How to Get the Most Enjoyment out of a Music Trip

Your band/choir/jazz band/orchestra director has announced that he/she is taking the group on a trip/tour. These trips are always great fun, but here are some tips to make sure the trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Steps

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    Get the information on the trip. Most organized directors would hand out an information package (which includes an itinerary, costs, forms to sign, etc.) prior to the trip. Make sure you and your parents/guardians get these forms signed and returned as soon as possible. Make copies of the itinerary and make sure you, your parents/guardians, and emergency contacts have one. Pay for the trip ASAP!
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    Depending on where the trip is, you may need to buy special insurance or get certain immunizations. Do not leave this to the last minute!
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    Make sure that if you have any medical concerns, allergies, or injuries that the director should be concerned about, fill out the appropriate forms.
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    If you are travelling by plane, make sure you understand the airline's policy about musical instruments. Some instruments can be carried on, while others must be checked.
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    If you are traveling to a different climate, learn what you can do to care for your instrument before, during, and after the trip.
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    Make sure you have the necessary pieces of ID (i.e. passport) to go on the trip. If you are travelling on a plane, you will need photo ID. If you travelling out of the country, you will need a passport. Make sure you have copies of your ID in case it is stolen.
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    Meanwhile, make sure you have a good attendance record. Most groups want to prepare special music for a tour. Some groups will have special rehearsals for those going on the tour. Be at each and every rehearsal unless you have a good excuse!
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    As the trip draws near, think about what you will need to pack. DO NOT take your whole house with you. You will for sure need your instrument (plus extra reeds, strings, etc.), music, concert uniform, ID, the itinerary, spending money, casual clothes, toiletries, and medications. It would be a good idea to also bring books, magazines, iPod/MP3 player, cell phone, homework, snack food, a camera, and any other entertainment items that might be fun to have. Pack what is appropriate to the activities your group will be participating in (i.e. if the hotel has a water slide, bring a bathing suit). Pack appropriate to the amount of days the trip is! (ie. don't bring $500 to a 2-night trip)
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    Get a good night's sleep and arrive on time or you will hold up the group!
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    Behave yourself on the bus/plane ride. Entertain yourself or talk to the people around you.
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    Once you've arrived at the place you will be staying at, go with your roommates to your room. If there aren't enough keys for everyone to have one, decide who will carry the key(s). Decide the sleeping arrangements and bathroom schedule.
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    At all performances, conduct yourself well and remember that you are representing your school/city/group/etc. Generally, whenever your group is in the public, don't misbehave.
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    Have fun! If there is free time at the hotel before curfew, then you will be free to talk to your roommates, use the pool/water slide, talk to friends in other rooms, but you must stay within the boundaries! Generally, if you are visiting a room or have visitors, the door must be left open.
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    Be in your room by curfew. There will generally be a room check and a chaperon will put masking tape on your door. DO NOT leave the room for any reason at this point!
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    Wake up on time. You and your roommates could set an alarm clock or get a wake up call. Sometimes a chaperon will knock on the doors to wake people up.
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    Follow the previous 4 steps until the trip is over.
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    On the day you leave, pack everything you took. DO NOT leave anything behind. Most chaperons will check the room for anything you may have left behind.
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    When you get back, say goodbye to your roommates.

Tips

  • Most groups will allow you to choose who you want you want to be in a room with. Make sure you sign up for a room with people you know well! Make sure you are not in a room with anyone who is known to cause trouble! If you don't sign up for a room, you will be placed in one! Get together with the people in your room and find out who will bring what (i.e. hairdryers, curling iron, portable DVD player, video games, etc.) Keep in mind that most hotels provide hairdryers, towels, and pillows.
  • If there are any sightseeing opportunities, bring a camera!
  • If going to another country, make sure you get your spending money converted to their currency. It also might be a good idea to use a debit card/credit card, which is universal.
  • Do some research about the place you are going before you go. Find out about any fun places that your group could go.
  • If there is any loose exploring, make sure you meet up with the group at a certain meeting place at the correct time! Follow any boundaries!
  • Take advantage of any fundraising opportunities to help lower the cost of the trip, either for yourself or for everyone.
  • Offer to help load/unload large equipment (percussion, electric piano, drums, amps, etc.) The more people help, the faster it goes!
  • Make sure you have breakfast! These tours have jam-packed days and if you don't have any energy, it's not fun.

Warnings

  • Any other extreme misbehavior will also get you sent home.
  • NEVER sneak out. You will get caught.
  • Absolutely DO NOT smoke, drink, or do drugs! You will get sent home.
  • Lights out means lights out. Do not watch TV or talk to your roommates after room check. Go straight to bed!
  • Follow all curfews! Even if the chaperons didn't tape the door, do not wander around the hotel after curfew!
  • Wherever your group is, follow all boundaries! If the chaperon/director says "Don't leave the hotel!" Then, you better not leave the hotel!

Article Info

Categories: Music | Travel