What To Pack On Tour

by elizabeth | April 19th, 2010

The more I travel, the better I get at packing. This is exactly what you DON’T want your luggage to look like:

suitcases

I used to forget items when I traveled … landing without a certain type of trombone mute … or shoes … or razors. Some people advise taking nothing with you, and buying what you need when you get there. I’m not always in a position to do that – both logistically and financially. It seems wasteful to buy new things when I have perfectly good ones at home that I forgot… and often I don’t have easy access to transportation wherever I end up!

So, I developed a packing list.

Before a trip, I print it out, and do two things before packing:

- cross out whatever does not apply to this trip
- add whatever special items I need for this trip

And then I get cracking! Now I feel prepared when I head out the door, and have worked to be sure that I am only bringing what I can carry and what is necessary for this particular trip.

Perhaps my list will help you?

PERSONAL STUFF

Perfromance Wear
Nice dress
Jewelry
Nice shoes
Shawl or cardigan
Show clothes

Clothing
Underwear
Socks
Shirts
Pants
Skirts
Shoes
Sweater
Jacket
Hat etc.
Bathing suit

“Personal Maintenance”
Toilettries
Razor
Make-up
Hair accessories
Pajamas
Journal
Medicine
Sleeping mask
Travel pillow

Electronics
Phone charger
Camera w/ charger
Laptop w/ charger
Ethernet cable
Flash drive
iPod
Reading material
Current work to take with me
Info/directions for destination

Important Items
Purse
Bag for gig stuff (flat bag)
Phone
Wallet
Checkbook
Keys
Sunglasses (driving?)
Car phone charger
Passport
Snacks
Water
Gifts for hosts
Gum
Earplugs

MUSIC STUFF

Equipment
Trombone
Trombone stand
Mutes – Best Brass, Straight, Plunger, Others?
Metronome/Tuner
Music stand
Microphone & cable
Microphone stand

Music – Gig
Music – Mine
Backstage pass
Mailing list
Business cards
CDs

TO DO

Luggage tags
Charge phone
Charge camera
Put gas in car
Calling card has $?
EZPass has $?
Call VISA re: travel activity?
Change voicemail?
Someone to get mail / water plants?
Park car
Take out trash
Water plants
Change sheets?

Some of these to-do items are valid only for trips where I’ll be driving. Some are valid only for international travel. What’s your routine when you’re heading out the door for a trip? What do you pack? What do you make sure to do?

2 Responses to “What To Pack On Tour”

  1. James Hirschfeld says:

    Wow! All I can say is that this list will be different for girls than guys. As an example, changing sheets. Assuming that guys change their sheets, it is in any case a very rare occasion. Ditto on taking out the trash or watering plants (poor helpless plants…)

    My list is pretty comprehensive but I always wait until the last second and then the list goes to essentials: instrument, mutes, passport, couple days of clothes…I figure anything else can be replaced if I forget it, which I inevitably do…no matter how hard I try.

  2. I bring Almonds and dried fruit in case you get stuck in your room late at night in a town with no take out or room service and you are starving! I take a jump rope so I can exercise without a gym if need be. Laptop + skype = lifeline to humanity. I always have a book with me to ward of travel boredom.

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Welcome!

elizabeth! is a vocalist, trombonist, and songwriter working in NYC and Los Angeles. Originally from Vermont, she studied neuroscience at Harvard before moving to NYC to play, tour, and record with jazz musicians, indie rockers, pop stars and more. Her new album of original jazzy pop tunes was just released on Canopy Jazz!

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