Should I travel with my violin to play in streets? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Travel Budget, Money Matters, Financial Talk Mom, can I borrow ten grand?! Gimme yo mastercard! How the heck can I pay for my trip?! Ideas for making money. How much dough do I need?

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Old 03-28-2006, 07:00 AM   #1
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Hey, glad to find this place.

I'm leaving in a couple days on a 4 month backpacking trip from NYC, to RI, to NH, to Maine, to Nova Scotia, and around Canada, then back down to Niagra Falls, then to Chicago and back to the South East.

I've done a lot of traveling in my car, but this is my first time backpacking with buses and trains and hostels, (oh my!)

MY QUESTION: I'm taking a loaded 5,600 cu inch backpack, complete with travel iron, flat iron for hair, hairdrier, tons of cloths etc (read: it's heavy). SHould I take my violin to play in the streets? My bro makes good money in our hometown doing this, but do you think it would be too much of a hastle? It would be nice to make food money for the week with just one night of street playing, and I'm taking my cheapest, most disposable violin in case of theft.

What's your vote, good idea or not?
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:18 AM   #2
 
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You know, if you were headed to Europe...I'd tell you it's probably a great idea because when I was hurting for cash when I was there recently, I'd have killed to been able to play guitar or any instrument. I can sing, but I didn't want to be standing on a street corner singing a capella without at least another person to harmonize with me haha.

As far as I can foresee, the only places you might make some money in the US doing this is New York city, Chicago, and maybe Niagra Falls. Besides that, you're likely to be lugging around dead weight.

Rather than that, can I offer another suggestion? You'll know more about this than I would, but what about renting a violin from a music store just to give it a try in one of the big cities, like NYC if that's your first stop? If you could rent for a few days here and there, without it being very expensive, then it's worth it to not have to drag it around for the rest of your trip. Half the people I knew in band in high school rented their instruments, so I know it's at least possible. I just don't know how much or if you could do it for only a few days.

Also, you may need some sort of street performer license, at least in New York City. I'll do a little research to see what I can find out about that and post my results here.

Where are you from, by the way?
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:32 AM   #3
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Hi thanks for the quick reply xanthuos. I'm still online an hour later reading over the awesome info around here....so happy I googled right and tripped onto these forums!

I'm actually from South Carolina, but I've been living in Hawaii for 4 years. I've been to New York at least, hmm 5 times. I've never stayed longer than 2 weeks like I'm planning this time.

Yeah I think NYC would be a money maker, but as far as Maine, Nova Scotia, Canada those are probably busts huh? It would just be dead weight. But the violin I have is so cheap, I could pawn it for quick cash i guess. Would be cheaper than renting I think. Thanks for reminding me about the licence thing in NY. I'd heard some kind of rumor about that, and need to definately check that out before going. It may not be worth it if I have to "try out" and go through a big hassle.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:34 AM   #4
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Welcome to the boards, first of all! Lots of people willing to help others out around here.

Xan offers a good suggestion with renting a violin to see how it goes.

If I could be so bold as to offer another suggestion though...you are backpacking. You do not need a flat iron (or even a hair dryer for that matter) Throw your hair up in a ponytail!! I didn't even bring a hairdryer with me to the DR and I MOVED here!!

All that extra stuff is just more for you to carry on your back.

(Though, maybe it's easy for me to say this because I am not a girl to spend much time on my hair in the mornings!!)
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:34 AM   #5
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I know in Chicago down on Michigan Avenue (the huge tourist spot), they passed an ordinance against street performers. I'm not sure what they'd do if you stood on a random corner downtown though.

Okay, the advice of a girl that will probably be reiterated by some others. I would definitely eliminate the hair stuff or try to get travel sizes of the blow dryer and hair iron. The inconvenience of carrying those things vs the time you'll probably actually use them just doesn't seem to make it worth it. It just seems (perhaps its just me) that when you're out traveling, your energy gets focused on so many other things and stuff like perfectly manicured hair just doesn't matter. Sure you'll wanna look nice for hitting clubs and what not, but there's easier solutions. Just my 2c. Don't feel obligated to listen.

