The enhanced airport security measures put in place in August have made air travel even harder for nail techs who travel in the line of duty. Over the past few years, nail techs have learned to minimize what they bring with them and pack most of what they do bring in their checked luggage. The new regulations banning liquids, gels, and lotions from carry-on bags mean even more thought must be given to how you pack up your goods. Here are some tips for easy travel from Kupa’s Vicki Peters and others:
Know your limitations. A rule intended to allow passengers to bring aboard personal care items like hairspray and perfume permits you to take flammable materials (such as acetone and monomer) in your checked baggage in small quantities. The FAA allows you to pack up to 70 total ounces of flammable material, so long as no single container holds more than 16 ounces. Individual airlines may have their own policies, so double-check with them.
Send ahead. To avoid potential hassles and delays, ship your products ahead via a ground service like UPS Ground or FedEx Ground and you’ll have whatever you need when you arrive at your destination. Peters advises her competition team members to pack just a small amount of product. If needed, she supplies them with acetone and monomer that she has shipped to the show ahead of time.
Stow your Implements. Implements — particularly those with sharp points and cutting edges — should be packed and labeled in checked luggage. “Be sure to mark them as manicuring implements, since screeners and inspectors may not know what they are,” says Peters. “Nail powders should be labeled as manicuring acrylic as well. They can looks like drugs to someone who does not know what they are.
Go Odorless. Use sturdy plastic containers with secure tight-fitting lids to avoid leaks and odor. You might also wrap containers in bubble wrap or towels.
Call ahead. If you’re traveling on a particular airline for the first time, call ahead to learn their rules about any unusual items and what must be checked. Get the name of the person you spoke with so if you are stopped, you can say, “This person told me it was OK on such and such a date.”
Keep the packaging intact. Unopened original packaging tends to be more secure and is already labeled. Charisma’s Lysa Comfort travels with new, two-ounce bottles of product with the shrink-wrap and safety rings intact.
Check your drill. “When traveling with an electric file do not carry it on,” say Peters. “We have had handpieces confiscated because the security people do not know what they are.”
Avoid red flags. Says Peters: “Things that will send up red flags at airport security are the odor of monomer, acetone, or broken polish bottles in luggage and acrylic powder dust on our purses or on the surface of our carry-ons. UV lamps, manicuring lamps, and drills are all unrecognizable items to the security people.”