Most of my year is spent staying in casino hotels and doing my lounge gig with a country-rock band, The Voodoo Cowboys. I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms and after a while they all start to look the same. Sure, some are nicer than others, but all in all, it’s still a hotel room.
One thing that makes it easier for me to be away from home so much is I make my room feel like it was my own personal apartment. I set it up with things I need and want around the room.
I carry an oversized bag so I can fit my boots, sneakers, clothes, iPod speakers and toiletry bag all in the same suitcase.
There are things I keep in there all the time, that way I’m guaranteed to have them when I need them. I never take these things out of this bag. There are times when I don’t need all of them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and if you have the room, go for it. As time goes on everyone develops their own system.
- Power strip
- Laundry bag (2)
- Flip flops and slippers
- Travel iron w/ voltage adapter
- Ipod speakers
- Swim suit
- Gym shoes & gym clothes
If I have room and I’m going for an extended stay I pack my single-serving Mr. Coffee maker. It uses the same Keurig pods as we do at home. I shop at home all the time. Lol!
It’s usually overkill, but I am a creature of habit and I need coffee in the morning or I’m just not nice to be around not that I’m much better when I have coffee, but it helps.I keep it in a cloth shopping bag. It serves as a carry all and if we are in a state where you have to bring your own I’m all set.
I keep other kinds of goodies in there as well like a bowl and silverware along with some coffee pods, powdered creamer and sugar. Things that make living in a hotel easier unless you’re making tons of cash then forget all this and order room service. I’m far from getting rich, so I bring what I have space for. I bring the stuff you need but never have, LOL! I also have a foldable cooler that holds water, beer or whatever. Leftovers are now good tomorrow! I also carry popcorn and drink tubes as well.
Like a lot of people I carry a backpack. I carry a vast array of things in my backpack. iPod, iPad, charging cords and adapters with back up batteries, cell phone cords, plus a cornucopia of other things. Not to mention my wallet or water or food or clothes. This is a must have item for all working musicians.
One of the things I love the most is my tablet. It has really taken the place of my laptop. One thing that makes all of this much easier is an app called Facetime. I am able to video call my wife over the Internet every day. You can also do Skype on Android devices. “Happy Wife Happy Life” Enough said on that! (You can Skype on iOS devices, too… Rev.)
Fortunately on these gigs, the band travels in an SUV and pulls a trailer so space is not a huge issue. You just have to be willing and able to haul all that stuff around. I keep everything small and it all fits into a suitcase, backpack and a shopping bag. I like to keep it to one suitcase and one backpack. I can get in and out of the hotel in one trip.
No matter how much stuff you bring, one thing remains the same. You’re still going to have to do laundry.
Nobody wants to ride with the stinky kid. Be courteous to your bandmates and the people who come to see you at your gigs. Wash your clothes and shower regularly. Don’t Be the Stinky Kid.
Fly dates (where you get on a plane and fly to the gigs) and one-nighters and weekend gigs I pack similar but WAY LESS !
I hope some of this information was useful to some of you. These are just some things me and my OCD (lol) do while on the road and staying in hotels. It’s a great life if you can make it work. Having things kind of regular and familiar is one way of making life on the road a lot easier for me.