Tips for Traveling with a Marching Band

Traveling with a large marching band is certainly not always the easiest task, but it also certainly doesn't have to be the most difficult!

Here at Adventure Student Travel, we have had over 15 years experience in the student and group travel industry, and we have seen many large performance groups come and go. When you book with us, we take care of the big picture stuff like the transportation, attraction and festival tickets, reservations, and any travel hiccup along the way.

There are some things you should have in mind before planning your trip, however:

  • Decide if you are bringing or renting your instruments.
    • Put together a plan of action for flight storage, if you are bringing your own instruments. Smaller woodwind and brass instruments can be counted as a carry-on, or even stuffed in your luggage, but larger ones such as tubas, trombones, timpani (if you are bringing your own), etc, must be checked.

  • Put together small groups of students, 6-10, per each chaperone.
    • Take roll call all together at each different performance/big attraction visited, and have your chaperones take it several times throughout the day.
      Marching Band Trip Tips


  • Be sure to wear matching shirts in largely populated areas.
    • This is an easy task considering most marching bands put out a new shirt for their band each year. This is a really easy way to spot all/most of your students in large places, such as Disney.

  • Know your students: behaviorally, maturity level-wise, and medically.
    • Not only do you need to be well aware of any medical issues, medications, and allergies before you go, you also need to evaluate and be aware of your students' maturity levels and behavioral issues, if any. Be prepared for any hiccups or meltdowns along the way.

    • This perhaps seems like common sense, but as a band director or travel leader, you need to put the task on yourself of reminding your students to drink plenty of water along the way. Between practices, field shows, and walking around a new location in general, water is really important!

  • Consider easy tracking and messaging apps, such as the Remind App (Remind, formerly Remind101, is a communication tool that helps teachers reach students and parents where they are.)
    • Depending on your student's cell service and data plan, an app like this may not be best. Make a Facebook group or large group chat for easier to access options!

  • Pack light, but pack right.
    • Remember ALL pieces of your uniform, and consider using a duffel bag for all your items instead of a bulky/heavy suitcase. (Small instruments will fit better, as well!)
    • Pack plenty of games, snacks, and remind students to bring extra money as well, downtime will happen during your trip, especially if you have a long motorcoach ride.

For more band travel tips, check out these blogs:

7 Reasons You Should Take a Student Band Trip

Top 6 Band, Choir, and Orchestra Field Trips

Marching Band Trips To Disney World


To look for performance opportunities in general, visit our Marching Band theme page.