Ah, the life of a traveling music producer/ DJ (two titles that are mostly merged these days). If there’s anyone who knows the ins and outs of international travel, it’s them. With a lifestyle centered on performing music on stages across the globe, they know how to navigate an airport and which lounges are a vibe. Artists not only are masters of their sonic craft but naturally become global travel pros and flight and budget hack icons.
With the average electronic music tour averaging over 1,300 miles, electronic music producers hold some of the best knowledge for all things travel. So we picked the brain of 17 globally recognized DJs and producers to find their best travel hacks and wisdom — plus some of their favorite destinations as the summer travel season approaches.
Frameworks (@frameworks_uk): Dress comfy, use Apple Airtags when traveling, use Virtual SIMs [eSIMs]
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Shambhala Music Festival, Cascade Equinox Festival
My first travel hack is using Apple Air Tags. I have one in each bag I carry including checked bags. These are so great for knowing where the luggage is. As soon as I board a flight, I check the location of my “Peli case” and watch it make its way onto the plane. They’re just really helpful to keep your mind at ease when you’re waiting for your gear to come off a long haul knowing it’s actually made it to the destination.
Number two is super obvious but it always surprises me the amount of people that don’t do it — DRESS COMFY! Flights can be long and laborious. I was wearing a full tracksuit like I’m planning on sitting around the house! It just makes things so much more doable when you’re comfy and at ease.
My friend TOR put me onto this one when traveling internationally — Virtual Sims [eSIMs]. They basically allow you to use the internet without using your current mobile provider. I have no idea how it works but you pay for an amount of data that you then use via this virtual SIM that you install and it saves you so much money. I was always using my current provider and coming home with £300 phone bills for being away for like two weeks. So worth it.
For destinations, I’m really looking forward to playing at some great destination music festivals this year. I’ll be back at Shambhala Music & Arts Festival this summer in Canada. I had the pleasure of performing there before and it’s just a great experience. It’s in a really beautiful part of Canada. From the crew to the crowds, it’s all really great vibes. There’s also Cascade Equinox Festival. This is the first year for this festival but it’s come out the gates swinging with some big names on the bill. I’ve always been a fan of Oregon which is where the festival is to be held and just really looking forward to experiencing this one.
SKYLER (@skylersoundsx): Walk, bike, and eat all the cheese through Amsterdam
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: To be announced in the coming weeks
Amsterdam hands down has got to be one of the most magical cities I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to thus far. Unlike a lot of popular city destinations, Amsterdam is a city you can truly get lost in to quickly feel like a local. You can wake up with a loose itinerary, jump on a bike and stumble upon the most unique hidden gems. Making it feel like an authentic non-scripted experience, which is my ideal vacation.
Between the breathtaking historical structures, the exciting food and drink scene to indulge in and, of course, all of the fun tourist attractions to explore, I recommend staying here at least three nights to dive into it all. After a week of exploring the Netherlands’ capital, here are some of my personal travel hacks. Let me preface by saying that I am a cheese enthusiast so many of these places made the list for their extraordinary cheese selections.
It seems like it’s easier to find beer in this city than it is water, so naturally, my first recommendation is the “Brouwerij ’t IJ” for an industrial-style brewery experience based inside a giant windmill. They’re the oldest brewery in the city, serving some of the best IPA I have ever had which pairs perfectly with their delectable meat and cheese offerings (of course). This city’s canal system is absolutely stunning. It gives Amsterdam its character. So, one of my favorite activities was relaxing on a beautiful wooden saloon boat and learning about Amsterdam’s history and culture. I won’t spoil them for you, but there are so many cool hidden facts that only make this place more of a gem. And, the best part, they never stopped pouring the wine and refilling the cheese the full hour of the tour.
If I haven’t convinced you that Amsterdam is one of the best cheese destinations yet, there’s one more place that may sway you – a rotating Dutch cheese bar called Kaasbar. The best way to experience this place is to sit at the bar and pick up cheeses passing on the conveyor belt. It’s a cheese lovers fantasy.
If you’re craving something other than beer or wine, I fully recommend you stop by the Flying Dutchman. Sharing a bathroom with a burlesque bar (which makes for an entertaining experience), this place feels like you discovered a secret locals-only bar featuring award-winning cocktails by some of the best mixologists in the world.
Another must-do (if you partake in recreational cannabis) is the famous “Bulldog Cafe”’ Coffeeshop which is another hotspot known around the city where you can purchase cannabis from downstairs and indulge in their indoor consumption lounge. You can expect a really chill and fun atmosphere, listen to engaging music, and buy a bunch of snacks to munch on for your enduring kickback!
Besides beer, cheese, and the Red Lights District, Amsterdam is also famous for their museums. Some of my favorites were the Rijksmuseum, Moco, Van Gogh, and the Anne Frank House. Even if you aren’t able to go into each museum, I had a blast walking around the picturesque gardens around the area called Museumplein.
