It was very hard to summarise my top 10 essentials for an international pageant as there are so many things that I have left off the list.

Hairspray would be one of the items that people may regard as essential but chances are your roommate will have two–three bottles. AND, if you have a good curler you won’t even need it.

Now, I am a light packer and I know some people like to pack more (Miss Thailand 2016 packed 18 bags for Miss Universe) but you cannot go wrong with these essentials.

I have now experienced 5 pageant-related overseas trips and competed in 2 international pageants for New Zealand. I have had my fair share of “wishing” I had brought something.

These items are like the salt and pepper you forgot to pack in your picnic basket.

1. A nice dress and heels in your carry-on luggage

This one is extremely important. I once got caught out in my activewear getting off the plane. Yes, activewear is my go to when it comes to comfortable travel but most pageant organisers and media of the host country will greet you at the airport.

I knew this trick very well but in one of my trips, I assumed that the media would be beyond customs.

Boy, I was so wrong.

They were literally at the end of the plane tunnel with their cameras. So try your best to get dressed on the plane or at a stop-over before you land.

2. Heels- Nude, Black and White (Technically three items)

Make sure you do your research first to ensure that your pageant is not providing shoes for you. Miss Universe provide a pair of nude and black heels from Chinese Laundry (the nude pair is very comfy). If they are providing, then you can play with other colours.

Number one rule with shoes: Make sure you break them in first!

All these shoes MUST be comfortable because chances are is that you will be wearing them for 12-15 hours a day.

I have always stuck to Jenna Marbles rule: commit to your heels.

That means at no point should you take them off and be holding them like a handbag.

3. Lashes

You may as well be naked if you’re not wearing lashes. That is all.

4. Big earrings

You may as well be naked if you’re not wearing earrings.


How dare you think you can walk out of your hotel room with bare ears. Don’t be silly.

In all seriousness though, earrings are like the cherry on top and immediately make you look glam. They don’t have to be expensive they just need to look expensive.

When Collette has 75% off specials I stock up and I definitely reuse and abuse.

5. Plug Adapter

Do your research and find out what sort of plugs your host country have. Buy the appropriate adapter.

I never thought about it for my first international pageant and I couldn’t even plug in my straighter. I had to charge my iPhone with the USB port on the back of the TV in my hotel room.

learnt a valuable lesson never to make that mistake again.

6. Panadol/ Paracetamol

I once had a toothache in a Spanish speaking country and could not communicate to them that I desperately wanted panadol.

It was a painful experience.

My miming skills developed whilst in Nicaragua. I am prone to tension headaches especially when I have a hectic schedule so nipping a headache in the bud before it can cause havoc on my brain is always the best idea.

7. Clear Plasters

I have saved the day may of times with this simple life hack. Sometimes your shoes can rub you the wrong way or one of your pageant sisters may experience some shoe pain.

A clear plaster can give some temporary relief and you can prevent a heel from getting its rub on. Carry these in each of your handbags and clutches.

8. Lipsticks (Red, Nude and Pink)

Lippy can change everything just like earrings and lashes. You can get away with wearing minimal make-up so long as your lashes and lips are dressed.

These two features are the most feminine parts of a woman’s face. Enhance these and you’ll be glamourous.

9. Black High-waisted skirts

If your pageant is more than 10 days you will really need to think about how you’re going to dress over a long period of time.

My longest international pageant was 3 weeks (21 days) and you’re most likely have to change at least twice a day (so you’re looking at 42 outfits).

High-waisted skirts are like black pants. You can wear them more than once with different blouses before anyone realises that you’ve already worn it.

Plus, they are designed to elongate your body and create shape around your waist and thighs #booty

10. Selfie stick and/or GoPro

Most pageants use social media as an important tool to promote sponsors and gain votes for candidates.

A selfie stick does not have to just be used to take selfies but to document all the amazing things that you are doing. Most host countries will have the candidates tour their country to help promote tourism and many events will be hosted by sponsors that want you to promote them.

A selfie stick can give some control over the movement of your camera shots instead of shaky handi-cam footage. Documents, post on a daily and keep these for you grandchildren.

Well, there you have it. If you have any other items you feel should be on the list, feel free to comment below 🙂

Categories: Travel


10 Essentials to Pack for an International Pageant

  1. Loved reading this as I’ll be heading to Miss Universe in less than a month ?. I’d love to hear more about you experience at Miss Universe xx

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