The Ultimate Tour Prep Checklist
Updated: Mar 16, 2019
You are headed to your new job on a theatrical touring production! Congrats! Your negotiations are complete, contract signed, housing and flights arranged. Now what?
Here's a practical checklist to follow for tour newbies!
Documentation & Mail
- Update Passport and ID's. Put a reminder in your phone when it's a few months out to renew. - International Tours- Make sure your VISA is obtained and check to see if you are traveling to countries with specific vaccination requirements ( could need a few months to fulfill this!)
- Notify your landlord/find a sublet.
- Prep digital copies of all ID's, Financials, Pet documentation, or relevant forms you may need.
- Setup mail forwarding. This will be particularly important for tax documents. Consider a PO Box or ask a trusted friend/family member to receive it for you.
- Notify your bank that you will be traveling. Give them a copy of your tour schedule and the dates you'll be gone. (In my experience, you'll still encounter some bank hiccups. Always travel with cash!)
-Bring at least one Credit Card.
-If you're on an international tour, make sure to get one without international fees.
- Consider obtaining airline credit cards and hotel rewards programs to increase benefits of frequent travel
- Taxes- Ask your accountant about purchases which are eligible for tax write off's. Scan in/take pictures of those receipts and store them digitally. If you prefer hard copies, bring one accordion style receipt organizer. *Trudy Durant Tax Associates (NY and NJ offices) specialize in working with Theater employees and can help answer any questions you may have about the newer tax laws.
- Insurance- If you are bringing personal items which will be necessary for your job (tools for your workbox, an instrument, etc.) be sure to get insurance!
- Health insurance - figure out how to search for Physicians online, based on zip code, that covered under your plan.
-Request Prescriptions and notify doctors about your new job. Look into apps and websites like livehealthonline.com to make it more convenient (and cost effective) to handle prescriptions and referral's.
- International tours- Check to see if you will be traveling to countries with specific vaccination requirements.
-First Aid Kit- A travel sized kit will suffice. All theater's will have first aid available should you need it.
-Pack Vitamins and essential supplements
-Pack exercise equipment that is lightweight, flexible and not bulky.
Travel & Utility Kits
- Apply for TSAPrecheck if you will be flying frequently.
- Invest in quality suitcases. Aim to travel with at least one large suitcase, one carryon and one personal bag.
- Packing Cubes and/or vacuum seal bags
- Purchase a luggage scale
- If you have a trunk, invest in additional packing cubes or plastic bins (6 oz-16 oz) to prevent damage to your items. Your trunk can store lesser used and bulky items, workout equipment, and kits.
- Kitchen Kit Suggestions - Steel Fork/Spoon/Paring Knife
-Plate and Bowl (Plastic or metal)
- Wine/Beer opener
- Baggies/Tupperware (Not glass)
- Reusable Food wrap (also useful for transporting bottles of liquid)
- Also consider: portable water filter, select spices, heating coil, pots/pans, hot plate and larger appliances (rice cooker, hot pot, griddle, Instapot or slow cookers) if you really want to make cooking a priority.
- Laundry Kit Suggestions
- Laundry Pods in a airtight container
- Roll of Quarters
- Cloth Laundry Bag
- Also consider: delicates wash bag, blue Dawn Dish Soap (for hand washing in the sink), travel sized spot treatment, laundry pods for whites
Packing Clothes & Shoes
- Think of what you'd like to pack and then cut it in half. Bring even fewer shoes.
- Figure out your style formula and only bring what you really love and feel good wearing.
- Seasonal clothes- Have a summer/winter box ready to be shipped back to a trusted friend or relative. When it's time to switch seasons, have them mail you the box.
- Keep formal clothes and shoes in your trunk (if you are lucky enough to have one), or do what you'd do for seasonal clothes.
-FIle Folds or rolling your clothes will save space.
Creature Comfort Suggestions (Not necessary, just encouraged)
- Pillow, Pillowcase & blanket
- Bathrobe and slippers
- Family pictures or home decor that's easy to put up, take down, and travel.
- Memberships to national massage or gym chains
- Remember- The average person only wears 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time.
- Backup your computer and phone regularly. - Label bins packed in your trunk so it's easy to see what you have without having to pull everything out.
- Theater Go-Bag: Have a bag that has everything you need for rehearsals and performances. There will be days you roll off the plane and directly into rehearsals, so just trust me on this one. No need to unpack it, just be sure to replenish snacks!
- Bring Command hooks for hotel rooms or bus bunks
- Make sure you're aware of what you are responsible for and what should be provided to you.
I hope this helps you get started! There are so many helpful suggestions available, but only you know exactly what you will need to feel comfortable and prepared. If you need more hands on assistance email firstname.lastname@example.org!