The best way to fully enjoy this city is either walking or biking, hands down. There’s honestly so much beauty to see in every little part of this city in the most simplest of ways and I think that’s also why it has become my favorite travel spot. My favorite memories are biking through the city, stopping at a local coffee shop for a cappuccino and pre-roll, and pulling over at a canal to smoke and enjoy the breathtaking views of everyday Amsterdam life.
Francis Mercier (@francismercier): Use a sleep mask on intense global flights
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Vagalume, Deep Root Tribe, Blue Marlin Ibiza
My travel hack is using the sleep mask brand, Alaska Bear – specifically their mask with the contoured eyecups. It only costs about $10 and can be purchased on Amazon. When constantly on the road, sleep is power, and these help me fall asleep virtually wherever and whenever as they are 100% blackout, cooling, and extremely comfortable. It worked like magic during my intense travels to Hong Kong earlier this year for my performance at Cassio.
Honeyluv (@honeyluv): Strive to travel like a local
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Hangout Music Festival, Elements Festival, Tomorrowland
My travel tip is to always treat yourself like a local when visiting a new place. Dive into their way of life; there is so much to be learned. My favorite travel destinations as of now are Bangkok (Thailand), Sevilla (Spain) and Milano (Italy).
I’m also really excited to travel and spend some time in Ibiza this summer to join Calvin Harris, Jamie Jones, FISHER, The Martinez Brothers, and more for various residencies.
Sullivan King (@sullivanking): Grab a big bottle of water at the airport before headlining global festivals
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: GRIDLIFE Midwest Music Festival, Tomorrowland
I don’t really have much for ‘hacks’ as much as routines. As soon as I get to an airport and get through security, the first thing I do is get whatever the largest bottle of water is. I’ve been in way too many situations where I’ve been stuck on a plane, delayed for hours and the AC is off, etc. and it was miserable.
I’m also a maniac about what kinds of planes I fly because certain ones have better exit rows and whatnot (if an exit row has two rows, always take the back row, because the first row of seats won’t recline!). So it’s little things like that that make life on the road a little bit easier. I always wear ALO yoga pants with zippers on the pockets so that my wallet or passport or whatever doesn’t fall out of my pocket mid-flight or mid-Uber, I’ve had way too many close calls with that.
I’m doing a TON of Europe and overseas shows that I’m insanely stoked for! I love going to the EU and getting outside of the States. I’m also incredibly stoked to be doing some different events than normal like GRIDLIFE Midwest, Tomorrowland, and a few other fests. I definitely have a very busy summer and fall!
Destructo (@destructoamf): Become an AMEX Platinum member
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Shambhala Music Festival
First, scan and email your passports yourself. I took my wife’s passport once by mistake on a trip and it was not fun when I got to the airport with the wrong passport.
Second, become an AMEX platinum member because if your flight gets delayed, you can go to the airport lounge to change your flight, instead of having to go to the main counter and wait in the long line. Also, use a gold/rose gold Amex to get 4x points on dining and groceries which gets you airline points faster.
This year is full of amazing travel destinations and festival appearances. I’m most excited to play Shambhala this year! It’s one of my favorite festivals to play, it takes place in the woods in British Columbia. It is super special because the people are amazing and I get to play the sunrise for a sermon set which is always my favorite.
Hannah Wants (@hannah_wants): Get good sleep so you can explore
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Defected Leeds, EDC, Defected Croatia
When I’m touring, exhaustion is the hardest part and so trying to level up my sleep quality is a huge focus for me. I’m someone who can’t sleep unless I’m in pitch black and in complete silence so my eye mask and earplugs save me.
I stay on UK time whilst I tour, wherever I am in the world, and so in Las Vegas for example my bedtime is approx 3/4 pm. Most hotels have blackout blinds but some don’t and not all hotels are quiet either. One time in Tulum, I had a five-hour window to try and get some sleep before I DJ’d and then did an all-nighter of travel to make an afternoon festival set in Arizona but the bass from the beach club was literally shaking my room.
Needless to say, I never know what I’m going to encounter when on the road and I won’t leave my house without packing numerous masks and earplugs. They’re my essentials.
I could list so many beautiful destinations that are beautiful in so many different ways but I’m going to say Miami right now because I’ve recently got back from there and so my memories are fresh in my head. The weather is great, the food is amazing, the culture runs deep and I really dig the heavy Latin influence in the city. There’s also so much to do, you can have the most crazy night out on Miami Beach, visit the vibrant Wynwood district, or go and enjoy a day on a boat and in the ocean. Miami, it’s a hella fun place and it’s big ratings from me.
San Holo (@sanholobeats): Keep your passport in the same place, always
Upcoming Featured Tour Dates: Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, FM4 Festival
If you’re traveling back to back every night, use the laundry bag found in the hotel closest to separate your laundry from your clean clothes.
Whatever you do, keep your passport in the same compartment of your bag wherever you go and only take it out if it’s absolutely necessary.
My favorite travel destination currently is Hawaii; You’ll find the most beautiful sunsets, almost every night.
Flux Pavilion (@fluxpavilion): Keep the technology charged
Upcoming Featured Tour Dates: Bassrush x Circus Records, Global Dub Festival, Forbidden Kingdom
Buy good quality USB cables, and included in that is good quality power delivery. You don’t need to go crazy but learn a little about wattages and what your devices need for fast charging — most likely you can find one charger that can do it all. I use Anker stuff when I’m on the road, it’s super reliable.
Wooli (@woolimusic): Munch on weed edibles before a long flight to “time travel”
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: EDC, Lost Lands, GRIDLIFE Midwest
My best travel hack would be taking as many edibles as possible before a long flight so you time travel and wake up in a new city all confused. Some other hacks include taking a hanger that has the clips from a closet in a hotel and using the clips to close the black-out blinds together so you get a perfect seal and complete darkness when it’s daytime and you need that quick nap.
I’m excited about a lot of shows this year. This year I have a lot of big festivals planned including EDC, Lost Lands, and GRIDLIFE Midwest with all the homies. That lineup, in particular, is stacked!
Sam Divine (@samdivinedj): Check with your bank for premium banking services
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Defected Ibiza, Movement, Defected Croatia
Check in with your bank to see if they offer any premium banking services which normally include lounge access to many lounges all around the world. When booking flights around Europe book seat 1A, priority, and fast-track boarding. If traveling for more than a weekend, roll your clothes up in hand luggage to save space.
My current favorite travel destination is Croatia. Everything about the country, from the people, food, culture, and everything in between.
Paul van Dyk (@paulvandyk): Explore local markets and rent a scooter where you can
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Shine IBIZA at Club Eden every Thursday and Mysteryland, Netherlands
First, hire a scooter to explore the island of Ibiza. Check out Sunset Ashram, the Hippie market, and Benirrás beach. Of course, Ibiza can be expensive. If you don’t want to break the bank, check out local supermarkets. They’ve got tasty snacks and cold beer. Stay hydrated! It gets very hot in the summer – day and night. A day trip by boat to the island Formentera is good fun. Make sure to dance the night away! Join us for SHINE Ibiza at Club Eden every Trance Thursday for great music, great people, and a fun night on the white island.
12th Planet (@12thplanet): Get on a routine and organized while taking the earliest flights
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: EDC Las Vegas, Forbidden Kingdom, Tomorrowland
Traveling on the weekends to play shows is one of the most fun parts of the job. Even though everyone forgets about the grueling production efforts that entail 90% of the time of the modern artist, I will say that the touring part is the culmination of the countless hours of work that it takes to even get the gigs to travel to. With that being said, these are things that I use and do in order to cater to my needs.
First is flight schedule. Getting to the gig is the most important thing on the list. People pay money to go to your shows, so I believe that it is imperative that you show up by any means necessary. I will do whatever it takes to get to a show, including flying into a city nearby and driving however many hours it takes to get there in time, in case of an emergency. To avoid the delays and cancellations, I tend to catch the earliest flights available to get to wherever I need to be. This way if there are any flight delays or cancellations, you have a much higher chance of getting to where you gotta go. This also is good for me because I tend to work in the studio late, and by the time the session is over I will just pack up a bag and get to the airport.
Second is routine. I have a routine that I do before I leave my house which I treat as a sort of “organization” check. I like to do laundry, clean around the house, and put items back in order before I take off for a few days. For some reason it makes me feel good to come back to a home that is much more clean and organized than when I left it.
Third is organization. Being organized is crucial to having maximum comfort on the road. There’s nothing worse than when you’re on the plane and you realize you forgot something back at your spot. So I have 2 pre-packed bags that stay in my travel bag at all times.
In my toiletry bag, I’ve got the obvious things you need: toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, lip balm, toothbrush, floss, etc. In my tech bag I have my HD’s, chargers, adapters, and assorted cables I might need to do all sorts of stuff. I also travel with a mini set up for production that includes some travel speakers, a USB hub, la ROLI LUMI Keys MIDI Controller, an Elgato Stream Deck and a UAD Volt Interface, just in case I wanna pull up to a studio in whatever city.
My favorite place to visit is Hawaii! As a big fan of the TV show Lost, going around Hawaii makes me feel like I am in the world of the show. I also love England. It’s the birthplace of my 2 favorite genres of music which is DnB and Dubstep. Every time I go to England I get filled with memories of my young adult years. Plus, British subculture is the greatest!
Folamour (@folamour_fhuo): Always take carry-on luggage
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: ADD Festival, Levi Love Disco, Dream Valley Festival
Always take carry-on luggage on tours and trips, no matter what. Time is the most important thing when on holidays or on tour, and spending hours in airports waiting for our luggage to arrive is not an option.
My favorite destination for 2023 is New Caledonia. Absolutely outstanding and inspiring archipelago in the middle of the pacific ocean. Beautiful culture and sceneries dreams are made of.
Charlotte De Witte (@charlottedewittemusic): Travel light with hand luggage only
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: KNTXT x Brooklyn Mirage, KNTXT Konnected x Brooklyn Mirage
My all-time best travel hack is to travel light! When it comes to traveling and packing bags, less is more. As someone who will fly around in five continents this year only, I would really recommend enjoying the comfort of traveling with hand luggage only. Take only essentials. Of course, this means there are certain limits to your wardrobe, but that never really held me back or bothered me. Plus, I actually quite enjoy a visit to the local laundromat.
My current favorite destination is Jamaica! My husband and I have been to Jamaica in 2022 and it’s been one of our best holidays ever. We rented a jeep and drove all around the island, making several stops to do all things related to nature and culture. We were surprised by how incredibly friendly and warmhearted the Jamaican people are and be how delicious their food is. They have a tradition of jerking food which basically coats them in a layer of spicy local herbs before slow cooking them on a BBQ. Seriously, jerk anything and you’ll have the best meal ever! On top of that, they have a rich music culture, mountains, jungles and beautiful white sanded beaches. It was very hard to leave this place.
Bedouin (@bedouin_official): Bring doodling supplies & noise canceling headphones to get into a creative space
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: Saga at Pacha in Ibiza every Wednesday, Sundream, Tomorrowland
Rami Travel Hack:
1) A notebook or sketchpad and some pens or markers to doodle
2) Downloading a ton of demos before take off
3) Having some WIPs on my desktop to mess around with in the air
4) Spend several sleepless nights leading up to the show building a library that is versatile enough accommodate the various scenarios you will encounter during the tour ..
5) Remember to bring dark sunglasses and hoodie for the airport as you will likely want to cry since you haven’t slept in days
6) Hire a team of people to take care of your life as you wont have time do do anything but prepare for your next show, if you want to be one of the best around
7) Remember your vitamins to help your body recover from the emotional and physical stress that comes with the job
Tamer Travel Hack:
1) Always have a couple documentaries or films or audio books downloaded on your laptop/phone. It’s the worst when the airplane TVs don’t work!
2) Noise cancelling headphones – I never travel without them
3) Phone chargers! Multiple!
5) Always have a healthy snack like an apple or a protein bar
Since we started doing Saga in 2017, Ibiza has become a second home for us. Coming here every summer just feels natural now. We’re really lucky that we get to take a step away from the American lifestyle for a few months each year and get to live on this little island that is truly a DJ/producers paradise.
Even though Ibiza is arguably the party capital of the world – there is so much more to do on this island that tourists typically miss out on because they’re spending all their time in a club or recovering from the club!
There are “secret” beaches all around the coast of the island to explore – just rent a car and drive along the coast until you find a little road tucked away. You’ll find yourself on secluded beaches with locals just enjoying the environment. The food is to die for. One of our favorite hidden gems is Fish Shack in Talamanca. If you go, be sure to have cash on you. There’s also so many Hippy Markets! If you’re at all thrifty or just like looking at unique things, you should spend your Saturday morning roaming the Sant Jordi Hippy Market. This is one of our favorite places to go crate digging for vinyls! Tierra Irish is a farm in main land and they do great events learning how to farm, breath works, concerts, open mic and in general it’s a great space to hang out with the locals. You can go on a hike and find your self watching a beautiful sunset over looking Es Verdra. Take a boat go to Formentera and discover beautiful beaches and restaurants.
Nostalgix (@nostalgixmusic): Go for a run in the new city you’re visiting
Featured Upcoming Tour Dates: EDC Las Vegas, Deadbeats Toronto, OSHEAGA
My favorite travel hack is definitely a very healthy one. When I land in a new city, I always go for a run outside when it’s not too cold. It helps me feel energized after being on a flight, and spending a ton of time in travel mode – and I get to actually see and enjoy the city I’m visiting. On show days it’s hard to take time to go explore, since I’m usually making music or mashups. So for me it’s the perfect hack to get exercise, get energized and see the city while I’m at it. Win, win.
My best travel destination for 2023 is Hawaii. I recently did my first show out in Honolulu and it was the most beautiful experience in my life. I got to spend a few days on the island after the show exploring, surfing, and getting to meet some amazing locals out there. Being Canadian, I’m used to being surrounded by kind people – but Hawaii was something special. Every single person I encountered was so full of life, love and was so giving. It was very inspiring to see the culture, and how beautiful the land is. It not only inspired me as a person, but has inspired my art as well.