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

THAT BOOKSTORE IN BLYTHEVILLE
316 W Main St / Blytheville, AR 72315

Monday April 28, 2014 @ 7pm

BOOKS-A-MILLION
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

WELLESLEY BOOKS

82 Central Street / Wellesley, MA 02482

May 7, 2014 @ 7pm

BOOK ENDS

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

Hagerstown, MD

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

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