Keeping Company on the Road: Traveling

Keeping Company on the Road: Traveling

Join CJ Greer as she travels the country in the Broadway touring production of Company – coming to a city near you! Each month she discusses the ins and outs of life on the road.


“Where ya going? …. Barcelona…”


You booked a national tour! Amazing! And you’ve figured out where you are going and when, and what to pack (see our previous articles). Next question—how are you going to get to any of these places, and where will you be staying when you arrive?

The answer: it depends. Are you on a Non-Equity “Bus and Truck” tour? Or one of the many possible AEA (Actors Equity Association) touring contracts? If it’s a Non-Equity “Bus and Truck” then you may be doing what the industry refers to as “one-nighters” (one show in a city, then move on and do another show the next day somewhere else). Occasionally Equity touring contracts do these as well, but it is rare. “Split weeks” are possible on Non-Equity and AEA contracts (two cities within one week). But the nicer tours are anywhere from 1-6 weeks in any one location. 

When you are traveling on the road for your job, the place you stay in and how you get there is key to maintaining your quality of life, which is directly related to your sanity. Trust me on this. And since you are operating within this little bubble of the same people you are always interacting with both at work and in play, your sanity is vital to you and your tour mates having a good touring experience. 

First, find your Company Managers and make nice. The Company Manager/s book your flights and hotels—like having a personal assistant, and for those of us who dislike having to search for hotels, airlines, compare prices, look for the best deals…it is marvelous. Thank goodness I don’t have to do all of that additional work! There are many elements that go into housing and flight choices, and part of a company manager’s job is to make it as affordable as possible for the producers while being convenient for the touring company’s proximity to the theater and offering a reasonable quality of life. For many people, “quality of life” is defined by easy travel to the next destination and the amenities in the hotel that are free to you as part of your stay: microwave, refrigerator, kitchenette, breakfast, laundry, swimming pool, workout space, etc. If they are not part of the hotel, hopefully your company manager is thinking ahead and working out deals with the local gyms that are within walking distance. 


You always have the option to drive the tour. I have been on tour with people who chose to do this. Grab your car, pack all of the who’s and what’s you need for your sanity and hit the road! Some people travel with their dog, or their partner, or even bring along their whole family, including furry friends. When this is your choice, you are generally booking your own hotels or Airbnb (to ensure they are pet friendly and have parking), and often simply gathering your gas receipts to turn in for reimbursement. Depending on the touring schedule, this can be really fun! Especially when you have a pal or partner to do it with. When the cities are geographically farther apart, it can become challenging and exhausting trying to get to the next city in time for your Tuesday night show. 

The Buyout

On an AEA tour you are given an option to “take the buyout” for either your travel from one city to the next, or for the hotel options they are providing for you. For example: if the company is providing your flight from Washington DC to Chicago and it will cost them $350 for your ticket, but you would like to go home that weekend, you can “take the buyout.” That essentially means that you will book your own transportation to Chicago, however you would like to do that, and the producers will either give you the $350 outright or reimburse you up to that amount. So, you decide to take a train to NYC, and then fly to Chicago, plus Ubers on either end of the trip to get you to and from the airport – all in all it costs you $325. You win!

The same is true for your hotels. If you are someone with specific dietary requirements and you need a kitchen, refrigerator, etc to maintain your health and quality of life on the road, then you might take the buyout from a hotel that does not provide these amenities and instead book an Airbnb nearby. For some companies the money for the hotel nights is added directly to your paycheck. If your Airbnb is cheaper, you win!

People also play this “game” with their mileage credit cards. Some people are very particular about which airline they use, generally from good experiences and brand loyalty. If the company books you on a United flight, but you prefer to use your Delta Skymiles card, you can book your own flight, rack up the credit card and travel points, (sometimes even bump yourself up to first class!), and turn in your receipt up to the “buyout” amount. 

Perhaps this feels “old school” to say, but absolutely have the Uber and Lyft app setup on your phone. For transport to/from the airport (particularly on the front and back end of your trip), keep the receipts and turn them in.

The Company Travel Day

The other important thing to know about traveling is how you will spend your “Travel Day.” Sometimes this is a day where you also have a show that evening, but generally it is your “day off” from the show, even though you are traveling to the next city. If you are on a Bus and Truck tour, you might consider trying to negotiate into your contract having your own “full seat,” meaning you have two seats next to each other and no one else is assigned to them or can sit with you (unless you invite them for company, of course). 

If you are flying, there is usually a group travel option provided to get everyone to the airport (generally a bus), group check-in where the company managers hand out tickets and pay for your checked baggage, and then group transportation to the next hotel once you are back on the ground and have all of your luggage. Since the group travel is often earlier than some people would like to get to the airport, you might skip the group transportation and take your own Uber at a later time, giving you plenty of time to sleep, finish packing, get in a quick workout, whatever your morning routine is, before needing to be at the airport. Save your receipts and, if you’ve taken the buyout, turn them in.


“Travel Day” is often the day when people put on their headphones and keep to themselves, staying away from the group and having some “me time.” It’s important to respect this time for each other—it’s part of people’s individual rituals and self-care.  

Travel Points

There is a whole world of travel points and rewards programs out there and some people play the game very well. Generally, I recommend having at least one credit card you use specifically for your touring purchases—and that means everything—travel, meals, incidentals, laundry, haircuts, etc. Put it all in one place, keep the receipts, and add it all to your 1040, Schedule A or Schedule C taxes. This can get tedious, but the savings can be there, both from your taxes and for all of the points you can accrue through your hotel rewards programs and your travel credit card/s. Many of our travelers on the Company tour have the American Express Platinum and swear by it—using all of the discounts and frills along the way, maxing out the “perks” and justifying the steep annual fee. You can even use the Escape Lounges in the airports that have them, which helps travel day be much more enjoyable.

Speaking of travel – Washington DC, Boston, Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco, here we come! We are looking forward to being able to stay for a while and enjoy your fabulous cities! Come see Company and hang out with us! 

CJ Greer

CJ Greer is an assistant professor of Voice and Music Theatre at the University of Nevada, Reno and performs professionally in musical theatre and opera. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Pedagogy and Performance, a Master of Music in Classical Pedagogy and Performance from Penn State University and teaches both classical and musical theatre/contemporary voice. She regularly presents research at NATS and MTEA conferences. CJ has performed on Broadway and across the country in regional and national touring productions. Favorite roles include Donna/Mamma Mia, Mimi/La Bohème, Fantine/Les Misérables, Florence/Chess, The Witch/Into the Woods, and more. Her students perform on Broadway, in national tours, regional theatres, theme parks, and on cruise ships. To find out more and get in touch, visit and @cjgreerstudio on Instagram.