Traveling With Cosplay

Your going on a trip aren’t you? This is going to teach you how to pack what you think cannot fit in that little carry-on into your little carry-on!

For those of you that have to travel with cosplays you may have already realized what a pain in the butt it is and for those of you that haven’t, be lucky you haven’t. But don’t be caught off guard if you never have flown before!! I have found packing light to cons makes my life so much easier and nicer at con because there is so much less to worry about (and lose).

As we all know cosplay is veeery expensive! And we all want to be able to save a little money, right? If you are flying on a flight that does not allow free checked luggage you want to think about fitting everything into a carry on. And even for those who can have a free bag you still may want to try taking your stuff with you so it is not searched through and damaged. I have heard of many instances of this happening with various cosplayer friends of mine, and you definitely do not want it to happen to you!

The first rule of carry-ons is LIQUIDS! I cannot stress this rule enough. You have to follow the liquid/gel rules (no more than 3 oz in a 3 oz container that says it, everything fits in a quart size baggy) or you may have precious cosmetics/gels or other things taken from you by the one cranky TSA officer that day. You have to have travel size containers that say its a 3 oz or less container because they are the rules. I have heard of very expensive  lotions being taken from someone because they were in a 4oz container and half used. Does this happen every time you fly? NO. But it can really piss you off if you think your fine and dandy and in fact the TSA takes half your stuff and throws it out. I put my mascara, face lotion, liquid cosmetics, travel sizes of “special colored liquid”….whatever is liquid like or gel like into my baggy. I skip shampoo and conditioner and use the hotels. You may be asking, what do I do about my hair gel and hair spray?? Come now, you are going to a convention. Do you really think none of your friends will have either of those things? I always make sure my friends are bringing the kind of hair gel I like, but I guess I’m just an over achiever 😀 You can always shove some gel in a travel size container and try getting some hair spray that works with fine mist travel-size spray bottles, but that’s your choice!

I have also heard of issues bringing those fake gel inserts on planes (you know ladies!) and I have a pretty simple solution for you. Wear them. Don’t waist the precious space in your bag!! Just put them on! If you are concerned about going through those stupid giant “x-ray” machines just tell the person pushing through you would like to “opt out”, yeah you’ll get frisked but its always with another lady if your a lady and man if your a man. And believe me they want to be there as much as you do.

Next most important point, make a list of the things you will be bringing. I have made a list of things that I commonly forget to bring to conventions so you can see what I typically pack:

Con badge (if they allow to prepay and get it in the mail)

Makeup (make sure to put liquid makeup in liquids bag)

Bobby pins, Eye lash glue, fake eye lashes, safety pins, Sewing kit with needle and thread, Thread color from your costumes, snacks, deodorant

You can also make checklists for the certain costumes you are bringing to make sure you have everything! I usually just keep all of my cosplays hung up in my closet with a bag around the hanger that has everything in there relating to the costume! This makes it easier to find everything. I only keep wigs and shoes separate because they wouldn’t fit well in a bag! I have recently made sure to have lists for all of my cosplays because I forgot many components for the costumes I was bringing. While on my way to Dragon Con I decided it would be smart to just bring 5 costumes with me (I usually pack two) I almost forgot the body suit of my Dark Phoenix because I had left it in my laundry room! Good save there right?? Then I got to the con and realized I had forgotten the extra gold fabric to make a sash…yes I was finishing it at con -.- So I went to a fabric store in Atlanta at 9:00 am to find some gold spandex! Then I realized I had left the big poofy petticoat, wire and bloomers that go with my Kuranosuke dress from Jellyfish Princess to use at the aquarium to take pictures! I was on a roll. I ended up borrowing a petticoat from someone who had it at the convention (THANK YOU KACEY!!). It didn’t look nearly as poofy or circular but it was way better than having nothing!

Now. Do you want this to happen to you?? HECK NO!! Pack your cosplays and pack them right!! Have lists! You can even put lists on there for the make-up you want to bring to minimize space. Your goal is to be as efficient as possible with your cosplay choices and minimize the extra fluff. Plan on bringing one big cosplay with to a con? Pack another smaller and more comfortable costume with it! I only pack two cosplays with per con, usually because I’m only there two full days and get the most wear out of them that way!

The last bit of wisdom I will leave with you is this: If you do not want to spend a ton of money on con food pack your own snacks. I skip lunch and snack on things until dinner. I pack three granola or energy bars for breakfasts, and from there get a myriad of things from chips to nuts to crackers and fruit snacks! The list is endless! Just don’t pack too much, only what you think you will eat and do not pack things with gel like substances! They may be thrown out.


1. Make sure you follow airline rules or you will be sorry!!!

2. Pack only what you need and make lists!

3. Don’t be a ding bat like me and forget things!

4. Eat food…food is good (also leaves space for dealers room hauls)

If you follow these simple instructions I’m am sure you will have a much more successful time flying with your costumes and if you already do these things…AWESOME YOU!! Good luck in your next cosplay packing adventure!