How To Bring Home Your Carnival Backpack

Hi Carnivalists,

I have been asked by a few readers for some tips on transporting costumes (especially large feathers) back home and decided to finally write a post on it.

Our carnival costumes have become so expensive that it would pain most of us to throw the feathers away, especially those $2,000usd costumes from Trinidad or Barbados

While there are several different methods to sending your carnival backpack home, my preference is to use a garment bag. Though there are several different sizes, I would recommend a 60″ or 72″ garment bag, as carnival backpacks range in size, so the larger the bag, the better. When ordering your own garment bag, keep in mind that the feathers are flexible and the bag should be able to fit the wired or board frame.

So here are your options for traveling back with your carnival backpack

Option 1: Order a garment bag and put them in the aircraft’s overhead bin on top of your carryon luggage. There have been flight attendants who offered to put them in a closet for me once or twice. 

Option 2: Have them wrapped at the airport (price range unpredictable) or use your garment bag and check them in (baggage fees apply)

Option 3: Ship them  back with a carrier like UPS, DHL or Fedex 

Note: With the wings you see pictured below, I was able to fold the wings in half and fit them in the garment bag. I do have another backpack that wasn’t as easy to bend because of the shape but it could still be done.. and it was laid flat on top of my carryon luggage in the aircraft’s overhead bin. 

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Sometimes when walking through security, if the bag looks too bulky, wait until you clear security to put them back into the garment bag, that way they don’t try to deter you from carrying them in.

Note: Customs officers in Jamaica and St.Lucia are known to confiscate feathers. You may not be able to transport yours if you are entering Jamaica or connecting in St.Lucia. 

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The bag will prevent pressure and brushing against your feathers, which could cause them to fall apart. Gently, tuck all sides of the backpack into your garment bag, and you’re good to go.

If you have any other tips, please let me know in the comments below. I hope my way was helpful. See you at the next carnival.

Yours in Mas,

GC Signature


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11 thoughts on “How To Bring Home Your Carnival Backpack

  1. I asked about this before and I’m so glad that you finally shared! Thank You so much, I can finally bring my backpacks to Merica

  2. Wish I had read this before carnival :'( I would also add, check the customs & excise policies if you have a layover on your way home… I was charged $80 US to retrieve my costume from St Lucia customs after it was confiscated due to having real feathers on it, and then to add insult to injury they damaged them in transit. I was so upset.

  3. hey, this is so interesting. I was thinking of bringing my feathers to trinidad bc i made a collar. do you think I should or will they take them at the airport?

    1. Well.. typically, you’re supposed to notify them, there are cases where they have taken them and also instances where people have gotten away with it. I would recommend covering them so they don’t see it.

  4. I am playing frontline in Jamaica this year will I be apply to fly back to the US with my feather backpack ?

  5. Thank you for your tips and I see the post is dated from 2017. I am connecting in St. Lucia, are you aware of any changes to customs confiscating feathers and if there is a way around getting them through. I have heard that you can get them through with an authorized letter from the band that the feathers have been treated.

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