Halloween is fast approaching and in many places around the world that means Halloween parties, and Halloween parties means Halloween costumes! Dressing up for Halloween, be it traditional ghoulish garb or a modern pop-culture-inspired costume, is one of the most fun things to do at Halloween. If you're joining us for a Halloween pub crawl
in any of our cities, fancy dress is most welcome, indeed encouraged; Traveling, though can present a problem for you Halloween fancy-dress fans who haven't assigned precious carry-on space for a Halloween outfit. Fear not, dear traveler, for we've put together the ultimate cheap & easy Halloween outfit ideas for thrifty travelers. You're welcome!
Why do people wear Halloween costumes?
First, a little origins story. All Hallow’s Eve, or Oíche Shamhna
as it’s called in Irish, is a Celtic tradition that has much of its origins in Ireland. You can read up more on Halloween in Ireland
to get into the spirit of things. Samhain
was the Celtic pagan festival that marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. It was also when the boundary between our world and the underworld was at its thinnest, which meant spirits were able to pass through. Celts hid from the evil spirits with animal skins and masks, which is where the tradition of donning costumes comes from.
If you’re travelling this Halloween and worried about how much you can squeeze into your cabin bag, I’ve got you covered. I’ve come up with a list of fancy-dress ideas for when you’re travelling over Halloween, ones that don’t require you to buy a specific costume, take hardly any time to do, and largely consist of things you likely already own or have access to. Also, we are going to be sustainable all year round, including Halloween, so no single-use items here.
Budget-friendly Halloween costume ideas
For easy and cheap Halloween outfit ideas for when you’re travelling, the best place to get inspiration is television and the internet. Stranger Things
, Mad Men,
for examples, are all very popular and, depending on your wardrobe, could be very easy to recreate. Movies too; I suspect there's gonna be a lot of DIY Joker Halloween costumes this year, given the current popularity of Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of the clown prince of crime.
The costume ideas below are intended to inspire, just get thinking outside of the box and you're sure to come up with a kick ass, easy to do Halloween outfit.
You also have the old reliable, traditional easy Halloween outfits - a pair of fangs and white face paint, hey presto, you're a vampire. There's also the pun-tastic options, like the knife through a corn-flakes box "I'm a 'cereal' killer" effort. And, for something a little bit more cultured and sophisticated, mythology-inspired DIY Halloween outfits can be a real winner. So, thinking along those lines, here's some ideas for easy to do Halloween costumes while travelling.
Pay tribute to one of the world’s favourite cats, Tardar Sauce, also known as Grumpy cat, who sadly died this year. Easy makeup, (you can follow this
makeup tutorial) put your hair in space buns and wear beige! A very simple costume and relevant for this year - purrrfect. Sorry.
For you Always Sunny in Philadelphia
is a very simple character to be. If you don't know what Always Sunny In Philadelphia or Nightman is, stop reading now and get on that sh*t. I'll wait.
Ideally, some sort of black kimono type thing would be great, but you could get away with a black shirt and jeans, along with possibly a black scarf for your waist. Then do some black eye-shadow and wing it out from your eyes. You want to look cat-like. Those contact lenses he uses are always around for Halloween, but they’re actually quite bad for your eyes so I would advise against that. Sing this
as you’re getting ready to get into character. Also, you need to hiss all night.
from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the perfect budget-friendly costume. If you don’t happen to have a blue tracksuit with you, then all blue clothes will do the trick (or treat), pillows underneath your clothes to get that blueberry look and blue face-paint. This
is a tutorial for if you have time and tools to make yourself look pretty.
Quickfire Halloween Costume Ideas
The following are easy to make DIY Halloween costumes when travelling. They take little to no effort but still, you can say it’s a costume. These are also for the bah-humbugs, or boo-humbugs, of Halloween.
You know the things you can do with a white sheet? Be a ghost, but in the modern way. Ghost people all night. Start talking to them then leave mid-conversation without an explanation.
You could also party as your star sign this Halloween. The best costumes are those that are simple with a lot of imagination. If you’re a Taurus, cow print is simple, and horns are very easily to acquire around Halloween. Gemini? Grab someone else and dress the same. There are videos for all the signs to give you an insight as to how you could dress and act to be 'typical sign', and astrology is massively popular this year so I think it will go down very well no matter where you go.
A fried egg
This is simple. Paint your face orange, and wear all white clothes! It would be great if you had a white hat as well. Add devil horns, and you’re a deviled egg! Good, clean fun. Hey, be thankful I spared you an 'egg-celent' pun.
Dress in very loose, draping white cloth and be the melting ice caps, hold a polar bear toy for added effect. While it’s not something to be taken lightly by any means, today's climate-anxiety makes it a quick and terrifying costume which can also allow you make a point.
Mythology inspired, easy Halloween costumes
For budget-friendly Halloween costumes, mythology is a great place to grab inspiration. There are so many myths from different cultures you’ll never be stuck for inspiration. Also, they’re perfect for putting your own spin on them. We only have words to show us what Medusa, for example, looked like, so nobody can really tell you that your costume isn’t accurate! Depending on what country you’re going to, you could see what types of stories you could potentially dress up as. It’s a great way to learn more about where you are. Although, please, no cultural appropriation.
The Bean-Sídhe (or Banshee)
is from Irish mythology and would be a great way to reference the originating land of Halloween, especially if you're joining us on the pub crawl for the best Halloween party in Dublin
. She is a terrifying creature that warns families of impending death with blood-curdling screams in the night. Very frightening, very cool, and very easy to recreate; all you need is to look completely horrifying!
All black clothes and preferably a cape or black sheet of some sort will be fine. Or, if you have a grey sheet over a green dress, the Bean Sídhe has been said to have worn that too. You can be imaginative and use what you have because there are no rules for how she looks.
For makeup, what do you think the woman who haunts the night, wailing outside people’s houses for days looks like? Wrecked is what she looks like! Her eyes are red-rimmed from weeping, she’s very pale because well, she’s dead, and has long, dark hair. Get some white face paint, red eye-shadow around your eyes and then whatever feels right to you! This also gives you a free pass to scream all night long!
The Three Fates
If you’re travelling with 2 friends, a good three-person costume is the three fates
. In Greek mythology, these three women were the incarnations of destiny. Clotho, who spins the thread of life, Lachesis who measures it, and Atropos, who cuts it. They come up throughout different cultures' mythology, and also in literature; Macbeth's three witches hold a remarkable resemblance to the fates, they’re also in Hercules, so there are many different places to get inspiration for them.
It’s also very easy to recreate, as you can completely put your own twist on it. The most basic way to dress up as them is to wear a long dress and a shawl. The props that should be incorporated would be a spindle of thread, some sort of measuring device and scissors. Also, the myth does mention them sharing an eye, so you could make one out of tinfoil or paper, paint it, and carry it around with you! Then you could black out your eyes to make them look like empty sockets. A very easy but effective costume.
The best advice I have for people travelling over Halloween who want to dress up is to have fun with it. Don’t think too much about it and go with whatever excites you the most. The best Halloween outfits are cheap as they end up being the most creative. It’s the best time to just be silly and to not take yourself too seriously. Have fun and keep it ghoulish.
Have any inspired cheap and cheerful, easy Halloween costume ideas of your own? Share them with us in the comments! Hoping to see you on a pub crawl in Dublin, Berlin, Prague, Budapest or Barcelona this Halloween, or indeed any night, to raise our spirits and have a devilishly good night.