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 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 Start a Conversation Cancel a Conversation Connect with Enter your WordPress.com blog URL http://.wordpress.com Proceed Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.