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.
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.
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,