How to Pack for an Extended Trip by Marie Bostwick

Over the years, I have done a lot of traveling to promote my books, going on tours that have sometimes kept me on the road month long stretches and more. 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 chose 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.

smMarie Bostwick for travel tips 2

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.  Because my journeys take me to many different regions and climates, I also pack a pullover sweater, a jean jacket, and a travel umbrella.

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 finish packing, I always weight my luggage to make sure it comes in a under the fifty pound weight limit of most commercial airlines.

Finally, before I close the lid on my luggage, I tuck in one last and absolutely essential accessory; a really terrific book.  No matter how short or long the journey, books are the best possible traveling companions.


“Marie Bostwick is my go-to author…always powerful, inspiring, and uplifting.” –Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author

New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick welcomes readers to the quirky, unforgettable town of Too Much, Texas, in a heartwarming, richly satisfying story of friendship and moving forward…

Mary Dell Templeton prefers the quiet charms of Too Much to the bright lights of Dallas any day. She’s relieved to be moving back to her hometown—and bringing her cable TV show, Quintessential Quilting, with her. There are just a couple of wrinkles in her plan. Her son, Howard, who is her talented co-host and color consultant, and happens to have Down syndrome, wants to stay in Dallas and become more independent. Meanwhile, Mary Dell’s new boss hopes to attract a different demographic—by bringing in a younger co-host.

What Holly Silva knows about quilting wouldn’t fill a thimble, but she’s smart and ambitious. Her career hinges on outshining the formidable Mary Dell in order to earn her own show. Yet as Holly adapts to small-town living and begins a new romance, and Mary Dell considers rekindling an old one, the two find unlikely kinship. For as Mary Dell knows, the women of Too Much have a knack for untangling the knottiest problems when they work together. And sometimes the pattern for happiness is as simple and surprising as it is beautiful…

“Bostwick showcase[s] her gift for writing with warmth and humor, putting her fully formed characters in realistic situations. Too Much, Texas is a place any reader would love to visit, but give this especially to fans of Robyn Carr and Emilie Richards.” – Booklist on From Here to Home

“Bostwick succeeds in handling tough subjects with a light hand…Recommended for Bostwick’s fans, and those who appreciate family novels featuring strong women.” – Library Journal on From Here to Home

“Heartwarming to the core, Bostwick’s latest will touch readers’ hearts. The colorful characters are authentic and endearing, both Mary Dell and Holly being distinctive, strong heroines set within an engaging plot. Bostwick’s expert storytelling is filled with honesty and humor, making this novel set in the quaint town of Too Much, Texas, truly delightful.”– RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars Top Pick for From Here to Home



Marie Bostwick was born and raised in the northwest. In the three decades since her marriage, Marie and her family have moved frequently, living in eight different states at eighteen different addresses, three of them in Texas. These experiences have given Marie a unique perspective that enables her to write about people from all walks of life and corners of the country with insight and authenticity. Marie currently resides in Connecticut where she enjoys writing, spending time with family, helping out at church, gardening, collecting fabric, and stitching quilts.