10 Tour Pre-Packing Tips For Self-Proclaimed Packing Dum Dums
My friend has been feeling very overwhelmed by the never ending stress of packing while on tour. They had already seen my Ultimate Tour Prep Checklist, kitchen and laundry kit videos, the hotel room tour videos, and read all tour associated blogs.
They said, "They were great! But...I need you to dumb it down even more. I'm talking baby steps, ultra basic things about what to before I even start packing. I'm a Dum Dum."
I'm happy to oblige! This is a great reminder to slow down, take a step back, and remember its not that deep.
Since not all tours are the same, it was hard to narrow it down to a few big picture tips. That in mind, these tips are geared toward my friends tour situation - they always stay at hotels with laundry and they always eat out (no kitchen kit needed). They also mentioned they are always running late, so I've included a few time management tips, too.
I've also made an accompanying video for this post (here or watch it at the end of the blog), though it doesn't include all of the tips found in this blog post.
1. Can you locate your ID, and is it up to date?
You can't go anywhere before you check your forms of ID. Make sure you have an up to date passport, license, passport card, or trusted traveler card. For a full list of accepted IDs for travel, please see the TSA list here. While you're at it, check your credit cards' expiration date!
2. How much time do you have before you leave for the next city?
Seriously. Tour can suck you into a vortex of lost time and it's easy to lose track of the day/month.
If you struggle with time management, set a reminder or add a note in your planner to tell you: where you're going next, when you're going then, and how you will get there. Whether it's two days ahead of when you're leaving or 1 hour before you have to pack, a reminder will help keep you focused.
Once it comes to start packing, set a timer for 15 minutes. If you find yourself getting distracted, this alert will help pull you back to reality. Keep resetting it if you know you'll be distracted again.
3. How will you get to your destination?
Company Management has undoubtedly done a fabulous job about confirming your flight/bus/train reservation to your next city. Will they be providing transportation to the airport or station? Will you catch a ride with someone in the company? If not, set a calendar reminder to schedule a taxi or ride-hailing service.
Use Google maps to see how long it takes to get to the airport/station and add in 10-15 minute buffer time.
Ask a local crew member about traffic to your destination during your travel time.
4. What is your destination?
Confirm the next city on the tour schedule/website before you pack away your trunk (if applicable). Check the weather a day before to best prepare what to wear. Will you need to have access to rain boots/umbrella/gloves? Will you need access to your off season clothes?
5. How long will you be there?
Consider the following things:
-Will you be doing laundry soon and when will that happen? Will you need coins/detergent?
-Events/Holiday- Are there any special events or holidays happening while you're there? Do you need to plan/pack anything special to prepare for that?
6. Use packing cubes!
Use packing cubes to pack by category (Shirts, Sweaters, Pants, Workout, etc) or by outfit. Have a large packing cube or mesh laundry bag for your dirty laundry. There is more information from me here about packing cubes!
7. What is your tour uniform?
Here is tip to eliminating the decision fatigue. Create outfit options for yourself with your favorite quality pieces like you'd find in a capsule wardrobe. Figure out your tour uniform by paying attention to your style formula.
Here is an Example:
Jane has four outfits she finds most comfortable (and travel well):
Jeans/Tee/Jacket/Boots Jeans/Sweater/Button Up/Boots
Workout pants/Work out top/Sneakers
*Jane can see that there are a few repeat items: Jeans, Tee, Legging, Jacket, Sneakers, Boots.
*Jane should pick one or two of each of these items and choose a wardrobe around them.
8. Backup all your devices.
Ideally, you back up your devices daily or weekly. If you don't have your phone/computer set up for automatic backups, you should take the time the day before you leave to back everything up. Worst case scenario, a device breaks in transit and you can rest at ease knowing your information is safe. Personally, I use Google photos, iCloud backup and the Verizon cloud.
9. You will need more time than you think.
Ideally, we would live in a world where we never run late, there are no traffic jams and we would never forget to set an alarm. That's cute, right?
If possible, leave 10-15 minutes earlier than you were planning.
Are you someone who is running a few minutes late, like....every day? Consider that it takes more time than you think to do your morning routine. Try setting a timer 5 and 10 minutes before you have to leave. If you really want to get to the nitty gritty of what is taking the longest, time yourself one morning doing every activity.
10. "That's why you always leave a note."
-J Walter Weatherman, Arrested Development.
Write down the super important things and put it in a place you will HAVE to see before you leave for the airport/road. Before bed, put a post it note on the front door, bathroom mirror or coffee pot that says "PHONE CHARGER" or set a reminder that reminds you to grab your face wash.
If you are someone who lays in bed scrolling social media before you get up, set the reminder to come up five minutes after your alarm goes off.
Last but not least, here is the video I made as part of this blog post. It's got a dog in it, so enjoy!