Booking transportation for your artist and crew can be a challenging process, especially when there are multiple options. What's the best way to move your crew from city to city? Here's our guide to booking transportation when you're on tour.
Option 1: Rent a tour bus as primary transportation.
Renting a tour bus is a great, budget-friendly option if you're moving a large band and crew, and can also be logistically easier to track. Since everyone will need to be in one or two buses, you can make sure no one is left behind, and that each bus remains on schedule as you travel.
Depending on the size and comfort of the bus, you can save a lot of money in terms of transportation costs or hotel reservations. Many buses are large enough to store band equipment or allow for a small trailer to be towed to the back.
For the comfort of your crew, many tour buses include multiple beds, which will allow a band or crew to relax and sleep as they move across the country. You'll also save time if you drive extra hours overnight to reach your next destination.
To book a tour bus, look for a professional group that has experience with booking bands. They can help you identify the right size of bus you'll need for your crew and equipment, and provide better rates. In addition, you'll want to have the bus ready and available in the first city you fly into.
Questions you should ask of every bus company you contact should include:
- How many people can occupy the bus?
- Does the bus come with a professional driver?
- Does the bus have large storage facilities for equipment?
- What are the rates for X amount of days or X amount of miles?
- Will rentals need to be returned in the same city?
Option 2: Mix modes of transportation and rent vans in every city.
If instead, you're flying to different cities to save time and energy, you'll want to book your flights in advance and book van or car rentals in every city you fly to. To make it easier on your crew, make sure that the rental company can provide your vehicles at the airport or, at least, transportation from the airport to their rental offices. This way, you won't have to move your gear too much.
There are different types of vans or cars you can rent, depending on your need and budget. For example, you can rent a car or SUV for band and crew members but rent a separate van or truck mainly for equipment (these vans will not have seats in the back). Or, you can rent a large passenger band and carry luggage and equipment in the back, and either tow larger pieces of equipment in a small trailer. It will all depend on how much you're carrying, how many people you're transporting, how long you'll use the car or vans for, and how comfortable you need each van to be.
You might also want to keep in mind that some vans are a great option for traveling to a bunch of cities in one region. For example, you might instead want to use a van for a tour that stops in Boston, Hartford, CT, and New York City, but then fly to Atlanta, Georgia. Depending on your schedule, using a van for a longer period of time but a plane to get to major parts of the country, will help stretch your transportation budget.
Again, you should ask each rental company what their daily or weekly rates are and if it includes miles and gas. They should be able to offer you a quote based on your estimates for time and distance.
Overall, organizing a tour will take a lot of attention to detail, quote requests, and confirmations. As long as you stay on track of your rentals and confirmations, you'll have a tour with little travel mishaps.
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