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5 Things You Need to Pack for Nationals

Contestants having fun. Photo: USA National Miss
Contestants having fun. Photo: USA National Miss

Packing for a trip can be stressful, and packing for a pageant is no different.

I once had a dream before my last MAO local that I only packed bras and underwear and absolutely nothing that matched. I checked my suitcase five times before I left the house and then repeatedly before my parents came to the venue in case I needed to call them to bring something. (Read: Packing for a National Pageant)

Now when packing, I have a list that includes every event with my outfit, shoes and accessories. I then lay everything out together and pack it into garment bags. My list also includes necessary downtime wear, makeup and hair supplies.

But each pageant system’s needs are different. USA National Miss has a few tips to help its contestants get ready for sationals.

5 Things You Need to Pack for Nationals

1. Always bring a light jacket.

No matter where you live or where nationals is held, a jacket should always be in your bag.

“Sometimes it can get cold inside the venue during rehearsals,” said Jackie Watson, Founder and Executive Director of USA National Miss.

2. Pack your favorite water bottle.

“…or better yet, buy one from the UNM Boutique at nationals,” Watson said.

Staying hydrated is critical to staying on your game during pageant week. Water can help keep you going even better than caffeine. In fact, you need three cups of water to balance out the effects of one cup of coffee, which acts as a diuretic.

“We are in south Florida and it is hot,” Watson said. “You don’t want to get dehydrated. Carrying a water bottle with you is a must.”

3. Don’t forget your charity information!

Learning about your fellow contestants and the causes they champion is one of the most fun parts of competing. Sometimes you learn that you may be working for the same causes.

“At the Pink Party, delegates get to ‘shop’ for charity information in the hopes that they will discover a new charity or passion that they can go back home and advocate for,” Watson said.

While the Pink Party is unique to UNM, talking with fellow contestants and even judges can often point you to other contestants with similar interests or other causes of interest to consider.

4. Pack cute but comfortable clothes for the week.

Our pageant clothes, shoes especially, can become uncomfortable and be confining after a long day. Also, cute and comfy clothes can help you relax and feel like you’re at home when you’re staying in a hotel. (Read: 17 Thoughts All Girls Have When Packing For a Pageant)

“You want to look stylish because you never know if you’ll run into a judge in the lobby,” Watson advised. “But also keep comfort in mind.”

5. Your swimsuit!

One of the BEST things about going to nationals is the possibility of a pool at the hotel. But what’s even better is when your system has nationals at the beach! (Read: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Pageant Location)

“We are at the beach and you have down time to enjoy it,” Watson said. “And at UNM, we have our own exclusive swimwear line. Check out UNM’s official custom swimwear line at www.kkswimwear.com. Shades, sunscreen and flip flops are also a must.”

Aeowyn Holms, USA National Jr Princess 2016, modeling one of USA National Miss' custom swimsuits. Photo: USA National Miss
Aeowyn Holmes, USA National Jr Princess 2016, modeling one of USA National Miss’ custom swimsuits. Photo: USA National Miss

USA National Miss

Want an excuse to take a vacation to the beach this summer? USA National Miss has state, territory and regional titles available. Some areas offer preliminaries but at-large titles are also available.

Titles are available for girls and ladies ages 4-25.

Just visit the website, click on your state and discover how to represent it at USA National Miss. (Read: 5 Tips to Succeed in Panel Interview)

USA National Miss Nationals take place at Boca Resort and Beach Club in Boca Raton, Florida, on July 10-15, 2017. (Read: 10 Perks That Will Entice More Contestants to Participate in Your Pageant)

Going Forward

Packing for a pageant doesn’t have to be stressful. Just make a plan and get started.

If you have any questions or concerns, ask your director for additional information or advice.

So, sign up for nationals and get packing!

Which dress do you like better?

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