Guest blog: How to make the most of your music tour budget

Tour operator and corporate member Travelbound gives insight into how music groups could make their funds go further

We know that for most groups, budget is a key element in the choice of tour destination. Finding the right destination, which will excite and inspire your performers, work with your concert programme and ensembles and also be affordable can be a challenge.

Further to the recent depreciation of the sterling versus both the euro and the dollar, ensuring you make your money travel as far as possible is even more important. Here are some helpful key points to consider when planning your next music tour.

Travel by coach

Travelling by coach is the most economical way to travel for most music groups. The coach will pick your music group up from your chosen departure point and take you all the way to your destination; it will also be available whilst you are on tour to carry out local excursions and concerts. Music groups with large instruments can request a trailer to increase the luggage capacity of the vehicle and ensure baggage and equipment are transported safely.  

Consider travelling in low season

Prices vary during the year with premium prices being charged by all of our suppliers over key times such as July when groups are competing for places with families. If you are able to travel October to April, prices are more favourable and some destinations can still offer the option of performing outdoors. If you are able to do so, travelling term time rather than during school holidays is also an effective way of reducing your tour price and getting best availability.

Include as many free or low cost local excursions

Travelbound can typically obtain specially reduced prices for groups at most attractions. Being able to obtain specific contract rates only available to tour operators, we can pass any savings straight on to music groups. We can also advise on any local visits which are free of charge or fairly inexpensive while still of interest for your group. Make sure you discuss your groups’ specific budget requirements with your dedicated Account Manager at an early stage so we can help you make the most of your budget.

Boost your numbers

Broadly speaking, travelling with a small group can often increase the price of the tour as some of the costs are shared amongst all group members. Financially, it makes sense to open up the music tour to more than one ensemble especially if they can share the same performance venue. Alternatively, you could consider including a Junior Ensemble to increase numbers; perhaps they can feature at the start of the group’s main performance. Another option would be to include additional group members whose dedicated role would be to support the setting up of equipment for the music group’s performances. Not only can they can help set up, but they can take on roles such as writing a tour report for the school magazine/group’s social media pages or be the tour’s official photographers.

Consider your free place ratio

We normally use 1:8 free place ratio for our coach tours and 1:10 free place ratio on air tours. The cost of the “free places” is shared amongst the paying passengers and added to their trip price so if you are able to reduce the number of free places you need, the price per person will reduce. Please do ask us to prepare a quotation based on your group’s required free place ratio. 

Stay in a Youth Hostel

Nowadays hostels generally offer a modern, safe, bright and vibrant environment which is perfect for music groups. The hostels we use offer all the essentials in en-suite rooms with great facilities such as free Wi-Fi, plenty of sockets to keep all devices fully connected and fully charged up at all times, instrument storage and rehearsal space. No dormitories are used for youth groups and your performers will never share a room with strangers. 

Make the most of your board options

Depending on the destination you wish to travel to in the world, we can offer your group different meal options from ‘room only’ to ‘full board’. Often, opting to eat at your accommodation will prove cheaper than eating out as the cost of your meals is incorporated in the contractual prices we have with our suppliers. The Travelbound Music Team can guide you through the various options right from enquiry stage.

Ask us for good value destinations

Did you know that the  Rhineland offers very good group-friendly prices all year round which are usually much cheaper than the rest of Germany and even the Netherlands or  Belgium? Staying in one of the seaside resorts on the Costa Brava can also save you money compared to accommodation in Barcelona. If planning a visit to Paris, consider staying just outside the city at a fraction of the cost you would normally pay for a central hotel. You can also choose to stay at Travelbound’s very own Château du Molay in Normandy: operated by our own English-speaking staff and managed by the experienced Gemma and Lisle, our groups have exclusive use of the site and facilities at very competitive prices.

To find out about how we can help you make the most of your tour budget, please contact the Travelbound’s Music Team on 01273 265 290.