The 10 best travel apps for Tour/Production Managers
There is no such thing as a typical week when you're working as a tour manager - apart from the same old airport hotels, back and forth emails, dragging artists out of bed by the ankles and arguing about per diems.
For any tour managers who have been on the scene for a while, you will remember the days of navigating your way through mind-numbing spreadsheets and trying to keep track of everything by scrolling through countless emails. However, our friend, modern technology, has made our job a little bit easier to navigate.
Here are our favourite apps to use on tour that will keep you looking younger for longer and help you appear calm on the outside.
Most of you probably already use Mastertour (because it's fantastic), but it's surprising how many people in the industry still don't know about it.
The app will help you stay organised while you're on tour and manage everything, from travel details and schedules to contracts and hotel reservations.
It simplifies hours of complicated planning.
Intermittent internet? Stuck in a muddy field in the middle of nowhere? It doesn't matter; the app works online AND offline so that you can access all that vital information anywhere.
This app makes managing the lives of the people you're on tour with so much easier. As well as organising all the tour information into one place it, every member on tour can access it and find out when and where they need to be.
Will they access it? Probably not. Will you have to remind them anyway? Most likely. But will it make your job a bit more relaxed in the long run? Let us know.
It's not the most straightforward app to use, but neither is touring. You'll figure it out, and once you do, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it – probably.
Coffee snobs rejoice! Long gone are the days of bitter road-side coffee, served in polystyrene cups. With so many independent coffee shops around, you're now spoilt for choice when it comes to satisfying those caffeine cravings on the road.
We all know how limited time and patience can be when everyone is tired and in desperate need of a coffee. Thankfully BeanHunter makes it easy to find your next caffeine fix.
Depending on what locations you are travelling to on tour, you might need a little helping hand when it comes to nailing the local dialect.
Whether you are tackling public transport, ordering food in a restaurant or asking for directions, the google translate app can translate more than 100 languages.
Our favourite feature is the instant camera translation, where it automatically translates text for you.
Google Translate is a really handy tool when you're on tour, It's like having your very own personal translator.
Managing finances on tour can be quite the headache. You're continually tracking everyone's expenses, chasing up receipts and pulling your hair out when it comes to tallying everything up.
This app makes managing your travel expenses so much easier. It helps make sure you don't overspend and run out of money before your tour is up and helps you keep on top of those petty cash spends so much easier!
It's straightforward to use. You can organise your expenses by trip or month and can set yourself a daily budget.
Once you get a bill, upload the amount to the app, and voila!
The app will tell you how you are doing at the end of each day, week, month or trip. And you can track where your money is going.
Being the first port of call for any issues including things that are entirely in your control, LIKE THE WEATHER, are all part and parcel of the job role.
In all seriousness, Dark Sky is a pretty cool app.
The weather app is the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information. It can tell you down-to-the-minute forecasts, and you can find out exactly when the rain will start (and stop) exactly where you are - it's like magic.
If it starts chucking it down, you can dive into the nearest pub and use the app to find out how long it will be until the rain stops, or when it will be at its lightest, and then you can make a dash for it.
We know you are busy people, but you can also turn on rain notifications and alerts, so you're always one step ahead of the weather.
Can any Tour Manager survive without the internet anymore? These days we use it for everything, which is why it's so important to have a Virtual Private Network when you're on tour.
ExpressVPN's allows you to keep your internet traffic private, and most importantly makes any areas of the internet that are blocked in certain countries, accessible. For example, If you're touring in China, there are lots of websites you can't access like Facebook, WhatsApp, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram. Having access to the internet and staying active on social media is essential for any band/artist. The only way to do that (worldwide) is through a VPN.
You can connect to the internet from any of their servers (there are more than 100 locations around the world). So when you have one of those rare moments to kick back, relax and binge watch your favourite tv show you can. And because your connection is private, any movies or tv shows you're viewing will stream quickly and privately.
What time can you load in? What time can you park, how long can you park for?
Obviously if you’re playing somewhere like the O2 this app won’t apply to you, because you’ll have everything sorted – you lucky devils.
For the rest of you, take a load off and plan your parking.
This app is super handy for telling you where the closest parking spots are near your destination, how much it will cost, and if there’s any space available.
Whether you book your parking in advance or do it then and there, you can book online, through a mobile app or in-car.
Finding the best route, avoiding traffic and making sure your act gets to the next destination on time can be challenging to say the least, but Waze is a great mapping app to help you find alternative routes on the road.
The app uses community-based GPS to alert people to accidents, road closures, potholes, speed cameras and police sightings.
If you're travelling on a large tour bus, you might be better off using google maps because Waze is mainly for cars. However, if you're touring in a smaller van, Waze might help you reach your destination faster.
Waze's social features mean you get more up to date reports of accidents, traffic jams and police sightings than Google Maps. The social app finds alternative routes much quicker - it's great for city driving.
Crucial for any successful tour.
The game involves many many roads which we just know you’ll love after spending countless hours on a tour bus travelling from City to City.
Just get the chicken across the road without killing the poor guy.
Find My Friends
Looking after the band/artist, making sure they're fed, keeping them hydrated - you're kind of like their road mum. So it's no wonder you want to keep tabs on them.
You want to make sure they're safe, and that they don't bugger off anywhere, miss their flight or show up late to a show.
You've probably used Find My Friends before. It's straightforward to use and tells you the real-time whereabouts of your team, just in case.
You and your team accept the location sharing request and can then track the precise and real-time locations of each other – it's an excellent way to keep track of everyone's whereabouts and make sure everyone is safe.
Good work road mum.