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When I was growing up, New Found Glory was one of my favorite bands – I have no shame about this. One of my favorite songs, “Dressed to Kill,” includes the line you’re always on tour, and you’re never home. It’s no secret that I always thought that I’d grow up to be a roadie, tucked away in a bus bunk or folded up in a van too small to carry adults, gear, instruments and luggage, but that’s not exactly how things have turned out. I am still super lucky that I have a job that lets me work remotely, so I certainly still get to do my fair share of travel! The past few months have been especially busy – many drives between Chicago and West Michigan, plus Montreal, Nashville and a flight to Boston. All that travel can definitely take a toll on your state of mind – it’s definitely fun and I know I’m super lucky to have this kind of lifestyle, but it can be hard to feel like you have a hold on what you own and where it is. Here are some tips on how to keep your head on straight when you’re bouncing from one place to another!
- Do laundry while you’re on the road: Seriously. It sucks to take out an hour and a half to run through a wash and dry cycle, but it will cut down on the amount you have to pack so much it will be worth it.
- Organize: When you’re packing, set out everything you’re taking with you, and know exactly where you’re putting it. I make liberal use of pouches and pockets – a case for makeup, a plastic lined bag for toiletries with a leak risk, a packing square for underwear and socks. It will make your life easier to know where you’ve put things and save yourself from digging around, emptying your entire bag looking for one thing.
- Plan your shoes: This one might seem a little weird, but hear me out. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve either underpacked my shoes (like the time I had to vote while wearing a nice dress and blazer… and running shoes) or gotten somewhere only to make it to the gym in my Chucks. Be aware of the kind of events you’re going to, and be realistic about the shoes you’ll need from day to day.
- Take care of your car: Sure, driving sucks. No one likes road trips alone, but I’ve really grown to appreciate the convenience of having a car while I travel. Not only am I using the solo time to get acquainted with great books and podcasts, but it’s also great to stash stuff in my trunk – one trip saw me going from Michigan to Nashville to Chicago, which could have been wildly different climates, so I had to overpack. Keep the things you don’t need in your car, but treat it like your closet or dresser so when you need that specific cardigan, you’re not digging past litter and boxes to find it wrinkled up under your spare tire. (And, obviously, get regular oil changes.)
- Prioritize: When you’ve got everything set out on your bed while organizing, ask yourself if you really need to bring two black t-shirts or more than one hoodie (especially if you’re going to be able to do laundry!) or how many pairs of jeans you’ll really need. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather re-wear the same pair of jeans a few days in a row if it means it’s going to make my luggage a little lighter!