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A nail polish addicts guide to packing for a long trip

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how to pack nail polishAs you may already guessed this guide is about how to pack nail polish! This is a crucial guide for nail polish addicts who would rather leave a pair of shoes behind than part with some of our favorite polishes.

This guide will be particularly handy if you’re going on a long trip like our SoNailicious Tour. Withdrawals from a favorite polish could become so painful that the joy would be sucked out of the cultural experiences, cocktails and new places. It’s not always easy to buy new nail polishes in a new country, especially if you don’t speak the language.

So instead of grieving over the precious bottles of glitter left behind, let’s see how we can bring as many polishes and nail art supplies as we like. Safe, compact and convenient – here’s our tried & loved method used during our recent trip:

how to pack nail polish for travelling

Note, when you’re at your Step 1 it’s better to place polishes lid to lid and as tight to each other as possible to avoid them hitting against each other.

* This is exactly how we packed all our polishes for SoNailicious Tour. In total, 25 polishes and 5 nail care products traveled with us (and, we brought back over 100 polishes). They undertook 10 international flights, 8 trains and 6 boat rides – they all survived, came back home in one piece and lived happily ever after.

Extra Tip #1: Leave polish remover at home. It’ll save some space and weight in your bag. Nail polish removers tend to leak through the lid because of the changing cabin pressure in a plane. Plus, it’s something that you can easily buy in any country (in pharmacies).

Extra Tip #2: Go for mini versions (like this or this) of your favorite shades and/or products. Also, look at getting 2-in-1 products, for instance Orly Top 2 Bottom is a great one.It will make your nail polish bag significantly lighter and save some space.

What about you, nailicious friends? How many polishes do you usually take travelling with you? Do you have any tips on how to pack nail polish? Share with us, we’d love to know!

PS. If you’re not going on a long trip any time soon, make sure you bookmark, pin or save the above guide for the future!

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  • Courtney August 23, 2013, 3:11 pm

    The only dilemma I have is, which polishes do I take with me?? So many to choose from, yet I don’t want to weigh my luggage down. Haha
    x Court
    Courtney recently posted…[BELLABOX] by C: August – Get Active!My Profile

    • Maria V August 23, 2013, 10:34 pm

      I guess you have to decide on whether to match your polishes to your outfits, or just take your favorites, or maybe think about what nail art you’re going to with them. As for the weight, the little purple bag I’m showing in the post has 30 polishes inside and the required nail art tools (studs, brushes, etc), it was about 2kg. As for the luggage bag, if you still can lift and hold it up for a few seconds I’d say it’s around 20kg or less. Seriously, the 30kg bag is impossible to lift for a girl (unless you’re a weightlifter in the making). x

  • Elena August 23, 2013, 3:40 pm

    It’s very helpful! Thank you! I’m planning a trip soon)

    • Maria V August 23, 2013, 9:57 pm

      Thank you and I’m glad you liked it, Elena! As for your trip, I look forward to hearing more about it! x

  • phoebi August 23, 2013, 3:47 pm

    I just wondered where home is for you? And if you had any trouble bringing the polishes you bought on your trip back through customs?
    I live in Australia and seem to struggle with sending polish anywhere!! I can’t imagine what customs would be like if I returned home with bags full (as much as that sounds like heaven haha).


    • Maria V August 23, 2013, 10:13 pm

      Right now Australia is my home. Nail polish is fine to bring in your luggage. But they don’t allow any fruit, wood or seeds or other things/substances that potentially may damage sensitive Australian flora and fauna.. It’s different when posting nail polish overseas, though – it’s not allowed because polishes often break/explode and cause damage to other parcels.

      So don’t worry about customs when travelling with the polishes – it’s absolutely fine! Moreover, it would be silly not to bring some polishes back because they are so cheap overseas and you can save a lot!

      Hope this helps!

      Maria x

  • Kitty August 23, 2013, 3:54 pm

    Were these travelling in a hardcase suitcase as checked-in or carry-on/hand luggage?

    I commented on your pre-travel post that polish is flamable liquids that often is prohibited by airlines, so I always worry that I am doing something illegal by checking these in.

    • Maria V August 23, 2013, 9:54 pm

      All nail polishes were packed as described and then put in soft bags to travel as check-in. I don’t use hardcase suitcases, they’re too heavy. It’s fine to check-in nail polishes though, but you can only bring 1 or 2 bottles in your carry-on/hand bag because it’s liquid. Rules varies from airline to airline but in general, it’s fine to have up to 100ml of liquids (in total) in your carry-on bag.

  • Mina August 23, 2013, 9:56 pm

    Oh this is def a great one, Maria! :)
    Great tips – I always find it so hard to chose only a few of my babies, though hehehe
    Mina recently posted…Úsalo Ya – No.3My Profile

    • Maria V August 23, 2013, 10:53 pm

      Thank you Mina! The good thing is you ‘ll be back to them. Just take a few favs, pack them well and enjoy the trip! xx

  • Fingers August 27, 2013, 2:46 am

    I actually ordered myself the new Caboodles Nail Valet for my upcoming vacation! I always bring way too many polish but I do my little 7 year old niece’s nails and she likes colors I don’t! This post is too funny! But oh so true!

    • Maria V September 4, 2013, 4:39 pm

      I like the idea of Caboodles Nail Valet too! Make sure you show it us when it arrives! xx

  • Anais August 29, 2013, 2:56 pm

    This is very helpful! I’ll keep this in mind when traveling. This site is awesome and so helpful! Greetings from Venezuela and keep up the great work! :)

    • Maria V September 4, 2013, 4:38 pm

      Thank you Anais for your kind words! We’re doing our best :) XX

  • Alice July 24, 2015, 4:04 pm

    Very recently, two of my newly bought, not tried even once Models Own nail polishes were broken in a domestic flight :(( I was so sad. It was going to be my first experience with the brand. I wish I had read this post before. But, I’ll definitely keep it in mind for my next travel ^^ Thanks Maria <3
    Alice recently posted…Vintage Köpekler / Vintage Dogs Nail ArtMy Profile

  • Alexa November 17, 2015, 3:05 am

    Thanks so much for this! I bought so many polishes and have to fly home internationally and had a panic attack that i might have to leave them behind! And i dont! Yay!

    • Maria @SoNailicious November 18, 2015, 5:37 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that. As long as we pack them well, we can buy as much polish as we can carry :)

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