Nails. Before or During a Trip?

pre-trip manicureAfter multiple manicures ruined by the wear and tear of a typical trip (packing-airport-unpacking-hotel-packing-airport-unpacking), I decided to ask friends if they get their mani/pedis done before or during a trip. The overwhelming response was before, here's why:

Mani/Pedi - Before or During a Trip?

  • Hillary - Hot destination= before trip. i always run to the water before the salon
  • Heather - Going to the desert this week & did nails myself because i'm spending all my money at saks "off fifth"
  • Lynnal - Both, a little pampering is always good for ya
  • Heather - Before, that way you are able to hit the town, and not waste any time on getting ready to hit the town
  • Karen - Before, so you show up Fabulous! And then you can pamper yourself in other ways on your trip
  • Nicole - I get it done right before I go. That way my nails are nice from the moment I start my trip, and then I don't have to worry about finding a good place to go wherever I am
  • Lauren - I think before. When I'm on a trip, I don't want to have to search for a good place (I'm picky about nail places- want it to be clean, nice, etc.) You want to relax and not have to do any work, so going to your regular place at home and getting it over with before a trip makes more sense to me! But a massage...that's another story.
  • Christina - Get a pedi before the trip and then bring your polish to do your own mani once you get there. My toes are always fine in transit, but my finger nails always get broken or nail polish chips while travelling and lugging around my suitcase. There's nothing worse than a big chip in your hot pink nail polish for a whole trip. The other option is to get your mani/pedi in a color that you own – so you can bring the bottle for any touch ups while you are away. I prefer my usual nail place as I know what I’m going to get, whereas you are at the mercy of random strangers when you are away!
  • Mel - Before! You don't know where their foreign tools have been or if they're sterile!
  • Bec - Before! At a place you know and trust. You don't want to be looking for a place when you get there. Besides, you should look your best when you board the plane, maybe you'll get upgraded ;-)
  • Buff - Before a trip is the only time I get a mani/pedi. If you can't afford Louis Vitton luggage, than you may as well have nice toes. ha ha!
  • Maria - Before.
  • Laura - Before a trip for sure. There's nothing better than starting a vacation off on the right foot....being perfectly groomed!
  • Karla - Before. A pedi before you hit the beach somewhere sunny is a must! You don't want to waste time in paradise stuck inside a salon.
  • Robyn - Always before ...don't want to waste the holiday on that stuff!
  • Nicole - Hate pedi's. I do my own pedi's cause I do a good job and have all the fancy tools at home. Haha. Saves me the foot fungus scare also.
  • Nicole - If I am traveling to a warm destination I have a pedicure before the trip. A pedicure (french or other) will last an entire 2 - 3 week trip. A manicure is not a priority for me, but on a recent trip to Maui I sought a nail place because my french manicure was chipping. After investigating nail salon options I ended up back at the Fairmont's resort salon, had a nail polish removal, file, and polish change with an amazing woman who gave me travel tips, etc...
  • Erin - Depends where I am going. Hot-don't want to waste beach time. Cold and cozy-love a spa experience.
  • Jen - Both.

Before & During To avoid compromising my newly-painted nails in transit, here's what I usually do: a) if I get a mani/pedi pre-trip, I bring the polish with me for touch-ups b) if I don't have time to get my nails done before, or don't want to risk ruining them enroute, I bring nail polish with me and do an impromptu 'painting session' at my destination c) if I don't do A or B above, I'll go to a recommended spa or nail place at my destination


  • Bring polish, either for touch-ups or DIY nails at your destination
  • Travel can wreak havoc on your mani, be careful with your hands, especially when handling your luggage
  • Don't always trust nail places abroad, every country---even area---has different standards of cleanliness
  • If you get a mani/pedi while traveling, make sure the nail salon is professional, the tools have been sanitized and the foot bath, sterile

Pressed for Time? Why not consider getting your nails done at the airport?

  • Vancouver (yvr) - absolute spa has 5 locations in the domestic and US terminals at the Vancouver Int'l Airport. Polish change is $30, manicure from $55, pedicure from $75.
  • Seattle (sea) - butter LONDON, famous for its non-toxic polish has opened a nail bar at the Seattle Int'l Airport. More details here. Polish and cuticle treatment $15, spa pedi $40.

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[photo credit: Fing'rs]