This is a guest post from one of May Book Club authors, Marie Bostwick.
In just a few days, I’ll be embarking on a four-week, twelve-state, twenty appearance book tour to promote my latest novel, Apart at the Seams. How do you pack for a trip like that? Or for any extended journey, whether it be a tour of Europe, a world cruise, a lengthy business trip?
With a little advance planning, it can be as easy as 1-2-3.
Start with ONE suitcase. For such a long journey, you’re going to need a sturdy, medium-sized suitcase. Mine measures 25 inches. With a little advance planning, I find it large enough to carry everything I’ll need to be comfortable and look good over my month long book tour. A suitcase with wheels that will turn in a 360 degree radius and can push ahead or roll along beside you, sometimes called “spinner luggage” is a smart investment, as I learned a three years ago when I tore my rotator cuff after several weeks of dragging a heavy suitcase behind me.
Once you’ve got the right suitcase, decide on TWO basic clothing colors that work well together and will form the basis of your wardrobe. For my 2014 book tour, I’ve chosen navy blue and raspberry. In past years I’ve used combinations of black and red, black and cobalt, and chocolate and cream. Dressing in just two colors for days or weeks at a time might sound boring but you’ll be able to add variety and create dozens of different looks by mixing and matching basic pieces in your two complementary colors, then bringing in additional color with accessories.
Now it’s time to pack. Select THREE of each type of clothing item you’ll need for your journey; three dresses, three tops, three pairs of pants, and three pairs of shoes in your two basic colors or complementary neutrals such as white, cream, or beige. Keeping your clothing to mostly solid colors or fairly simple patterns will give you more options for mixing and matching. Bring along jewelry and colorful scarves that bring in additional colors and more striking patterns so you’ll have plenty of ways to spice up your look.
If you stick with the three of each item rule for clothing, you should still have plenty of room for underwear, stockings, pajamas, and cosmetics. Since my trip will take place in early spring and take me to many different regions and climates, I’m also packing a pullover sweater, a jean jacket, and a travel umbrella.
Keep in mind that laundry and ironing facilities can be uncertain during extended trips, so packing no or low-iron clothing is a good idea. Lightweight, all-weather knits are also smart choices for a long journey, If you put them on a hanger and hang them on a bathroom hook or towel rod during your morning shower, you’ll find that most wrinkles steam out without ironing. Keep a laundry pen in your purse to take care of any unexpected spills or stains. Pack a few pods or pacs of detergent in a zipper top plastic bag so you can do laundry when facilities are available.
By sticking to this 1-2-3 plan, you’ll be able to travel light for days, weeks, or even a month, bringing along everything you need to feel comfortable and look great. After I finished packing, my luggage tipped the scales at only forty-one pounds, well under the fifty pound weight limit of most commercial airlines.
But before I close the lid on my luggage this tour season, I’ll be tucking in one final and absolutely essential accessory that you might consider bringing along on your travels as well; a really terrific book. No matter how short or long the journey, books are the best possible traveling companions.
Marie Bostwick on Tour
Saturday April 26, 2014 @ 1-4pm
THAT BOOKSTORE IN BLYTHEVILLE
316 W Main St / Blytheville, AR 72315
Monday April 28, 2014 @ 7pm
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway / Grapevine, TX 76051
May 2, 2014
THE COTTON CUPBOARD
1213 Broadway / Bangor, ME 04401
May 3, 2014 @ 3-5pm
WHITE BIRCH BOOKS
2568 Main St – PO Box 399 / North Conway, NH 03860
May 4, 2014 @ 1pm
BAYSWATER BOOK CO.
12 Main St. / Center Harbor NH
May 5, 2014 @ 7pm
RIVER RUN BOOKSTORE
142 Fleet St / Portsmouth, NH 03801
May 6, 2014 @ 7pm
82 Central Street / Wellesley, MA 02482
May 7, 2014 @ 7pm
559 Main St / Winchester, MA 01890
Thursday May 8, 2014
THE BOOK HOUSE
1475 Western Avenue / Albany NY 12203
Friday May 9, 2014
THE HICKORY STICK
2 Green Hill Rd / Washington, CT 06794
Sunday May 11, 2014 @ 2pm
THE CITY QUILTER
133 W. 25th St. / New York, New York 10001
May 14, 2014 @ 7:00pm
CHESTER COUNTY BOOK CO
967 Paoli Pike / West Chester, PA 19380
Thursday, May 15, 2014 @ 5:30pm
TRADITIONS AT THE WHITE SWAN
Saturday May 16, 2014 @ 4pm
ONE MORE PAGE BOOKS
2200 N. Westmoreland Street, #101 / Arlington, VA 22213
Sunday May 18, 2014 @ 2pm
THE FOUNTAIN BOOKSTORE
1312 East Cary Street / Richmond, VA 23219
Saturday, May 24th, 1:00pm
HARRIET’S TREADLE ARTS
Wheat Ridge, CO
Sunday June 8, 2014 @ 3pm
WRITTEN WORDS BOOKSTORE
482 River Rd / Shelton, CT 06484
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
GRUBER’S QUILT SHOP Book club
310 4th Ave NE / Waite Park, MN 56387
Thursday, June 12, 2014 @ 9pm
GRUBER’S QUILT SHOP Jazz Night Party
310 4th Ave NE / Waite Park, MN 56387
Saturday, June 14, 2014 @ 10am
WISCONSIN QUILT MUSEUM
N50 W5050 Portland Rd. / Cedarburg, WI 53012