Anyhow, I think Xanthous has a good idea about renting. I wouldn't think it would be a bad idea, especially in larger cities, but you really have to consider how much stuff you want to be carrying. If it already seems heavy, imagine how it will feel after getting off a long bus/train ride and you're wandering around, perhaps lost, looking for your hostel. Or if something goes wrong and you're stuck with it on your back for awhile. It can be a real pain!!! Most people here will admit they've dumped half their stuff mid travel due to inconvenience.

Welcome to the boards!
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for the welcomes. This place is hopping!

Well the violin may be left at home, I could always hit my fiance up for more money if I need (hell he makes 35,000 more a year than I do and I'm nearly broke as it is).

BUT, I'm afraid the flat iron must come with me. Sore shoulders, breaking back and all. The hair drier I may be able to pass on, if there's hair driers in the hostel or I can iron my hair out after it's air dry. I've got chin-length, curly hair. Which cannot be worn curly unfortunately. It's a pain, but I'd burn all my photos later if I have a frumpy mop on my head and it'd ruin my ability to enjoy myself anyway. I guess I could get a Japanese straighter before i leave, but that's about 300 bucks or so for one treatment.

I may reconsider my full size shampoos/conditioners etc.. though. It's the heaviest part of my pack.

Plus, I've got like 4 pairs of shoes, 10 outfits, 4 novels, a heavy purse. It's all about 35 pounds in my pack right now.

Obviously I haven't learned the art of packing light. But if it came down to it, I'd rather travel with one pair of shoes, one outfit, and my flat iron, rather than without it.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:56 AM   #7
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Oh and thank you jamiepeaski for that tip. I didnt' know that! I wonder why they hate street performers. I live in Waikiki in Hawaii, and we've got tons of them. I think they make a wonderful addition to the area.

I guess I can understand making people try out in order to keep noise makers off the streets. But banning them completely?
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:57 AM   #8
 
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Yeah, I'm an idiot for not saying welcome since this WAS your first post.

So yeah, WELCOME to T-Punk

Anyways...from what I've been able to gather, you can just set up wherever you want in NYC. It's not exactly kosher, but at worse, the cops will just tell you to shut it down and leave. I don't think there's any chance of getting in real trouble, ESPECIALLY if you play the poor backpacker angle (which may be difficult with your hair perfectly coiffed, but hey whatever )

So I'm guessing you're gonna be dragging your fiance with you too? Awwww
Travel buddy lovebirds hehe

I'm just gonna say it once...and you'll have a lot of others saying it once...35 pounds is gonna start to hurt, trust me. Just make sure the 4 pairs of shoes and 10 outfits you bring may, in the end, be disposable...or something you'd be willing to spend $5 to mail home LOL...because you will likely start shedding pounds from your pack when the frustration builds.

Good luck to you! Let us know what happens!
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
I can sing, but I didn't want to be standing on a street corner singing a capella without at least another person to harmonize with me haha.
thank god you did not attempt this while you were in liverpool...if i would have started singing with you i think we would have got beat up...either that or it would be like that part of the film cool runnings where they guy is offered money to stop singing ha ha


Welcome to the boards!!! Personally i would take the flat iron (hair straighteners as we like to call them over here!) I could not live without mine
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:36 AM   #10
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My main concern would be the value of the violin. A violin (especially in a soft case) is super light, so I'm not that concerned about lugging it around, but I'd just hate to have a nice violin with me, in danger of getting stolen, crushed, or damaged otherwise... Of course, you could pick up a cheapie student violin and a soft case for less than $50 at a pawn shop or used music store once you get to New York and that could do ya well, too.
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:40 AM   #11
 
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The thing I would suggest about pakcing, would be to eliminate shoes. seriously, i think they're one of the heaviest and bulky items to carry. You probably only need one pair of walking around shoes, and if you're all about going out to clubs at night, bring some nice(light) shoes. I can prmise they'll be enough.
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:08 AM   #12
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No problem! I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds but you really need to check out this link in regards to packing.

