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I am a big fan of gigantic purses. I like to have all my things readily available – seven lipstick options are a necessity, right? You never know what you will need!

While I love to have everything I need in my bag all the time, there is a specific checklist I follow when I am traveling with a client for a book tour. Typically, book tours are week-long marathons, often across multiple cities. These non-stop days can be rigorous and demanding, so a bit of preparation and having the right items in your bag can go a long way.

These are the items I am always sure to pack for book tours:

  • Printed schedule: Technology is amazing. But, it can also be amazingly difficult. I like to print out our travel and media schedule (and print a copy for each person traveling with us) in the event my phone dies or the network is spotty.
  • Extra copies of the book: While bulky, having extra copies of the book on-hand can really pay off. You never know when a producer will ask for an extra copy or a fan will stop your author on the street. (Pro tip: have copies shipped to your hotel ahead of time so you don’t have to carry on 50 hardcover books).
  • Sharpies: Most authors have a preference in Sharpie or pen color. We always ask the bookstore or signing location to have those on hand, but it’s a really good idea to keep a few extra in your bag.
  • Hand sanitizer: Traveling, shaking hands, getting in and out of cabs…the list of reasons to keep hand sanitizer on hand is endless. Just do it. (This one is my favorite – the pump is so handy!)
  • Makeup remover wipes: Makeup wipes are a great item to keep on hand for long days. If your author has been on camera, they likely have heavy makeup on. And sometimes long travel days can leave your face feeling less than fresh. These Neutrogena wipes make a great travel choice and I love these Burt’s Bees wipes for sensitive skin.
  • Gum and mints: This is a must. Ask your author what their preference is and keep them stocked in your bag.
  • Post-it Notes: I keep Post-it Notes in my purse always, not just on book tours. You never know when you will need to share information quickly or make yourself a reminder.
  • Extra charger and phone battery: An extra phone battery is never a bad idea. These can be really long days and you never know when you may need to recharge.
  • Quick snack: Speaking of long days, you may not have time for breakfast (or lunch…or dinner…) so having quick snacks in your bag can keep you and your travel partners from getting hangry and void low energy. I love RxBars and Blue Diamond’s 100 calorie packs. I also love RxBar’s travel almond butter.
  • Advil, Tums, Band-Aids, and Emergen-c: I like to keep a few staple first aid items in my bag, including Advil, Tums. And Band-Aids (hello heels for 18 hours!). Also, Emergen-c is a must while traveling and working long days.

These must-have items make a book tour run smoothly, but they are also great items to have on your check list next time you travel, go on vacation or clean out your purse.

What are your favorite and can’t-leave-home-without-it items for a tour or general travel?

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AUTHOR: Kerry Gardner
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