Prepping for Travel: Your Beauty Checklist

I’ve never been great at pre-holiday beauty prep. I just can’t be arsed to do anything out of the ordinary, that will cost me money I’d rather be spending elsewhere, for me to just lie on a beach for a week. What’s the point? But going travelling is a horse of a different colour. I mean, if you’re off to spend 6 months in Thailand, it’s highly likely you’ll be in a bikini quite a bit. And your hair and skin is going to have to withstand hardcore heat and humidity in a long-term capacity. Therefore, some prep work is needed.

But don’t worry, I am in no way condoning spending a bomb on a spa retreat. You’re on a backpacker budget after all. I’ve split the following out into two ‘levels’ of beauty prep. There’s the ‘Mandatory Prep’ that absolutely all of you need to consider, and the ‘Princess Picks’ for those of your that are big on beauty and want to go the extra mile. Here goes.

Beauty Prep


Back To Your Roots

First get that mane cut. You don’t know where your next trim is coming from and you want those split ends out of the way before the sun frazzles them. Also, if you haven’t already got a fringe/bangs and was thinking of trying them out, this is really not the time. In a hot climate, hair stuck to your forehead is not the one. You will inevitably spend your trip clipping it back.

In terms of hair colour, remember that you’re not going to be able to get your roots done at any point. It is definitely a luxury that you can’t afford right now. A girl I met travelling took ‘Sun In’ with her to bleach her roots on the road… Big mistake, her hair was like straw. Don’t do it to yourself. My advice is to either dye your hair a colour close to your natural shade, or look into making your hair colour ombre. That way your roots growing out looks completely intentional.

However, you should remember that if you’re going to Australia or the US, they do have cheap bottle dye available, the same as the UK. Dyeing your hair in a hostel is a bitch though… (See my post Dye-ing To Travel)

Ok you’re cut and coloured, now for a hair mask. This will protect your hair from sun damage and stop it from drying out so quickly. You don’t have to blow the budget, a sachet from Boots will suffice! I like these guys…

Hair Mask Sachets

Exfoliation Nation

Gotta get that even tan gurl, and exfoliating is just the ticket. A good scrub will get rid of any dead skin and give you smooth, soft skin that you won’t mind getting out in the shorts and vest backpacker ensemble. It also means you’ll retain your tan a bit more and make your Facebook friends even more jealous.

I’ve already written about taking an exfoliator on your trip, so you can use the same one before you go. Alternatively you can do a DIY job on the cheap – but more on that next week!

Exfoliate for a more even tan
Exfoliate for a more even tan

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair removal is no joke. At home, I’m all about shaving. Waxing, threading or IPL seems like a waste of money that I would rather be saving for travel quite frankly. But before a big trip, I think it’s totally warranted. After all, you want to spend your time scuba diving, surfing or just chilling on a tropical beach somewhere, not worrying if your bikini line is in an acceptable state. I don’t think this needs to be expensive though, a ‘Veet’ home waxing kit will totally do the job.

Hair Removal
My usual Hair Removal tools (Don’t act like you don’t have a tash…)


Face The Music

I think a good exfoliation is all you really need before a big trip, but a facial is that little bit extra to make you feel fresh and ready for a new adventure. It also gets rid of the ‘Rat Race Face’, AKA tired-looking skin. After you exfoliate, just use a nice cleanser, put on a mask, rinse and moisturise. Again, the cheap and easy face masks from Boots are a treat and totally affordable.

Face Mask Sachets

Getting Lashed

This is another one that isn’t essential but could be good before a big trip. A nice eyebrow and eyelash tint go a long way if you’re thinking of stripping back on the make-up front when you’re travelling. Especially if you have fine eyebrows like me that need a bit of accentuating. Now this one will cost you, my local salon offer a Brow and Lash tint for £20 and they usually last about 6 weeks. You can get DIY kits but it just scares me to do anything near my eyes! I’d go professional if you want to try it out.

Mani Hands Make Light Work

Getting a Mani/Pedi is purely for anyone going to the Western countries of the backpacking world, like Australia, New Zealand or the USA.  A nice colour on your toes will go a long way in those photos of your toes in the sand on Manly Beach (Sydney). But if your first stop is Southeast Asia, wait until you get there! Manicures and pedicures are ridiculously cheap, last for ages and they throw in amazing foot massages that will just make you feel like a queen. Also while you’re at it, just get a full body Swedish oil massage, it will change your life…

Pedicure time in Bangkok
Pedicure time in Bangkok

Ok so they’re my recommendations for pre-travelling beauty prep. Please let me know if you think I’ve missed anything out!

3 thoughts on “Prepping for Travel: Your Beauty Checklist

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: