Doing gigs at your local diner is a great way of earning as a musician. You’ll also build your fanbase if you’re doing it for quite some time. However, your music career should not end with you playing your songs for the same people. At some point, you’ll have to get out of your hometown and travel the world to get your name out there.
Traveling is essential not only to get a bigger fanbase but also to establish your career in music. It’s one of the most effective strategies to get into the music industry. During your travels, you’ll find talented people to collaborate with. And this can boost your career as well as your music skills.
But traveling the world can get quite expensive. This article highlights different ways that you can do this if you’re on a tight budget. But first, you need to know the best places to travel and get a second passport to be able to move across countries freely.
Let’s Get You a Second Passport
Most musicians have a second passport that allows them to go to different countries even without a visa. This way, traveling becomes easier for them.
Getting a second passport also means being a citizen in the host country. So if you’re originally from New York and got a Greece passport, you’re both a New Yorker and a Greek.
There are different ways of getting a second passport. Below, we outline three ways of acquiring citizenship aside from being born into a country.
If you’ve lived in a country for several years, you can become a citizen of that country. In Canada, you should have at least three years of residency to be qualified for citizenship. However, this only applies when you’re a permanent resident of the host country.
Temporary residents like foreign employees must first become permanent residents. After doing so, you can now calculate your years as a resident until you reach the required time.
Another way of gaining citizenship is through citizenship by investment.
What is citizenship by investment?
This is a way to get a second passport by investing in your target country. For example, you can apply for second citizenship in Europe by investing in their government’s funds. As compared to four years of residency, you can become a citizen in just a few months.
Residence by investment countries includes Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, etc.
The best second passport by investment is the Dominica citizenship program. There are minimal requirements to meet for this citizen by investment program. You won’t be required to take a language or culture test, as well as attend an interview. You also don’t need to trouble yourself with travel or residence requirements.
For this reason, this program is also the fastest citizenship by investment program. Plus, the minimum investment is only $100,000.
Second citizenship by investment is ideal for musicians who are earning a good enough income. It’s a good passport investment in the long run, especially when you retire as a musician. Your second citizenship is permanent and you can also bring your family with you.
There are many benefits of citizenship by investment. One of these includes enjoying the benefits of being a citizen in two countries. For example, with European citizenship, you can get access to their national health care benefits.
If in your tour, you marry a citizen of a nation, you can be granted permanent resident status. However, contradictory to a popular belief, this does not necessarily fast-track the time of your citizenship. There are strict rules that you need to follow to become a citizen in most countries.
For example, in countries like Germany, you have to live with your spouse for at least three years. If you live separately from your spouse, your marriage will be invalid. The worst is you can get penalized and deported for it.
Pick Your Mode of Transportation
Once you get your passport, it will be easier for you to travel within countries. Even if you travel by train, you need a passport to legally stay in the country.
The next thing you need to consider is your mode of transportation.
As a musician, you’ll be bringing in a lot of luggage, including your instrument. And if you’re in a band, you need to travel together to get to the same place at the same time.
Get Yourself a Driver
Band members include a vocalist, a drummer, a guitarist, and a pianist. And all of these members have important roles to fulfill to get the band going. While on tour, bands usually practice their music and check their instruments. Since that is the case, who’s going to drive you to your destination?
The best way to look for a driver is to hire someone you’re related to. It can be a family member, a friend, or your manager. These people will drive you to your gigs because they believe in you, not because it’s their job to do so. Because of this, you don’t need to pay them more than you would if you hire a stranger.
Hitchhike Your Way to Your Gig
As opposed to what people believe, hitchhiking isn’t only for hippies. In the olden times, hitchhiking proved to be a way for musicians to travel across countries.
Hitchhiking is generally a safe way to move around in different places. It’s one of the simplest methods to travel the world on a budget while making new friends. All you need is some common sense and a little etiquette.
You also need to understand the law in the place you’re hitchhiking in. It’s not always legal to hitchhike in some places, so make sure you’re somewhere that it is allowed. Double-check the laws to ensure that what you’re doing is legal where you are.
