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Tips to save your hands and nails while traveling

Laura Carson Miller is freelance lifestyle writer in Atlanta, writing for magazines and the web. Her favorite subjects include beauty, health/wellness, and financial issues. She is also an avid cook, gardener, fashionista and interior st...

beautiful hands and nails on the go

Traveling can take its toll on your hands and nails. Between handling luggage, exposure to pool or ocean water and dry airplane air, it pays to be prepared when it comes to hand and nail care.
Woman with strong nails on vacation

A healthy nail is both flexible and strong, and a few easy steps can help you keep both your nails and hands in tip-top shape. Nightly moisturizing of cuticles and hands keeps them looking young and well groomed. Even if you go without polish, these tips are all you need for hands and nails you can be proud of.

To ensure you can deal with whatever nail issues might rear their ugly heads while you are away from home, it's smart to prepare a nail travel kit. Here are the items you should include:

Quick fix for chipped polish

A light polish shade is easiest when you travel as it doesn't show chips or cracks the way red or more intense colors will. If you are wearing polish, do take the bottle with you for touch ups, especially if it is a bright shade where chips will be obvious. If you do have a chip and don't want to remove the polish, use the lowest grit side of your nail buffer and gently buff the area where the polish chipped. Apply a bit of base/top coat if you have it, then your chosen color to the chipped area. Wait two minutes and apply fast-dry top coat or base/top coat to the entire nail.

Repair a tear

If you have a tear on the side of a nail, you will likely have to channel your inner manicurist if you want to save it. Remove the polish and buff lightly with buffer. Use just a touch of nail glue then apply the silk wrap (I recommend the ones that are precut to fit the nail), or use a small piece of a tea bag from the beverage service in your room, to the nail. Apply a bit more nail glue over the nail. You can use a blow dryer on the cool setting to help set the nail glue. Use nail glue very sparingly!! Wait at least five minutes, then smooth the surface with the buffer, before following the steps above for polishing.

Keep a nail file handy

If you break a nail off, file it as soon as you can, using the proper file and filing one direction only. You should keep a nail file in your handbag at all times. Do not saw back and forth on your nails. This weakens them immensely. Use as few strokes as possible to smooth the nail. Use the buffer on the free edge the check for any snags.

Make your own exfoliator

Did you know you can easily create your own hand exfoliator with sugar packets from the beverage service in your room? Add sugar to oil or lotion, which may be provided in the bathroom, and massage into hands and cuticles before bed. Rinse and apply your moisturizer. A biotin supplement is also a great way to help keep nails healthy (it's beneficial for skin and hair, too) and can easily be taken when you travel.

Just because you are on the go doesn't mean your hands have to suffer. Use these tips to keep your hands and nails looking well groomed and healthy and show off hands you'll be proud of.

More on beauty tips for travel

Best beauty products for travel
4 Beauty must-haves for travel
5 Beauty and style essentials for air travel

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