already plenty of blogs discussing that subject.
I’m going to skip the obvious things like mobile phone and refreshments. If you can’t figure that out for yourself you probably need more help than this blog can provide.
If you’re travelling in a car, on a plane or train, chances are your phone is going to go flat pretty quickly during the endless checks of social media and Angry Bird battles. A decent USB Powerbank can ensure that you stay powered up on the road. I use the PowerAdd 20,000mAh device which can charge my Samsung Galaxy S6 fully (from flat) around 11 times. It’s the best powerbank on the market at the moment.
Spare USB charger adapter and lead
It’s always useful to take a USB charger with you, and a lead. This way you can top-up your Powerbank when you get the change of using an AC outlet. I use a fast-charger with my S6 which charges the phone from flat in 1.5 hours.
Anti diarrhoea tablets – important!
Trust me when I say that at some point you are going to need these. You might only ever need them once, but when you do, you’ll be SO grateful you packed them. Whether you’re waiting at an airport, sitting on a bus or about to go on stage, having a method to medically induce a cork in your arsehole will make you feel a whole lot more comfortable and may just prevent that embarrassing on-stage moment.
Pen and paper
Whether is amending a setlist, writing down that new joke or giving instructions to a stage tech, you’re likely to need pen and paper at some point. I carry mine in a clipboard in my bag as I can use it for a stand when on stage.
Whether it’s listening to your favourite tunes, catching up on some movies or watching the news, headphones can help you block out the hustle and bustle of dressing rooms and sound checks. Put them in your bag.
Mac, Laptop or Tablet device
Performing often requires lots of of waiting around and it can be incredibly boring especially if you’re a solo artiste. For most people something electronic to pass the time is essential Items For the Travelling Performer.
Mini First Aid kit
You might think this is a little over-the-top, but I’ve forgotten how many times either myself or a member of my band has cut themselves or sprained something. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen should be in it for long journeys where access to a shop may be difficult when travelling. You can buy a mini first aid kit which includes instant cooling pad (ideal with sprains) here.
My son bought me a multitool recently and it wasn’t until I had one that I realised how useful they can be. Mine has a little knife, saw, screwdrivers and bottle opener and was inexpensive.
Vocalzone and Sudafed blocked nose spray
If you’re a singer or speak a lot for your job, these two items can get you out of trouble. Vocalzone is the industry standard when it comes to people who use their voices to earn money. It helps to open the airways and unlike harsh sweets like Strepsils, it does numb your throat the point where you cause more damage without realising you are straining.
Sudafed will clear a lot of stuffiness from behind the nose and eyes. It can help releave headaches caused by colds and also open the airways.
This stuff can fix, hang, stick and pretty much get you out of trouble in all manner of situations. Keep a roll in your bag.
Finding cash machines on the road can be difficult, and if you find one at a service station it usually wants to charge you to get your own money out. Make sure you carry some cash with you in cash of emergency munchies or drink requirements.
Action Camera and mini tripod to record your performance
Sometimes you might want to record your performance to watch back later. You could by an expenses DVR camera but it’s big and bulky. Instead, I opt for the GoPro copy SJ4000 Action Cam. It has wireless capability (so you can trigger recording from anywhere within wifi range) and gives a decent picture.
Some of these items may not apply to you, so think hard about what you need to take with you and make a list. There’s nothing worse than being miles from home and not having something you really need!
Got an idea of your own Essential Items For Male Travelling Performers? Drop it in the comments box below.