Unwind. For some, this is exactly what you are looking for on vacation, to take a break from the daily grind. But for singers and musicians, unwinding may end up winding you up. Stopping your practice sessions can slow down progress. Worse, some things that have taken time to learn can be easily forgotten, some automatisms fade... For example, a guitarist working on chord progression certainly cannot afford to put everything on "stand-by" for several weeks.
It's difficult for a drummer to find space for such a voluminous instrument in the trunk of the family sedan, but when it's time to close the trunk and hit the road, it's certainly not impossible to continue learning music.
In the absence of intensive practice, theory, listening, and observation can be good ways to stay in-tune and in-shape.
Not having an instrument on hand is certainly frustrating, but as a singer you can always practice your vocals and for guitarists and bassists, you can buy a transportable, light-weight travel instruments to maintain power and velocity. But in such circumstances where you can't grab your music-maker, it is especially important for your ears and your eyes to take over.
At the very least, pack a USB key with some of your favorite songs. There will be no better time to study the structure of your favorites: what makes the song so good? Is it the ultra-melodic couplet? The effective chorus? The tempo? An unexpected bridge? You've always loved the song without being able to say why, but have you ever taken the time to ask yourself and grasp all the reasons that make it excellent? The arrangement techniques of your favorite artists should also be carefully considered. For this reason, investing in a good set of headphones rather than the basic earpieces that resemble airplane freebies is a great idea. With such a tool, no frequency will escape you and all the details of the recording of instruments, fingerings, voices, breaths, etc. will be audible. You will also be able to focus on certain sequences that you study in a loop to understand them better.
Read and Observe
Reading should also be a priority: whether it is theoretical methods to improve your music theory, or engrossing autobiographies of artists with useful tips and interesting anecdotes, you will never waste time reading. Observation is another essential for any musician wanting to “work” while on vacation: if you go to a concert, pay attention to the smallest details so not to miss anything of what you see and hear. The posture of musicians, control of space on stage, use of pauses and silences, musical placement compared to the other instrumentalists... there is always a lot to learn from a concert. It's also a great opportunity to share experiences with other musicians, by going to meet them to discuss with them and to ask for advice.
Finally, how could we not emphasize the importance of a good internet connection for your musical holiday without an instrument. A good connection will allow you to gather all the parameters already stated: the legendary concert videos, the tutorials of artists to play their tracks, the educational videos, even mobile applications, especially those that offer chord dictionaries, scales, and even musical quizzes.
Are you a singer?
And if you are a lucky singer in which your instrument goes where you go, this does not exempt you of course from a bit of vacation homework ... Besides some rigorous vocal sessions, don’t pass up the opportunity to hit the neighborhood karaoke bar to indulge in some good and beneficial singing sessions.