Hello dear readers and Internet perusers. My name is Dave, and for the past few years I have played guitar for the band Hedley. For those of you unfamiliar with the group, we are a four piece hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia.  Over the course of 5 albums we have been fortunate to travel the globe playing music. Think of it as a giant extended road trip with some of your best friends. With all that travel under our belts, I’ve become fairly adept in the art of going places. Here are a few things to help make any trip you take a memorable and enjoyable experience.

First rule of traveling, I’m stealing it directly from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, don’t panic. It’s not going to help a situation if you’re running around shouting nonsense, waving your arms in the air doing the YMCA. Take a deep breathe and find a solution. Traffic bad on the way to the airport? Worse case scenario you’ll get the next flight. Bag of chips get stuck in the vending machine at your hotel? Instead of throwing out your back trying to tilt the machine like you’re playing pinball, hit those chips from above. Last time this happened to me, a well aimed Snickers from the second row knocked that bag of rippled deliciousness from the clutches of snack-limbo.

Pack the night before. There’s nothing worse than waking up and starting your trip frantically shoving a variety of useless belongings into a bag. I’ve left a handful of phone chargers and articles of clothing in various destinations before I wised up. A few items I never leave home without: A good book; Doesn’t require a battery and is the perfect way to pass the time when going between point A and  B. Swim trunks; Whether stopping on the side of the road to cool off in a lake or dipping into your accommodations cement pond, swimming is great for helping your body fight the effects of jet lag. I also always have a box of incense tucked into my suitcase. I’ve stayed in a few not so fresh hotels in my day and this is perfect solution to battle the smell of old pizza and cigarettes.

Buy a map. GPS can be handy but can also get you more lost. When you’ve planned your route ahead of time it will help you have a more immediate sense of where you are actually going. When Hedley was first travelling by Van, a giant map book was our faithful companion. Sure we ended up making a couple wrong turns along the way, but between stopping and asking for directions or phoning the hotel, we always made it to our final destination with minimal fuss.

Finally, when travelling in a foreign country, do not assume whoever you are engaging with speaks your language.  Do your homework, pack a phrase book, or at least try and communicate your intentions first in the local dialect. Nothing can make you seem like a tourist more than running your mouth off in English to someone who only may know a few words. People are usually very friendly no matter where you go as long as you remember that you are in their homeland, not yours. Asking a local for advice is also the best way to find the best places to eat or things to see. After all, they live there

Wherever your journeys take you, enjoy the trip and get home safe. Hedley is set to do a lot more touring around the world this year and we’d love to see you at a show when we play your neck-of-the-woods. Until next time, travel safe and have fun doing it. Remember the first rule, wherever you go, whatever you’re doing, don’t panic.

Written by Catherine Powell

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