The Ultimate Competition Packing List




I cannot tell you how many times I have been at a contest and have heard other competitors mention all the things they forgot to pack in their luggage.  Such oversights can make an already stressful time almost intolerable, especially if the contest location is far from one’s home and unfamiliar.  Over the years I compiled and updated a packing list which has served me very well and has relieved all the stress of remembering what to pack.

Every time I pack for a contest, I have copies of my packing lists and check off each item as it is packed.  Instead of having one list, I have three: a main list, a food and supplement list, and a makeup list.  I have even gone to the extent of specifying which items go in my checked bag or handbag and which items go into my carry-on bag.  I am adamant about having my competition suits, clear heels, jewelry and all makeup items in my carry-on bag so that I don’t have to worry about being separated from those vital items.

Even if you cruise-packing-tips-ideasare hiring someone to do hair and makeup, I still recommend packing all the makeup and hair items you would need if you had to do it yourself, because you never know what might happen.  I have heard of competitors who got stuck without a makeup artist for one reason or another, then had to scramble to borrow makeup or quickly find a makeup artist to come to the rescue.  It is NOT worth the stress to take that chance!

Here is a breakdown of the items I recommend packing for a contest:


Main List:

Checked Bag –

Body lotion

Sugar scrub (make sure container is leak-proof!)


Regular toiletry stuff (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face moisturizer)

Umbrella (I have caught myself in unexpected rainstorms, so this is a MUST)

Loose pants (for post-tanning)

Big button-down shirt (for post-tanning)

Dark socks (take several pairs to avoid staining sheets and in case of wet weather)

Dark hand towels (I usually pack two for showering purposes)

Dark t-shirt (makes a great pillowcase after tanning)

Gym apparel (make sure to count how many days you will work out, remember bras, shorts, socks and sneakers)

Hair clips and ties

Hairspray, hair wax, hair gel

Shampoo and conditioner

Hair styling tools such as hairdryer, flatiron, curling iron

Comb, brush

Flip flops (great in hot weather and post-tan)

Business cards (VERY important for networking)

Extra Ziploc bags

Food storage containerspacking-list-check-list

Small sewing kit

Safety pins

Cotton swabs (handy for cleaning up makeup too)

Makeup remover towelettes

Outfit to sleep in

Outfits for daytime (count how many days you will need clothes and pack accordingly)

Underwear (dark colors recommended, plus pack extra pairs)

Shoes for daytime

Cute dress or two to go out in

Nice heels to go out in

Sweater or coat

Bikini bite

Touch-up tanning solution, gloves and tanning puff



Carry On Bag –

Phone charger

Jewelry for contest

Clear heels

At least two competition suits (ALWAYS bring a backup!)

Makeup items from Makeup List

Food from Food List


Food List:




Lidded beverage container

Food from your plan


Makeup List:compe

Primer (foundation and eye shadow)

Eye shadows


False eyelashes

Lash adhesive

Small scissors

Fine tip tweezers

Small mirror (I recommend one about 4 inches in diameter which folds up)



Translucent loose powder




Lip liner


Lip gloss


Eyelash curler (if your lashes are straight, I would recommend this)



Now that I have everything broken down in list form, let’s look at the best way to do all this packing.  Generally, I like to pack my food a few days in advance since it is the most tedious portion of the packing experience.  Each meal is placed in a sandwich sized bag with a day and meal number (e.g.: W 1), then that bag is placed into a gallon sized bag which is labeled for the day (e.g.: W). This way, I can grab one of the large bags and know that all my meals are in there.  Wet ingredients or vegetables which tend to leak (asparagus is notorious for this) should be double-bagged.   I refrigerate the day’s meals for the day that I will be traveling, while the meals for the other days go into the freezer.  You can expect food packing to take at least a couple of hours, so make sure you have a decent pocket of time to do this.

One to two days before the contest, I pack my other items.  Lotions, gels, and creams should be placed into a Ziploc bag in case they leak.  Since tanning solution is especially prone to leakage, I will put masking tape over the seal before placing it in the bag, and will also place the bag into a rigid plastic container for more protection.

As long as you take a systematic approach and take your time with packing, as opposed to waiting until the last minute, you will be well prepared for your contest.


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