There are websites like Hitchwiki that serve as a hitchhiking resource. It offers you an extensive guide to the places where hitchhiking is allowed. It’s also a good source of finding out the safest areas to hitchhike in. Visit the site before you plan to hitchhike to get tips and make sure you’re traveling in a safe area.
Lastly, watch out for how you present yourself. Some people will not give second thoughts to help a hitchhiker. However, some are cautious with who they are helping with. You may be holding a guitar case, but that’s not what others may view it. It’s best to dress appropriately (even casually) and offer a smile and a friendly demeanor.
Fly for Free
Getting the cheapest airline tickets is one thing. Boarding an airplane and flying to your destination for free is another thing. And yes, it is a thing these days.
There are several methods to get free flights. You can sign up for a couple of travel credit cards, earn miles, and you’ll be able to fly for free.
Most credit cards provide sign-up incentives of 50,000 points. You can easily use this to book a free airfare. You can also combine the two point balances and get a cheap trip by signing up for both an airline card and a general rewards card.
You can even earn a lot of miles even before you leave through credit card incentives, shopping, and online surveys.
Get Yourself a Place to Stay
Now that you’ve finished your performance, you need somewhere to rest. You can’t expect yourself to keep moving, especially after a performance. Even if you didn’t move that much, it can be exhausting to perform on stage.
Here are different ways of getting cheaper – if not free – accommodation while you’re in town.
Look for a Great Deal Online
Get your computer or smartphone and start looking for a good price. Websites like Expedia help you look for a place within your budget. It has a feature where you can search depending on where you are and filter out the prices based on your budget.
Before making a reservation, visit the hotel’s website or phone them directly. Direct bookings are sometimes cheaper than those made through a third-party service. You should also inquire about parking when you call a hotel. Small things like paid parking can make your accommodation more expensive than you can afford.
Get Gigs That Offer Free Accommodation
Several musicians sleep in various hotels for free. They are permitted in exchange for an after-dinner concert at that place. However, you can also swap your performance for long-term housing through companies like Helpx. Sometimes, they also offer you food.
Get Help From Your Fans or Other Bands in the Area
Connect with your fans in the places where you’ll be performing. Building up trust with some people is the best way to achieve this. You can interact with them on Facebook, via email, or in person. After performing in the area, you might ask for someone’s help to lend you a guest room or two while you’re in town.
Fans often like spending time with their favorite bands. But if they’re someone you’ve never met or don’t know well, think twice. If you feel like it’s dangerous to do so, it’s best to stay in a hotel or motel.
Your potential hosts should not be limited to your most recent admirers. If you have friends or family in the area, you should contact them ahead of time to let them know when you’ll be in town.
You can also check with your college roommates or second cousins who live in the city you’re performing in. This is an excellent opportunity to reconnect while also saving money.
Sleep in a Van
If you’ve rented a van, you can sleep in it. When you compare the expense of renting an RV to the cost of staying in hotels, the numbers may just stack up. It’s even better if you have someone you can borrow an RV from. Just remember to consider the gas and parking expenses, especially if you don’t have a free spot to park on.
Look For Websites That Connect You With Hosts
But what if you don’t have anyone to contact or a van to sleep in? Luckily, there are plenty of websites that help you connect with hosts willing to give you free accommodation.
One good example is Couchsurfing.com. As opposed to the term, you’re not actually sleeping on a couch. Rather, most hosts offer an extra bedroom in their place for free.
It is the leading social media platform for budget travelers all around the world. Even musicians touring the world on a tight budget use it because it’s free. You can thank the host by bringing them gifts in exchange for the accommodation.
Much like hitchhiking, you need to interact with the host as a way of appreciating their efforts to help you. Don’t be so distant or preoccupied that your host feels used or abandoned. Having a local available for information around the area is important while you’re on tour. Their exclusive tips can help you save money while also improving the quality of your trip.
If you want to become a musician with a big name, you need to build a large enough fanbase. And this can be done by traveling around the world. While it is easier said than done, this article lists some of the ways you can travel the world as a musician. The list is especially helpful if you’re on a tight budget or just starting your music career.
Most musicians these days make use of the internet to get their name out. However, nothing beats a performance done in-person to connect with your fans and build loyalty.