How to Pack for an Extended Trip

This is a guest post from one of May Book Club authors, Marie Bostwick.

Marie Bostwick for spaweek1

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

316 W Main St / Blytheville, AR 72315

Monday April 28, 2014 @ 7pm

3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway / Grapevine, TX 76051

May 2, 2014


1213 Broadway / Bangor, ME 04401

May 3, 2014 @ 3-5pm


2568 Main St – PO Box 399 / North Conway, NH 03860

May 4, 2014 @ 1pm


12 Main St. / Center Harbor NH

May 5, 2014 @ 7pm


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


1475 Western Avenue / Albany NY 12203

Friday May 9, 2014


2 Green Hill Rd / Washington, CT 06794

Sunday May 11, 2014 @ 2pm


133 W. 25th St. / New York, New York 10001 

May 14, 2014 @ 7:00pm


967 Paoli Pike / West Chester, PA 19380

Thursday, May 15, 2014 @ 5:30pm


Hagerstown, MD

Saturday May 16, 2014 @ 4pm


2200 N. Westmoreland Street, #101 / Arlington, VA 22213

Sunday May 18, 2014 @ 2pm


1312 East Cary Street / Richmond, VA 23219

Saturday, May 24th, 1:00pm


Wheat Ridge, CO

Sunday June 8, 2014 @ 3pm


482 River Rd / Shelton, CT 06484

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


310 4th Ave NE / Waite Park, MN 56387

Thursday, June 12, 2014 @ 9pm


310 4th Ave NE / Waite Park, MN 56387

Saturday, June 14, 2014 @ 10am


N50 W5050 Portland Rd. / Cedarburg, WI 53012

How To Pack The Perfect Suitcase

Travel Tuesday presents 5 tips & tricks to packing the perfect suitcase and saving space!

Suitcase 1

As we finalize our summer vacation plans, so begins the inevitable obsession with what we’re going to wear on our exotic vacay. The dilemma can quickly consume us and there’s one thing we blame – having to fit everything into one measly suitcase!

Nevertheless, after experiencing several getaways from Sweden to Sardinia, we’d like to think that we’ve become somewhat savvy at perfectly packing a suitcase. In order to stuff in all essentials (and a few extras!) it’s important to keep some tricks in mind, because there’s actually a method behind the madness!

Here, we present the 5 ways to pack a perfect suitcase, and we even included some trendy items that will easily fit into your carry-on!

  1. Stick to solids but spring on statement pieces – A heather gray cardigan goes with just about any outfit, meaning it’ll get tons of use. But it is kind of blah. Splurge on a scarf or necklace that you absolutely love and you can throw it on at the last minute to upgrade any outfit.

    Anthropologie Pillahuinco Scarf available for $48 at

    Anthropologie Pillahuinco Scarf available for $48 at

  2. Pack staples that you can mix and match – While we don’t blame you for wanting to don an over-the-top ball gown as you strut down the streets of Paris, it’s not practical to pack bulky pieces that only serve certain occasions.
  3. Roll clothes instead of folding – This is age-old advice, but for good reason. It has apparently been proven that rolling your clothes saves more space than folding. When dealing with strappy items that easily unroll, use a rubber band to keep them together.

    Contents Boho Glow Double Zip Train Case available for $24.99 at

    Contents Boho Glow Double Zip Train Case available for $24.99 at

  4. Invest in a travel toiletry case – At first this may seem unnecessary, but it is infinitely beneficial to keep all the things you need to get ready in one place. After you stay out a little too late with a few too many drinks, you will be thankful that you don’t have to route through your luggage to find some makeup remover and toothpaste.
  5. Stack sandals and stuff shoes – If you’re going somewhere warm, stack sandals into each other and line the sides of your suitcase with the shoes. If you plan on doing some outdoor activities or hardcore exploring, use sneakers or boots as a makeshift carrying case for everything from socks to swimsuits.

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

The Traveling Beauty Giveaway!

Decide what belongs here… and WIN!

Packing can be a nightmare. Coordinating outfits and undergarments is a science, narrowing down your shoes could take hours, and in the time it takes to figure out which toiletries to bring, you could have been halfway there. If there was something to make packing a little easier, would you do it?

Along came, an online boutique carrying luxury name-brand beauty, grooming and personal care products that are all 3 fluid ounces or less. It’s for “for those who travel, those who are curious, and those who can’t commit.” With all the travel deals we offer throughout the year on, we couldn’t go another moment without having a Spa Week Travel Kit.

The Spa Week Travel Set will be curated by YOU, the Spa Week community, and will feature the items with the most votes and most compelling explanations. The kit will be available on for 10% less than the individual items would be purchased alone. Don’t you want it to have YOUR favorites in it? Tell us your favorites, and WIN!


Tell us: Which beauty/personal care product is your ideal travel companion, and why?

The product MUST be an official 3floz product—browse to make sure they carry it!

Write your answer either in the comments below OR on the Spa Week Facebook Page.

Enter as many times as you’d like—we’ll be choosing 5 winners, 1 for each product that ends up in Spa Week Travel Set. If more than 1 person recommends that product, it’ll come down to who’s “why” was more convincing.

One winner, whose answer(s) help curate the Spa Week Travel Set most, will be the grand prize winner. The other 4 winners will be runners up.


1. A chic luggage set by Toss

A flair for fashion and an eye for detail has made Toss the authority on totes, travel bags and all accessories in between. Each Toss bag is as functional as it is fabulous! Extra features, surprising combinations and fresh patterns make Toss the go-to brand for travel bags and accessories each season.

2. A collection of candles and diffusers from Archipelago Botanicals

Archipelago Botanicals Signature Soy Votives are hand poured and contain more than 70% natural wax. Perfect to take with you on your travels to create a home away from home.

3. A $50 3floz Gift Card

Whether you have a vacation coming up or you’ve been dying to give a new product a whirl, have fun shopping in the 3floz world.

4. The Spa Week 3floz Travel Set that YOU create!




**4 RUNNERS UP will win the Spa Week 3floz Travel Set


Enter by June 3, 2010 at 6 PM EST.

You may enter as many times as you’d like. If you enter by signing the blog post, please be sure to include your name and email address.

Winners will be announced the following week, after the final selection is made and photographed.

Before we go… just one more thing we love about 3floz:
Convenience! They do international shipping, even direct to hotels, and same-day delivery within Manhattan via courier. For last-minute packers, you can send in your itinerary showing you’re travelling within 3 days and receive an upgrade to overnight shipping for the price of ground.

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