The Trials of Cosplay Travel

January 23, 2015 0 By Laura Cerrone

They are considered labors of love and can take months to make and assemble. Cosplays are a serious business and every little detail is planned out meticulously.

Not convinced? Take it from these cosplayers and their dedication to keeping their costumes in pristine condition while traveling from con to con.

Kim B., a seasoned attendee from Colorado has crisscrossed the country attending conventions ranging from San Diego Comic Con to smaller tabletop RPG ones. She didn’t begin cosplaying until three years ago at her first SDCC, where a friend convinced her to go as a My Little Pony character. Since then, Kim has always taken the precautions necessary to ensure her costumes arrive safe and sound.

“I make sure to keep all the components of the outfit together in a bag (not the clothes typically, more the props/accessories/wigs/etc.). I also learned to keep extra things that I may need around like spot removers, needle and thread, wig cap, bobby pins, makeup, jewelry, that kind of thing,” Kim said.

Despite the fear of baggage getting lost or damaged, if Kim is flying to the convention city she says she is comfortable checking in her bags. The most difficult costume she has had to travel with was her Molly outfit from the Dresden Files. The costume required a lot of fake hair strips and Kim says that wigs are always a challenge even without the travel. She has lucked out with no real damage to her costumes except for wrinkles. Kim even has a plan for wrinkles, such as checking with her hotel ahead of time.

“Having tools on hand helps deal with that stuff, and making sure there’s an iron in the hotel room.”

But flying doesn’t have to be the only way to travel. Lane Devlin from Austin, Texas trusts the comfort of her car rather than baggage handlers and TSA agents. Devlin cites planning her travel around her cosplay is one of the main reasons for this.

“I have parts of my cosplay that shouldn’t have weight placed on them at all and I have pieces that will warp if left in the heat or direct sunlight. So it’s best if I can keep an eye on these pieces instead of trusting them in the hands of strangers who have no idea how to handle them,” Devlin said.

However, there are no guarantees that every component will remain untouched, especially if she is driving the 26-hour drive to Philadelphia Comic Con or the four hour drive to the Dallas one.

“I pack an extensive emergency kit because you never know what could happen. And usually I pack a smaller one to take into the actual conventions in case I need to patch something up quickly,” she explained.

With each of her cosplays, Devlin has complex parts to look out for. Her Avengers-styled Loki armor and helmet are delicate pieces and her Winter Soldier cybernetic arm can warp in heat. In the coming years Devlin plans on attending San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con but is rethinking the drive. She may opt for plane tickets.

“I would probably find a safe, trusted address to mail the more fragile, bigger pieces to so I can pick those up when I arrive. The rest I would pack away in it’s own luggage case. I’d most likely have to check the bag though because I don’t think they’d let me carry on my arsenal of fake weapons,” Devlin explained.

Devlin is on to something with checking in the fake weapons. While ReedPOP, the exhibitor responsible for New York Comic Con, did not release an official number of prop weapons confiscated at this year’s event, there was a video released showing hundreds of green-tagged weapons.

Kim has also never experienced her props being confiscated, but jokes that she once considered having her sonic screwdriver registered.

You can check out Lane Devlin online to view her cosplays and tutorials on her social media sites: