I hate flying. I hate flying more than I hate driving for 18 hours straight (and I hate driving too, so that says a lot). It’s the hustle and anxiety of getting through the TSA line, the overwhelm of the crowds in the airport, and once you reach the end, you’re now in a tin can flying literally tens of thousands of feet in the air. It makes me lightheaded just to think about it.
Luckily, I am not a touring musician. I only ever perform at home in my booth, except maybe once or twice a year when a friend convinces me to play out at a cafe or something. However, if you’re a touring singer, or even just a singer who has to fly somewhere, you know that flying can be rough on your voice.
Here are some quick tips to keep your voice in shape when flying!
When Singers Fly
Some of these might seem obvious, but they might not be obvious to everyone so I want to make sure to include them! Use these whenever you’re traveling and want to keep your voice in singing shape!
1). Stay Hydrated
I know, the plane bathrooms are awful and there’s always a line and it feels like everyone is staring at you and everyone saw you trip on the way to AND from the bathroom. I totally get it. But you need to drink. Flying dehydrates your body, so it’s very important to keep your vocal chords from drying out. Drink plenty of water or tea. This brings me to the next point:
2). Avoid Sugary Drinks or Alcohol
You probably already know to avoid these before singing, but they’re equally important when flying. Again, you’re dehydrated and you’re also 30,000 feet in the air. Sugary drinks or alcohol will dry your throat right out. If you need the alcohol to settle your nerves (trust me, I get it), just make sure you make up for it by getting extra fluids after.
3). Avoid Talking
That chatty person next to you is just going to have to deal with it, because the more you talk, the more you’ll wear your voice out. I like to bring large, obvious headphones with me and put them on right after sitting down. That way it doesn’t seem rude and is an easy way to rest your voice.
4). Avoid Germs
Hand sanitizer, vitamins, Airborne spray, even a face mask if you need one. We all know what sickness does to singers, and airplanes are giant Petri dishes of germs. Just thinking about it makes me want to bathe in Peroxide. Wear gloves if you want (you can even make them fancy and add them to your image).
As a bonus note, I also want to mention that it is important to protect your hearing. Singers need our ears too, after all. Make sure you bring earplugs if needed. Bring headphones, but don’t blast them. I know the crying baby is annoying and the parents are literally doing nothing about it. A crying baby for a few hours won’t make you deaf, but blaring headphones might. Your ears might also click or pop due to pressure changes, so bring gum and drink those fluids!
I know I can’t make flying any better or more fun, but hopefully these tips will help you fly safer and keep your voice healthy! Are you flying anywhere soon? Do you hate it as much as I do? What was the worst flight you’ve ever been on? Let me know in the comments!