How to Travel in Style: The Jet-Set Princess

The more travelling I do, the more I realize I don’t want to do it in discomfort! You know what I mean… looking scuzzy, just hoping to get there as soon as possible – a waste of a day. Even though traveling can be a pain, and it’s a big temptation to be one of those girls schlepping around the airport in pajamas…. don’t do it! When I get to my destination, I want to look my best, especially when meeting friends and family. I don’t want to make a beeline for the shower, feeling sick and dehydrated and jet-lagged. I want to arrive ready to take on this new place!

But What Will I Wear?!

It’s important to wear something comfortable, yes, but that doesn’t mean you have license to wear pajamas to the airport. If you are wondering, ‘why not? I’m only going to sleep on the plane…’ Here is my answer: One, you never know who you are going to meet. I try to remember this even when I am going to the post office or the corner bodega – what if my old crush is in from out of town, and the first thing he sees in five years is me in sweats?! Two, you always want to be a credit to yourself. You know that you are an amazing, gorgeous person. Why would you present anything less to the world?

For lolitas, I’d recommend something along the lines of a soft cutsew or tee-shirt, with a cardigan or hoodie that you’d usually wear for casual lolita. If you prefer to wear your petticoat than pack it, make sure you wear it under a loose-fitting JSK – nothing too restrictive, and of course nothing it would kill you to crumple. I’ve heard that some lolitas wear their best dresses rather than risk losing it, but I’d hate to be uptight about what travel damage may happen to my favorite onepiece.

If you want to look cute but don’t feel like dishing up all of the frills, go for a more casual look. Opaque leggings are comfy under a simple skirt, especially with a big schoolgirl cardigan. Any loose onepiece with tights or leggings and perhaps itty-bitty fabric shorts underneath (so you’re not worried about flashing everyone in coach) is another easy option.

If you’re traveling to meet another lolita, especially if it’s for the first time, it is really helpful if you wear lolita. Even if you choose to wear something simple. It helps your friend to spot you! Big fluffy skirts and cute luggage are a beacon in a crowd. It’s even better than looking for a sign if you’re trying to meet another lolita too!

Make sure you wear shoes that easily slip on and off, for getting through security and once you’re on the plane. Another tip that is a well-known New York City lolita trick is insoles. Seriously, get down to your local drugstore and get yourself a pair of Dr. Scholl’s (no gel – they’re not TSA approved). It was the best decision I ever made! Now my lolita shoes are some of the most comfortable shoes I own.

And make sure your hair do is something you feel comfortable in and can sleep in if necessary. Low pigtails, loose waves, a pair of braids, or a puffy bun on the top of your head are good options for casual style. Check a kawaii street style magazine if you’re at a loss for cute-and-easy hairstyles.

If you’re planning on doing your makeup on the plane, go with a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream with a high moisturizer content. A cream blush warmed up on the back of your hand will also show dryness less than a typical powder blush – and be a lot less messy to apply. Tinted lip balm is a good choice for the lips. If you need to bring toiletries on the plane with you, be sure to abide by security rules. A Wisp brush is also a good choice if you’re going on a long flight and know that you’ll be the halitosis queen by the time you get there. Here are the guidelines from TSA about makeup and other personal cosmetics. Easy tip to remember – your products must be no bigger than 3.4 oz/100 ml! Check your makeup bottles beforehand. And, keep your liquids (foundation, for example) separate from your non-liquid (like brushes).

All That Baggage

Let’s talk luggage. First of all, if you want to check your luggage especially, you want unique-looking luggage, or at the very least a unique luggage tag. This way you can find your luggage easily on the carousel. That being said, don’t buy very expensive designer luggage – it’ll just up your chances of getting it stolen! Some ideas for luggage is vintage looking luggage, pink luggage if you’re of the girly persuasion, or your favorite Sanrio character. Even something simple yet classy, such as quilted luggage or houndstooth, is nice choice.

