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A Traveling Band’s Dilemma: Rent Instruments or Bring Your Own?

A Traveling Band’s Dilemma: Rent Instruments or Bring Your Own? featured image


When it comes to traveling with your band, there are a couple things you have to figure out before you go. One of the most difficult decisions is choosing whether you should travel with your own instruments or rent instruments at the location.

We talked to retired band director and Brightspark Tour Consultant John Aboud about renting instruments versus traveling with them. John has designed trips for many bands, and he’s experienced the pros and cons of both options. Here are some of his thoughts on the subject:

Traveling With Instruments

Traveling with your own instruments has several advantages. First, it’s less expensive. Second, having band members play instruments they are familiar with makes a difference. This is especially true with high-caliber competitions. “All instruments are a little different,” says John, “with rental companies, you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get until you get there.”

Traveling with instruments does, however, have its downsides. There’s the issue of storing the instruments. And then there’s the issue of the potential damage to instruments. “You can lower the risk of damage by using good cases, but the risk is always there.”

If room is a huge issue for you, consider traveling with an equipment trailer. This option is better for nearby trips, as equipment trailers are not great for long distances or mountainous areas.

Pros of Renting Instruments

If you choose, Brightspark Travel can set you up with a rental company. We’ll take care of the rental details so that your instruments are ready to go when your band shows up. To make it even easier, some festivals and events will even provide groups with instruments. There are, however, some instruments with limited availability, such as string basses and cellos.

Keep in mind that you may rent some instruments and travel with others. For example, many groups will bring everything except percussion instruments like timpani, bass drum, and chimes.

Ultimately, the decision to travel with instruments or rent them is one that differs case by case. Want to talk to a performance travel expert about finding the right choice for your group? Get in touch, or leave a comment with your concerns.