Adventure Girl, Stefanie Michaels, recently spoke with Reba McEntire about her luggage line. But that’s not all we got to chat with the Queen of Country about. Read on as we exchange packing and travel tips, learn about Reba’s top road trip tunes, and find out why she’s got a new concrete slab poured on some acreage in Tennessee.
AG: You’re on the road so much. Do you have any helpful packing tips?
Reba: I’ve tried rolling my clothes. I’ve tried organizing them in a way, but I do know the best thing to do is put the boots in first, then shoes, and then the jeans, and then the most delicate things on top. Because if anybody for a security reason ever has to open it up and go through it, at least they’re not raking the boots up first and messing everything up. That’s probably the best thing for me. I never check in any kind of valuables or anything that I might need in a pinch if my luggage does get lost. I never check in anything that I do need the next day, or the day when I land.
AG: I’m with you on that. Everything for me is carry-on. I’ll go two weeks on a ski vacation, and just use those space bags, suck the air out, and that’s all. I bring it all on board with me. I don’t trust it anymore.
Reba: Well, I’ve never done the space bag thing, where you vacuum it up, but I have friends who have done it, and they love it.
AG: Oh, it totally works. It does. Especially if you’ve got big, bulky items. … What are your must-pack clothes for different temperatures/climates and events?
Reba: I love to layer. No matter where I go, I have to have a shrug, shawl, vest or jacket with me. Even in the summer months, going to a restaurant can be very chilly.
AG: A reader from Oklahoma wants to know, what should a good Oklahoman like herself pack for a weekend in Vegas?
Reba: Comfortable shoes for lots of walking. Always carry a Reba shawl or sweater because the casinos can get chilly even when it’s 100 degrees outside!
AG: Do you have anything else that you always travel with and won’t leave home without?
Reba: The usual, underwear. My iPad for books, my computer for communication and to load my pictures, my camera and my journal.
AG: Let’s talk about road trip music. What are your favorites that make for a great soundtrack?
Reba: I love ’70s music. The Eagles, Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Three Dog Night, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Wild Cherry, Roberta Flack, Gloria Gaynor, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Chicago. So many great songs and performers in the ’70s.
AG: Favorite memories from a family vacation?
Reba: The only vacation we ever took aside from rodeoing was to go to the Tennessee. We loaded up in Daddy’s truck with Uncle Slim’s camper on it and drove from southeastern Oklahoma to Tennessee. We camped at a campsite on our way there. Mosquitoes almost ate us up and then it rained. Some of us got sick with the flu. A vacation none of us will ever forget!
AG: Another reader, from Colorado, asks, “I hear Ronnie Dunn is restoring a vintage Airstream for you?”
Reba: He is. … I bought it in December, and then I was telling Ronnie about it. And the guy that works for him, Greg Vaughn, he is the one that made my swings at my pool house, at my house in Nashville. Greg is a great carpenter, handyman, really talented. And Greg said he would love to gut it and start over with it. So we’ve had a blast picking out the sink, the flooring, the siding, everything. It’s been a team effort, and I’ve really enjoyed it.
AG: Are you planning to take it on the road with you, or are you just going to leave it parked somewhere?
AG: Oh, that’s so fun.
Reba: Lee Ann Womak, she has one. Anastasia Brown has one. And then Ronnie’s got his bus. … And we’re just kind of wanting to do a little trip and then find a place where we can do a wagon train circle and have a campfire out in the middle and just have fun. Just play music and play games and tell Wild West stories.
AG: I just love that. Can I come? [Laughs.] It’s like you’re a girl after my own heart.
Reba: Yeah, I’ve got some acreage in Tennessee that I already have my concrete slab poured, and I will pull it up on that and have my little retreat spot out in the country that I can enjoy it there also.
For more Reba at Dillard’s!
Photo: Jeremy Cowart