I prefer to carry-on my luggage. You’re allotted two carry-ons, such as a small suitcase and bag – one to go overhead and one to fit below the seat in front of you – as well as your personal purse or briefcase. When I came home from Paris, I was so scared they were going to lose my luggage, so I packed my two most precious items – my medicine and my new BABY dress – in my carry-on and did not let go until we hit  Seattle. I call this method ‘pills and frills’. Make sure anything you really, really can’t do without is in your carry-on. For me, this means any medicine I need, and back-up glasses or contact lenses. If you’re checking a bag and you’re worried they’ll lose your luggage, definitely pack an extra simple outfit as well.

 

Organizing your carry-on bag will make going through security a lot easier as well. Even on a daily basis, I keep a few small pouches to bounce around inside my larger bag – one for pencils, one for electronics, etc. It has been the best choice I’ve ever made for my purse. First of all, no more graphite from broken pencils smeared inside your purse. Second of all, I have never forgotten those tiny electronics ever since – I have a pouch with my camera charger, class remote (for quizzes), my back-up USB, and my cellphone charger. It will save you a major headache if they are all in one spot!

Bringing an empty, reusable water bottle is a must. Being dehydrated is a lot like being hungover and feeling awful, as well as looking awful. I made the mistake once of bringing a full, plastic water bottle. Of course as soon as I hit security they said, ‘Either drink it or chuck it.’ Rather than chug the whole thing at once… I threw it out. It felt really wasteful and stupid, since I just had to buy another one past security.

I’m also a picky eater, with often dips in my blood sugar, so it’s also good to bring your own snacks. Many flights don’t even serve food anymore, or they charge hefty prices for a few potato chips. Make sure it’s something you’ll eat, and is fresh, but also consider the people sitting half an inch from your elbow. I once watched a couple next to me eat giant tuna fish sandwiches… that wasn’t a fun trip. Some good choices are fresh fruits and chopped up vegetables, like grapes or celery, or crackers… Even something small like fruit snacks can keep your sugar up. A simple sandwich, if you make sure not to mash it as bounce through the terminal, can be ideal as well. If you’ve got the skill, a bento box is a great idea.

 

What’s your secret to traveling in style? Do you have a carry-on must-have? I can’t wait to hit the skies – I’ll be in Seattle AND Chicago over winter break, feel free to look me up if you’re in the area!

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  • Sophie

    Have you seen the new BBC show, Pan Am? It’s set in the sixties. Very stylish air hostesses, you might like to take a look. The plot is a bit strange, but the fashion is lovely!

    • I saw an episode once – the fashion and makeup was really cool! I think it comes on at the same time as the Walking Dead for me though!

  • http://candy-coated-life.blogspot.com/2011/06/packing-up-shipping-out-lessons-learned.html  I never stop learning; every time I travel there’s something I could have done better!

  • Katie Glassco

    I end up using my laptop bag as a purse, and fold up my usual bag (read: tote bag) in it, so I can take a few more things as carry-ons.

    • Oh that’s a good tip! I always try to buy or bring an extra tote at my location because I end up shopping while I’m there and then trying to bring it all home!

  • What a great article! I can tell you for sure that travelling in nice clothes can make you feel much better about a long trip. When I was just starting high school I was a Student Ambassador on a loooong flight to Japan–it was my first flight EVER, but the guidelines the association set for our carry-on bags and uniform made it a really professional and enjoyable experience, and I had no mishaps to speak of. I love seeing helpful posts like these, keep up the great work, Victoria! 

    • Wow interesting that they had dress guidelines even for your flight – but I can see how helpful it was that it made you feel more secure and professional. I’m glad you liked the article!

  • Thefearsomekidpirate

    I agree with sophie about Pan Am, but this article was amazing! I like to feel my best no matter what :)

  • Fiammetta Rey

    Wow! So many helpful tips! I’m planning on travelling a lot next year, so I’ll make sure to keep all of this in mind.

  • “You know that you are an amazing gorgeous person. Why would you present anything less to the world?” because I also know I’m a lazy person. :P but I do agree that it’s just sloppy to even leave the house dressed in sweats, and there’s no excuse for pajamas on long bus rides or plane trips. Jeggings, a comfy pair of jeans, cotton leggings and a skirt… so many other options that don’t look like you rolled right out of bed! 

    • Your response made me laugh! I’m a a lazy person sometimes too, I try to fight it though! I love leggings and simple tights under loose dresses as my go-to on lazy days.

