Pageants are already stressful without having to travel. If your pageant requires getting on a plane, I have some great tips to reduce the stress of the unknown. You can get there with everything you need.
I love to fly. I remember getting to travel as a child with just my little sister. I felt so grown up. Sometimes we even would get to sit in first class with the other unaccompanied minors. Those are good memories for me. After years of flying, I have learned a few valuable lessons. Including a very difficult one learned when it took five days for my luggage to arrive while on vacation. We were flying to Tahiti on a Sunday. Apparently, that was the last flight to the islands till the next Thursday. We made the quick plane change in Los Angeles, but our luggage didn’t. Luckily, we packed a carry on with a full change of clothes and decided to go native. Our luggage finally arrived at our hotel that Friday. Lesson learned.
Take all important items with you in the plane.
When packing for a pageant, there is so much more to think about than just having a few extra wardrobe items. The most important thing to pack in your carryon is your competition wardrobe. I know that if your dress has crinolines that will make it a little more difficult to pack. If you can get a vacuum or “space” bag to pack your dress in, that will help fit it in a carryon. Be sure to roll the dress carefully and bring a steamer to get the wrinkles out. If you have a regular gown, it can also be rolled carefully with tissue paper protecting any decorative embellishments you have. Remember to pack your interview, fun fashion and fitness wear. Again, the “space” bags will help you to fit it all in. With each outfit, you need to include a Ziploc bag that has your jewelry and shoes. That way you have everything you need all in one place.
Use “space bags” and ziplock bags to protect your wardrobe.
On a recent flight on Southwest Airlines, I asked one of the flight attendants what advice she would give travelers who may need extra space for larger carryon items, such as pageant gowns. She suggested that you try to book the earliest or latest flight of the day. Those flights tend to have the least amount of people booked, where as a midday or afternoon flight will be the fullest. By having extra seating available, you will have a better chance of finding an empty overhead bin. Also, try to board the plane as early as possible, this will allow you to put your wardrobe in the overhead bin above your seat.
Book the first or last flight of the day.
Another important item to pack is all your pageant makeup. Even if you are planning to use a makeup artist for the competition, you still need to look fresh upon arrival. I can put my cream to powder foundation, blush, eye shadow, mascara, bronzer and several brushes and sponges all in one place. This makes it easy to do touchups before the plane lands, so I look my best as I step off the plane. You never know where you might run into a judge. They may recognize you because they may have received the judge’s packet in advance.
Bring your makeup and brushes for touch ups.
In the “old days”, airlines served full meals. Today, you may get a cup of soda and a bag of peanuts. Regulations now allow you to bring food through security as long as it is packaged. Bring plenty of food with you. You can also pack a water bottle and fill it once you are through security. I have been stuck on a plane that sat on the runway for almost an hour due to weather. Luckily, I planned ahead and had brought food with me. You never know when there will be a weather delay. I have seen planes delayed in the summer due to thunder storms and in the winter due to ice. By planning ahead and having food with you, then you will arrive ready for your pageant.
Pack snacks and a water bottle.
I was given advice from a friend who was also a stewardess about traveling with children, but this also works for anyone. She told me to sit at the back of the plane. That way I am close to the restroom and the flight attendants. This makes it easier to get more water, take a break, freshen up my makeup or just stretch my legs. Speaking of which, if your flight is more than an hour or so, make sure you get up and walk around. Sitting and the pressure in the cabin can cause your feet to swell. By getting up and moving, you can reduce the chance of swelling and worse yet, a blood clot forming in your legs. Even just standing in the back of the plane for a few minutes can help move the circulation.
Sit in the back of the plane.
Last, but not least, you need to wear comfortable, yet stylish clothing. Again, you may be sitting next to a judge on your plane. You need to look your best at all times. If you are a teen or older contestant, wear heals and a dress or skirt. Bring a jacket or sweater to keep warm if the cabin is chilly. Make sure that what you wear will not wrinkle so you arrive looking fresh. Wearing your banner and/or crown is optional. If you do wear it, give yourself plenty of time to sign autographs and take pictures. Trust me, other travelers will stop you for these things. As a queen, you must maintain your attitude, with or without the banner. However, wearing your banner may earn you some perks, like another passenger may offer you space for your carryon or the flight attendants may announce you on the pa system. It’s up to you if you wear it or not, just remember that with it on, you will be known to everyone as a queen and will be expected to act accordingly.
Dress in comfortable, yet stylish clothing.
I hope your next flight to your pageant is a smooth one. Please stop by my Facebook page share one piece of advice you have learned from this article. Here’s to your connecting with the crown.