Thursday, July 11, 2013

Travel Tips for a Queen

After traveling more than 100,000 miles throughout the world as Mrs. International, I have learned a trick or two that I would love to share with the International Class of 2013. Please keep in mind, my husband and I spent several weeks on the Asian Pacific tour and the European tour with many appearances by taking only carry-on luggage. If you are well traveled, you know that the flexibility carry-on offers with tight connections and flight changes is invaluable! Whether you are traveling internationally or domestic, I hope these tips will make your experience just a little bit better!

Departing for European Tour

Travel tips for a Queen:

Crown & Sash – Start with a staging area within your home that you accumulate the items that will travel with you, as leaving your crown or sash behind would be quite unfortunate. Make certain you have a protected carrier to assure the crown and sash are not damaged in any way. I purchased a crown case from Holly Hardwick for travel, which looks like an elegant hat box and then I made two foam inserts covered in chocolate brown velvet with a slit to secure the center rhinestones to assure the crown could not move. I always keep the sash with my crown in the case for two reasons; one, the sash can easily snag items if not wrapped properly and two, they are typically worn together.

Attire & Accessories – Selection of outfits for each appearance, and keeping in mind you are representing your title on all of the in between travel days or adventures, takes planning and coordination. I specifically selected items that were made of travel friendly fabrics and could be mixed and matched to give completely different looks. For materials that do not travel well, I use a hot shower to steam (being careful to keep item from getting wet) and blow dryer to finish off. Layering is also extremely important; as the weather in our Asian Pacific tour went from winter climate in Japan to tropical in Hawaii. Accessories are essential with this type of travel, since a scarf alone can transform an outfit. For example, on a recent trip to Las Vegas, I wore a white skirt and top with a red scarf for a meeting with the local American Heart Association and then removed the scarf in the cab ride to a local hospital to tour a burn center and added a turquoise necklace, bracelet and earring set. If it were not so hot, I would have added a sweater to alter the look further.

Preparation & Packing – Giving yourself as much time as possible to pack in advance is critical. As mentioned above, I use a staging area in a spare bedroom and start making piles of complete outfits as I schedule appearances. Knowing in advance when many, but not all of the outfits will be worn, I actually pack in chronological order. Another helpful item is the use of travel bags, which are very light weight zippered bags with mesh or clear plastic. I pack night clothes, accessories, lingerie, socks, workout items, etc. in these bags and pull them out to throw into drawers in my hotel room, which gives me several advantages; you can ultimately use them to separate clean from worn clothing, these are items used daily, and it frees up space in the suitcase for re-organizing as you travel from city to city. A final tip on packing is use every square inch! I roll items inside each pair of shoes, fill every corner and crevice of every suitcase or bag, stuff each clutch or purse with jewelry or accessories, and I packed my favorite LV tote emptied and flattened into a roller-board to give me options for carrying essentials while attending appearances.

Physical & Psychological – Do not take the toll on your body or mind for granted! Starting with your feet, I live in high heels, but always carry a pair of fabulous flats to match each outfit with me. Give your feet a break whenever possible, and it is truly the only way to move quickly through airports and train stations. In many countries walking is far more prevalent than the United States and cobble stones or stairs are everywhere. Always have a wrap, scarf, or sweater to stay warm, especially if you may be moving from outside to inside or daytime to evening. During travel itself, drink as much water as possible and keep snacks like protein bars, nuts, or dried fruit with you at all times. To look fresh, I keep my “TSA approved liquids bag” within reach so that I can dab my roller Flower Bomb perfume, keep my lips soft with Clay Spann lip gloss, powder as needed, and pop a mint or fresh breath spray in my mouth. Staying healthy is an absolute must! Just as with any job, being able to rise to the occasion for each and every appearance takes energy and good health. Getting as much sleep as possible (which was my biggest challenge), being creative with workouts on the road, eating healthy, and keeping your immune system boosted with vitamins or in my case Airborne chewables are all imperative.

Further, I opted to accept and attend every single appearance request that was made, with the only exception being a conflict of an appearance already booked. Having a clear mission for my reign, making certain I had the support in place to accomplish my mission both at home and at work, and believing this journey was God’s plan for me gave me the foundation and peace of mind to give my all to this magical year.

Again, I hope these words are helpful as you make your way to Chicago. Travel safely and know that I am excited beyond words to meet each of you!

Warmest Regards,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

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