  • Hera Smith

    Maybe you could pack a small snack in a bento? Very neat and cute all at one.

    • I once packed fresh strawberries and cherries in mine on the way back – but then forgot to eat them. What a mess that made! It’d be easy to pack something simple like mini muffins however.

  • Lizzy–chan

    I am always traveling in cars, busses and trains and I own one really nice vintage suitcase. I got it cheap and it carrys everything I need and nothing gets crushed or even moves that much.

  • Well, this is absolutely NOT stylish, but a big, obvious mark on your otherwise boring luggage can make finding them easier.  The boyfriend and I plastered neon yellow duct tape all over our bags on our last international trip.  Made finding them later a snap!

    I like your idea of using smaller bags for all your electronics!  On that same international trip, we got a good, hard look at how “wired” we both were when security asked us to pull every. single. electronic out.  This totaled: 2 laptops (with chargers), 2 DSis, 1 PSP, 1 Nook, 2 ipods, 3 sets of headphones and 4 cellphones (our usuals + ones we’d rented for the trip)!  Having at least all the small ones in the same bag might’ve made that go faster!

    • Wow, you had to locate them all in your carry-on luggage?! Good to know if you’re packing a lot of electronic ‘heat’ – except for my cell, netbook and Kindle mine would all be together (the chargers, mobile info like USBs, etc). You guys were troopers – I can’t imagine having to ferret them all out of several bags!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been traveling a lot this year too and I love this post! My biggest tip is always take a silk scarf, they can be used a billion different ways from folding it into a second carry bag to rolling up into a mini pillow or protecting hair until you get to your destination :D

    • Oh that’s a great tip! Especially if you’re going to sleep on the plane so you don’t wake up with a bird’s nest… and they’d be tiny to roll up in a bag. They had really cute large shawls/lap-blanket-worthy HK scarfs at Forever21 yesterday if you needed something to sleep under!

  • Ms. Velveteen

    This is a small tip that I learned the hard way: don’t wear long skirts to the airport (especially not skirts touching the floor). Holding it up while carrying your luggage is not fun. I thought I’d just throw that out there. I loved your article… well, I tend to love all of your articles,lol. :D

  • Thanks for all the advice! I get really bad jetlag, so hopefully I can put some of these tips to use next time I travel.

  • Paulina Rivera

    Great article :3 I live in Seattle~~ And I’ll be getting my very first JSK on Christmas, along with cute shoes and socks to go with it!! So excited :DD I would so want to pack a bento box next time I get on a flight, it sounds like a great idea x_x

  • ShotaLover

    I always have to take a suitcase as my nan over-loads in duty free. I take a pair of heeled mary-janes {flat shoes hurt and in the UK airports you aren’t allowed heels, so rocking horse shoes are taken off and take forever!}, notepad, DS, laptop, phone, thick socks, a hat, brush, foundation and eyeliner. I sometimes take sunglasses, a book, headphones {but they have to be my super-kawaii Japan-only-made Hello Kitty ones} and iPod and I may take tons of food if my friends are with me. Apparently 14 year olds get really hungry really fast xD 
    ~
    When I’m travelling though, I find I get in tons of trouble with security for metal in my shoes etc and I always hate it >__< I just wear a tiered skirt, tights, flat mary-janes and a hoodie in Hello Kitty/HellBunny style with ears that pop up. 

  • Tiffanysamsss

    Do you have any suggestions for how to pack your lolita clothes in your luggage so as to reduce crumpling and damage?  I’m like a tetris master at packing usually (though I fail at actual tetris, funnily enough) but I’d appreciate advice from someone with experience handling our fluff. ^_^

    • Ms. Velveteen

      For skirts, I have a technique: fold the skirt in half vertically, so that it’s a triangle (not a trapezoid). Keep folding like that until you can fit it in the suitcase. (For me, it’s usually 1-2 folds, total.) Hope that helps. :)

      • Tiffany Sams

        Ah, thank you!  What would you recommend for my velveteen dress?  I’m afraid of folding it and having crush marks in the velvet.  Since I got it years ago I’ve kept it on a silky, padded hanger in a dress bag when not being worn.