Think Smart: Packing for The Road


The average woman packs nearly 60 items for a two-week vacation, but only wears one-third of those items. When you are headed on the road to perform, either alone or with other musicians, there are several things to consider when packing for an extended period of time. First, you’ll want to do some serious soul-searching about what you’ll need, and then make sure you have all of the staples.

Create a Signature Look in Three Steps

Many musicians have a signature look, and why would you be an exception? Having a signature look will make you recognizable, and it also helps when you’re on the road and having to travel light. The first thing you can do to create your look is to pick a signature lip color. Maybe you’re a red lipstick girl; once you find the perfect shade for your complexion, you can rock a red lip at every gig. Not only does this make you recognizable, but it will also save you a lot of room in your toiletry bag since you’ll have narrowed your lip color to just one show-stopping hue.


Next is footwear. Shoes are difficult to pack and take up a ton of space. First, you need a pair of shoes for when you’re not playing. Those can be sneakers or flip flops, but make them something that’s small and doesn’t take up valuable suitcase real estate. For performances, you need signature shoe: this could be anything from a cowboy boot to a bold-colored stiletto (as long as you can stand those for the length of your set). This is a great way to incorporate fashion trends into your look, especially if the stuff you feel most comfortable in is classic, timeless or casual wear, you can always elevate your look with your shoes.

The last thing you can do easily to create your style is to pick a single piece of recognizable jewelry. Maybe you always wear big, chunky, funky earrings; those can pack semi-flat and you can get a lot into your suitcase without taking up too much room. If you have a long necklace you always wear, you can rock that without even having to pack it.

Be Honest With Yourself

If you’ve ever heard of a capsule wardrobe, you know it entails paring down your wardrobe to a specific number of clothing pieces. You can do this in a number of ways, but the object is the same: only keep the clothing you wear. If you have a closet full of clothes that are too big, too small, or you just don’t love, get rid of them. Culling your closet until you have a manageable amount of clothing will do wonders.

Think about the trip you’ll be taking. What will the weather be like? Will you be playing evenings in clubs or daytime in outdoor venues? You’ll want to be sure you keep the weather in mind when planning your travel wardrobe. If you’ll be playing at music festivals in July, you won’t need any sweaters, most likely. Make sure you’re packing clothing specific to what you’ll be doing on the road, so you don’t end up with a suitcase full of formal clothing you never touch, or, on the flip side, you don’t have to skip a nice dinner because all you’ve got is ripped jeans.

The final thing to consider is yourself. Who do you want to portray from the stage? What do you feel most comfortable, most beautiful, and most professional in? This is not the time to try out new types of clothing, but a time to be you and let yourself shine through you to your audiences. If you don’t feel comfortable while you’re performing, you won’t be able to play your best. Take your favorite jeans in 3 colors, the softest tee shirt you own, and the cami that makes you feel glamorous and beautiful.

Just as planning a tour requires forethought and preparation, so too does packing for a tour. Being realistic about the amount of time you’ll be gone, the access you’ll have to laundry facilities, and what you’ll actually need while you’re away can do wonders in eliminating packing stress. Whatever you pack, remember to be yourself, and you’re sure to gain fans wherever you go.

Matt Ramsey

Matt Ramsey is the head voice teacher and founder of Ramsey Voice Studio, the highest rated vocal studio in Texas. Having taught over 500 students, Matt feels that the right vocal technique can help anyone become a better singer. Matt's complete vocal course is "Master Your Voice" which can be found on his website.


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