As you may know, I have just completed a whirlwind 11 day tour in the US which took me through six States, and to nine wonderful venues.
Who says ‘tour’ says ‘living out of a suitcase’, or ‘survival on the go’ and I thought you may enjoy the few snippets of wisdom that I gained over the past two weeks … mostly a process of trial and error!
Make sure that you have all you may need before you travel, because once you are on the road and in the swing of things the last thing you want to do is spend time hunting down a pen, or a tube of toothpaste.
Get yourself a mani-pedi and a good hair cut just before you leave. Treat yourself to a few wardrobe additions that will boost your confidence, and make getting ready each day an enjoyable experience.
I built my wardrobe around a few staple pieces from the French designer Gérard Darel. Its fun to mix and match some quality pieces with other brands, providing you always feel elegant and comfortable
Fine words from me, a girl generally acknowledged to be more accustomed to winging it than being super organised.
I discovered that the only way to be zen about living out of a suitcase was to have my bags extremely rationalised and easy to comprehend. Colour coordination is vital, pretty much everything can be coordinated to everything else
Shoes are in canvas bags, toiletries in easy to access vanity cases, or long-zippered pouches and jewelry in small pouches with separate sections. Underwear is kept together in a linen draw-bag, and the inevitable selection of phone and laptop chargers are tidied into a compact pouch.
When you are away from home you don’t have access to your regular group of family and friends for support and practical back up. Chances are that if you are nice and friendly to your new ‘friends’, then they’ll be happy to help you out.
One of my most surprising ‘helpers’ during my tour was a cab driver called Bruce in Kansas City. Not only was he ready to pick me up and deliver me anywhere at any time, he also took care of my dry cleaning and my hairdresser appointment …. in case you’re reading this Bruce: “Hi! and thank you so much!”
Keep it light!
Few things are worse than heavy baggage when you are on the go. With a little careful planning it is surprising how far a limited wardrobe can go.
Before I left, I lay everything out in my bedroom and checked that I had an outfit for each signing event, and a few more casual pieces to wear as I travelled
You may be surprised to know that despite being told that the weather would be hot and humid, the most useful piece in my bags was my cachemire button down shawl – perfect for all those air-conditioned cars and planes.
For my handbags, I took one generous tote that was big enough for my laptop as well as other stuff while on the move, and one small clutch bag, that could be worn cross body or held in my hand, just big enough to hold my phone, lipstick, a few cards and a pen for
Shoes were a mix of heels and ballerina flats, with a pair of stacked sandals just for fun. No matter how dressy, they all had to be comfortable, I had no time for blisters.
I’d love to hear what your suitcase rules are, and how you best fare when you are on the move …. in the meantime HERE is a little sample of moments from the tour.