Marching BandTravel

How to Travel with Marching Band Instruments

By December 9, 2015 February 16th, 2018 No Comments

Marching Band Instruments

You’ve secured your top location choice for your marching band trip. Congratulations!

Now it’s time to coordinate trip logistics. One looming question, “How do we transport the marching band instruments?” This question needs to be answered early in your trip planning. The answer can affect the cost per person, your fundraising efforts, trip logistics, and the number of resources that you will need.

Consider Your Transportation Options

Your marching band instruments can either travel with you or separately. Each requires unique logistic considerations. Here are a few options:

  1. Motor Coach – This is the most efficient transportation option if your students can pack light. The luggage compartment would be shared by both student luggage and marching band instruments. You will have everything you need with you as you travel. Less variables ease logistics.
  2. Separate Truck – This is often the most practical transportation option. Students travel by motorcoach and/or air while the marching band instruments travel in a separate instrument truck. The truck can caravan with the motorcoaches or depart in advance.
  3. Plane – This option is more logistically difficult. Marching band instruments need additional transporation to/from the airport and throughout your destination.  Instruments will be checked as oversized luggage according to the fees outlined by each airline or stored as carry-on luggage if requirements are met. Read the TSA rules on traveling with musical instruments.  Know your instruments weight and size. Allow additional time for check-in at the airport.

Evaluate Your Needs

Evaluate your transportation needs for your marching band instruments based on the length of your trip and destination choice. One day or one night (two day) trips may be able to use only motorcoach transportation.   Trips that include airplane transportation are suitable either for transporting the marching band instruments by air or by truck. If you choose to fly with your instruments, how the instruments will get to the airport and how they will be transported when you land?  Do you need a separate truck to get to the airport or will private car suffice? Will the motorcoach at your destination have enough space or will a separate truck still be needed?

Involve the Community

We’ve traveled with bands who received full truck transportation for their marching band instruments through a corporate sponsorship. Others have rented trucks funded solely by community donations. You may be surprised at how your local community rallies behind your marching band in support of the incredible performance opportunity that you secured.

Not sure how to get started? Check with your local radio stations to see if you can be interviewed on the air or talk briefly about your performance opportunity and the needs of your organization. Be sure to include your contact information.  Put an announcement in your local paper. Contact your local news stations.  Create a website where the community can make donations and be recognized on the site for doing so. Give your community the opportunity to support you on your journey.


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