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From London to Nashville, Little Big Town talks travel

Grammy-winning country band offers insights from their time on the road

This story is part of "How I Travel," an original Chase series. Presented Chase and IHG Rewards Club, country music band Little Big Town share thoughts on how they travel.

Fan loyalty is critical to an artist. It speaks to the relationships they've cultivated, inspires creativity and even where they tour. Grammy-winning country music band, Little Big Town, is no exception.

As part of "Behind the Scenes," an exclusive event series for IHG Rewards Club card members, fans traveled from around the country for a private show with the band—some driving 16 hours to make the event.

Little Big Town has spent two decades building their music, traveling the world and taking cues from fans about where to go next. Chase sat down with band members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Philip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook to discuss their experiences on the road. Here's an excerpt from the conversation, edited and condensed for clarity:

Q: | What is your favorite place you've visited? What has been your most memorable travel experience as a group?

Westbrook: Some of the earliest memories of us all traveling together and driving in one van, trying to make it as a band. There were countless towns, cities, rest stops. Our early travels together as a band are part of the memories and trials that solidified us as the family we are now.

Fairchild: Singing for the troops during the holidays in Afghanistan. That was an unbelievable experience.

Schlapman: Our first trip as a band to the UK also really stands out. We were just blown away by the fan response, and how everyone in the crowd knew the words to every song.

Sweet: We are excited to head back to Europe in the fall, too. We have never played Royal Albert Hall before, and cannot wait for this October.

Q:| When planning a trip to a new city, what do you look for—and why?

Schlapman: Flea markets. Karen and I love finding the local flea markets and looking for antiques and other items. I have gotten some really great stuff from our travels.

Fairchild: Shopping!

Q:| How has having children influenced the way you travel? Are there certain musts or gadgets you bring along?

Schlapman: There are far more bags! But we would not have it any other way.

Westbrook: There are more gadgets. An iPad for each kid, headphones, phones, all of the chargers. All of the adapters for all of the chargers.

Q:| A lot of your travel is based around tours and concerts. When you have free time on tour, how do you find the best under-the-radar restaurants, food carts or go-to spots?

Fairchild: Recommendations from our friends and other artists who have traveled there before. With a friend like Mario Batali, you never have a bad meal on the road!

Schlapman: We look for local shops, flea markets, and hole in the walls that are not just tourist destinations. We ask our fans a lot for local recommendations as well, and we love hearing from them on where we should go. We love supporting local shops.

Q:| How have your individual roots—and where you're from—influenced how and where you travel?

Fairchild: I think we all look for places that still feel like a home, and places we connect with. We are on the road touring a lot. When we get downtime to travel personally, it needs to feel relaxing and as comfortable to us as our homes—or our moms' houses—feel.

Q:| Do you have any must sees for the year ahead?

Sweet: We recently took our first trip to Australia, which was unbelievable. We also have our upcoming tour in Europe this fall.

But one of the greatest things about living in Nashville is that it's a destination for so many. It has such a great vibe. Thousands of people visited this year for the once in a lifetime eclipse, but people come for so many reasons—music, food, live entertainment, nature.

Westbrook: We live in one of the greatest places to travel to, and we love being a tourist in our own city sometimes. It's great taking advantage of all the new restaurants and places Nashville has to offer.

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