Guest Post: 7 Tips for Booking Out-of-Town Competitions

Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from managing your online reputation to health and wellness.

One great feature of being in an a cappella group is that you typically get to travel to interesting locations when competing, meet new people, and see a bit of the world. We’re here to provide some tips for travel that we highly recommend for you wonderful warblers!

1. Book hotels in advance. If your trip out of town requires an overnight stay, be sure to book your hotel accommodations in advance, and make sure the whole group gets to stay together. This will be far simpler from a logistics standpoint, and will also be a better bonding opportunity. Make sure that if people are paying for their own accommodations, you find a reasonably priced place to stay, and consider having people room together for an even more cost-effective solution.

2. Plan meals for large groups. Inevitably, the group will have at least one meal together. You can plan this in advance by booking reservations through OpenTable.com at a recommended local restaurant. Check with your hotel for local recommendations that are reasonably priced.

3. Bring road trip snacks. Depending on how far the trip is, it’s always helpful to have snacks on board, as well as water. Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping those throats lubricated.

4. Make sure transportation needs are met. Make sure that you have transportation that is both reliable and safe for the number of people traveling (no sitting on laps, singers!), and that whomever is planning on driving has the proper car insurance if a drive is required.

5. Have a clear agenda. Make sure that everyone who is coming to the competition from your group has an agenda of events not just for the competition day, but for the whole trip. You are only as fast as your slowest person, so making sure everyone stays on task and knows where to be, and when to be there, is important.

If the group is underage, it will also be important that the parents of group members are aware of the complete agenda. Include information like when you will be leaving the hotel for the event, and provide a time before that at which the team will meet to get a headcount. You don’t want to be a person short, as we all know that each role is critical in an a cappella group!

6. Plan a warm-up session before the event. Make sure to include on your agenda a planned warm-up session, and perhaps even a short rehearsal, before the event. Whether a rehearsal is needed really depends on how long the trip is in duration.

7. Make sure that your group looks good! Your a cappella group is very likely accustomed to dressing in some semblance of unison when performing, but when competing, it is that much more important to look like (and act like) a cohesive unit. So be sure everyone brings the planned attire, whatever that might be. Judges will respond favorably to the level of organization and cohesion of the group.

To summarize, traveling for out-of-town competitions can be a wonderful experience, but you need a good planner at the helm to make sure that the trip goes smoothly. Following these several suggested tips should help to ensure that things go smoothly in traveling to and being at the competition.