Some throwback advice from Lindsay Paige Garfield, formerly from the band Paige and the Thousand and currently working on new project Lovebug & Me. In 2009, while spending a lot of time on the road with her band, she wrote this advice about what she suggests woman pack when going on tour.
I BRING MY IPHONE, HEADPHONES, A WALL CHARGER, A CAR CHARGER, A BOOK OR TWO, A PAD OF PAPER, PENS FOR SONGWRITING, AND A JOURNAL.
If you’re the only girl in the band, I recommend bringing all the girly things you could possibly need. Don’t expect to get to a drug store. You’ll probably make it to one, but likely a day or two after you run out of something. I use a pack of plastic travel bottles I got at Walgreens for shampoo, body lotion, face-wash, sunscreen, and that seems to help maximize space. If there’s at least one other girl in the band, and you’re friends, I recommend coordinating with her beforehand. (i.e. One hairdryer and one straightener is fine.) If you’re the same size, you could share clothes. I prefer not to do this because your clothes get pretty dirty by the end of the tour, but I have done in the past.
I bring two bags: one for the trailer and one for the van. This can be compared to a checked bag and a carry-on. The trailer bag has most of my stuff in it. On a standard two-week tour I usually pack a small-ish suitcase. I don’t like duffel bags or backpacks, as it is really hard to find things in a pinch. (i.e. You get to the venue and have one hour total to load-in, soundcheck, set up merch, and get ready.) So in my trailer bag, I bring enough show clothes for 7 nights. My general rule when I’m packing stage clothes is, “if I don’t love it, I don’t take it.” When I’m cranky or in an unfamiliar city where I don’t know anyone, feeling like I look good and I’m comfortable puts me in a better mood. I pack a pair of undies for every single day of the tour. (Hey, you might not get to wash your clothes.) I also pack two pairs of shoes, one of which is a pair of sneakers to go with my running gear. Also, shower flip-flops are important for the well-intentioned, but extremely dirty hosts. Finally, one outfit to sleep in, a bunch of t-shirts, one hoodie, a hairdryer, a straightener, and a towel.
For my van bag, I have a great shoulder laptop bag with a million pockets. (Pockets are good.) I bring my phone/iPod, a wall charger, and a car charger, good headphones, a book or two, a pad of paper and pens for songwriting and a writing journal. I also pack a laptop computer with wireless data card to do promotion and keep in contact with bookers, sound guys, etc. while on the road. Next, to my computer, you’ll find my video camera for those impromptu, hilariously, and bad free-styling sessions, and for filming people taking open-mouthed naps, etc. I also bring a sleeping bag, sleeping pad (for those rough nights on floors), a blanket and a pillow. Some of the guys bring neck pillows or small back pillows (hey we’re not 19 anymore!) My bathroom supplies include makeup, brush, gum, a metal water bottle, also it’s good to bring plastic bags for trash and recycling in the van, a roll of paper towels, tissues, wet-wipes, and disinfectant wipes. (Maybe a bottle of Simple Green). We generally bring a plastic tub of snacks. (Sometimes do a Costco run beforehand.) We usually buy rice cracker mix, almond clusters, cheese, crackers, beef jerky, mixed nuts, fruit, granola bars, chocolate, Red Bulls. We try to shop at grocery stores for deli sandwiches along the way if we can help it. We almost never do fast food, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid.