by Nicole Hurst
From time to time I’m asked by friends who are joining their first tour for some tips that can help make their experience more enjoyable. Being on tour is an amazing opportunity, but it can take a toll on you physically and emotionally. So here’s a list of things I do to take care of myself when I’m hitting the road.
1. Bring A Blanket and A Hoodie for The Bus.
I'm always cold, and usually there's a battle for control of the bus thermostats that cold natured people like myself usually lose. Therefore bring whatever you need to feel comfortable on a eight hour bus or plane ride. Plus you never know what the temperature will be when you get to the next state, so it’s nice to have a jacket or sweatshirt handy.
2. Take Your Vitamins.
You're constantly traveling in and out of hotels, different climates, airports and planes, all of which are breeding grounds for germs and a sure recipe for getting sick. I typically take a multi-vitamin once a day and I keep a few packs of EmergenC in my backpack for those moments where I feel a tickle coming on. There’s nothing worse than being sick on the road, which brings me to my next point….
3. Travel With What I Like To Call an "Oh Sh*t!!" Bag.
Basically it's a small baggie that you keep with a couple doses of medications like Advil, Pepcid AC, Claritin, natural cough drops, cough syrup, band-aids, whatever you need when you get sick. The last thing you want is to get stuck in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with a serious cough and the nearest drugstore is 15 mins away; or worse get stuck paying $20 bucks for six Advil in an expensive hotel gift shop!
Something that's become a staple when I travel, and now in my medicine cabinet at home, is Oregano Oil. It's antibacterial, and it’s great to help strengthen your immune system and help fight infections. If you feel a cold coming on take 3-4 drops in a cup of hot water a couple times a day. It's super potent so I'd start with 3 drops and see how you do! It's also good if you suffer with allergies or sinus issues. Sometimes if I've got a stuffy nose, I'll inhale the steam for as long as I can tolerate before drinking the mixture. You can find Oregano Oil in a natural health store like Whole Foods or Sprouts.
4. Drink Plenty of Water.
There's always free bottled water in the dressing rooms and catering. I take as many as I can for my days off so I don't have to pay four bucks for a small bottle of hotel water. (If you can’t tell, I like to save money too!)
5. Take Advantage of Fresh Food and Juice Options.
It's so hard to maintain a normal diet when you get off stage at 11 and there aren't many healthy options in sight. Finding a decent meal in certain places can be a challenge, but I do my best to eat lots of fruits and veggies and somewhat healthy meals while traveling. Take advantage of the fresh foods and juicing options that are usually in catering. A healthy body goes a long ways on a three month tour, so do your best to take care of it.
Sometimes all you need to cure a bad mood and sluggish body is a good nap, or a day of rest. Make sure you’re getting as much of this as possible.
7. Massages Are Necessary.
As performers, your body is your instrument. Sometimes those bus bunks can feel more like coffins than beds, and a cramped airplane seat becomes a bed during an overnight flight. Massages are necessities for us. You can't utilize your instrument properly if you've got a serious crook in your neck. Now you don't have to go to some bougie spa that charges 200 dollars for an hour massage. But if you do a little YELPing you can find a good quality mid-priced place that does amazing work to melt away the kinks, and keep your body in the best condition possible.
8. See The World.
Especially if you're in a city or country you've never been before. It's so easy on a day off to wanna stay in your room with the curtains shut and sleep while catching up on episodes of Power (although I'm all for this too!!) Walk around for an hour, get some free Vitamin D and fresh air. Not everyone has the opportunity to travel the world doing what they love AND getting paid to do it. If you have the time, take advantage of it. Now, if you're sitting up in Santa Fe with nothing in sight, then by all means binge away!
9. Protect Your Peace.
At times you're probably spending more time with your road family than you are your real family. And just like family you have to deal with everyone's mood swings, attitudes and petty ways. Whether that's having a nice dinner for one with a glass of wine (or three), or finding a local yoga class, a church service, or my personal favorite again, a good massage. Do what's necessary for you to always maintain your sanity and create a little normalcy to a very unpredictable lifestyle.
Being on the road I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life. As with anything it’s what you make it, and when you’re happy and healthy, you’re unstoppable. At the end of the day, know what you need to recharge your mind and body and to protect your inner peace. Everyone thanks you!
Nicole Hurst is a GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter and entertainer from Houston, TX. She has traveled the world performing and touring with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, and Janet Jackson, and has appeared on numerous television and award shows including the Grammy Awards, ‘Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’. She has had the privilege of performing for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House’s In Performance: Memphis Soul tribute concert. You can connect with Nicole on Twitter and Instagram.
Join us for our Be Healthy Wellness Popup!
We are very excited to partner with House Studio DC to bring you "Be Healthy." This event is a wellness popup for arts professionals. "Be Healthy" takes place on Oct. 1 at 9:30AM. In order to participate, you need to RSVP. Click here to RSVP!