In regards to the Mich Ave thing, a bunch of people who work down there were complaining about the "noise" and "congestion." I think they're a bunch of whiners personally.
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:17 PM   #13
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I'd say leaving it at home would be the best overall. One less thing to carry and get stolen/broken.
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
So I'm guessing you're gonna be dragging your fiance with you too?* Awwww
Travel buddy lovebirds hehe
I wish! He's actually on a 5 month deployment to Asia aboard a navy ship. That's why I'm traveling now...perfect timing as I'm not in school or working full time, so might as well go on a little adventure myself.


Yeah, I'm thinking maybe leave it at home and consider renting if it's cheap enough. I have a feeling renting would be much more expensive than the cheap little violin though. I guess I could just take up on my angel of a fiance's offer to deposit money into my account if I need it. I just love the idea of makin money while traveling for some reason. Maybe I'll look into hostel jobs!

As far as packing, yes I need to take it down a notch. I'm so used to having my car while traveling and being able to pack several suitcases. I'm not really a girly girl exactly but I do love clothes/shoes/ etc... and beauty products-those will be hardest to cut down on.

I like that link. I think packing must be a lot worse for girls. I don't wake up looking like this, as they say!

Thanks everyone
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:42 PM   #15
 
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By the way, what's your backpacking itinerary?
As in, where will you be & when?

Sorry to hear your fiance can't join you. Please give him my thanks for his service.
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Old 03-28-2006, 03:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~transgirl~@Mar 28 2006, 09:53 AM
I could always hit my fiance up for more money if I need (hell he makes 35,000 more a year than I do and I'm nearly broke as it is).
[snapback]109311[/snapback]
Lol, yet again, the standard "boyfriend duties." I knew I wasn't crazy... (Sorry, inside joke here!)
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
I could always hit my fiance up for more money if I need (hell he makes 35,000 more a year than I do and I'm nearly broke as it is).

Lol, yet again, the standard "boyfriend duties." I knew I wasn't crazy... (Sorry, inside joke here!)
Welcome..to Fantasy Island!

Hmm, but all my previous boyfriends had complete been shit looking back....
Yeah I'm spoiled rotten...I don't ask for stuff he just spoils me like crazy. Not sayin I can't support myself or anything, I just finished my BA in psychology and am looking forward to graduate school options.
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by xanthuos@Mar 28 2006, 11:42 AM
By the way, what's your backpacking itinerary?
As in, where will you be & when?

Sorry to hear your fiance can't join you.* Please give him my thanks for his service.
[snapback]109370[/snapback]
Cool, I will. I kinda feel sorry for him 'cause of the grueling ship duty and schedule. But then I kinda don't! Afterall, he gets to visit like 15-20 Pacific/Asian nations on his deployments and I'm totally jealous. I'll probably never get to do the kind of travels he has in 7 years on a ship.

Nothing's set in stone except my flight to New York and hostel bookings for 3 weeks there. Then, I plan on going to Boston, then to RI, up to NH, then on to Maine, out to Nova Scotia, up through Canada, down to Toronto and Niagra Falls, (maybe) over to Chicago, back to NYC for perhaps a month, ending in South Carolina where my folks are. I really wanted to spend the most time in NYC as it was always my dream to live there but this will have to do.
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:17 PM   #19
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Oh I meant to say starting this coming Monday (April 3rd) and ending July 31st. I'll be arriving back in Hawaii one day before my fiance's ship pulls back into Pearl Harbor.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:18 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~transgirl~@Mar 28 2006, 07:15 PM
Nothing's set in stone except my flight to New York and hostel bookings for 3 weeks there. Then, I plan on going to Boston, then to RI, up to NH, then on to Maine, out to Nova Scotia, up through Canada, down to Toronto and Niagra Falls, (maybe) over to Chicago, back to NYC for perhaps a month, ending in South Carolina where my folks are. I really wanted to spend the most time in NYC as it was always my dream to live there but this will have to do.
[snapback]109388[/snapback]
You're spending 3 weeks and then a month in NYC and it'll "have to do" ?
Most travelers would seriously envy you!
So you're gonna be in New York for three weeks starting April 3rd? I've got to go back sometime probably before April 19th, so let me know what subway station you find to play your violin and I'll have a crisp new dollar bill with your name on it hahaha
but seriously folks...we can go for a round!
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