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!