Monday, December 17, 2012

Packing List for Musicians who Tour with Toddlers

My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. When we are onstage, we do our best to really be ON stage. But all our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are as people, thus musicians. Recent insights: 

We've been back home in Boston for three weeks. But the packing strategies we honed during our latest tour--the longest to date with our little boy--are still with us. We've already had two brief weekend tours and our list remains relevant:
  1. The KID BAG:
    • diaper roll (with more diapers or undies and wipes than you think you need, and with change of clothes... more while potty training)
    • books, especially longer stories with paperback covers and books with activities (like finding Goldbug in Richard Scarry's Cars & Trucks & Things That Go
    • no-leak water bottle & snacks (non-staining cheerios, yogurt and spoon, nuts, figs)
    • one pair of pjs to change into right before the gig
    • a special bag that contains a NEW TOY--to be presented by caregiver
    • an iPod loaded up with a few videos and toddler apps in a toddler-proof iPod case
    • a ball to kick
    • a plastic bag filled with toys... for the car-lovers, a roll of duct tape makes a great portable road
  2. The OVERNIGHT BAG:
    • toiletries for everybody, including infant pain reliever in case of sudden kid fever or ibuprofen/arnica/vitamins or any other high maintenance health things you like to carry along
    • a packing cube for each family member with undies, socks, pajamas, quick dry T/shorts/socks/running shoes for hotels with exercise rooms, swim suit for hotels with pools, and as FEW clean travel shirts/jeans as you can stand
    • a spare tote bag
  3. The GIG BAG/s:
    • Instruments and supplies (microphones, extra strings, 9 v batteries, picks, tuners, capos)
    • CDs/merch
    • Gig clothes 
      • girl gig clothes: I wear the same one or two... or three if a really long tour... dresses each night, and I keep them in a packing cube (see above) with my performing boots, tights, and small bag with makeup, hair stuff. I should really get a small mirror for the bag.
      • boy gig clothes: My husband keeps his gig jeans/pants in his overnight bag and travels to the gig in those pants. He changes shirts at the venue and carries his gig shirts in a Packing Folder so they stay wrinkle-free. I also think he should carry a little bit of hair gel/paste for end of tour, when his hair is getting shaggier...
  4.  The PERSONAL BAG:
    • wallet, phone, keys, glasses, sunglasses, GPS if you don't just rock the iPhone, EZ pass
    • computer, if you don't just rock the iPhone
    • tour docs (contracts, advancing details)
    • a book to read, if your kid every falls asleep in the car and you aren't driving/sleeping
    • no-leak water bottle, ideally stored OUTSIDE your bag
  5. Pack N Play for the venue can be amazing
  6. A Stroller and/or baby carrier can be amazing
If you keep your clothes pared way down, you can fit this pile in a relatively compact corner!

2 comments:

  1. Well done, Shannon! You rock this challenge. Thanks for sharing what you learned.

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  2. Updates: one adult now combines kid bag with his/her personal bag... And we've moved on from the pack and play to make-shift bedding: surrounding our kid with pillows and suitcases (so he doesn't roll off a bed). STREAMLINING!!

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