15 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas for Travelers & Expats

Halloween is a holiday that really appeals to my theatrical side. I still dress up, even if I don’t necessarily go all out nowadays. Here are some great Halloween costumes, because even expats and travelers need ideas! You may already own most of the costume. Some are practical and can be worn again after Halloween. All are fairly compact and will travel well.

As always, please be aware that there are things that could be very offensive in other cultures. I strongly recommend researching customs in the area you are living or visiting before dressing up. When in doubt, don’t. For expats living in and travelers going to the USA for Halloween, almost anything goes. Enjoy these funny Halloween costumes!


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No Sew Troll Headband

No sew costumes are great for travelers, for obvious reasons. This No Sew Troll Headband is cute and easy to make! To complete the costume, use a bright dress you already have and pair it with the headband. Then, donate the things you aren’t able to travel with after the fact. It would be adorable to see a family of these bright, colorful trolls out trick-or-treating on Halloween!

Or buy a wig, which is still fun and easy.

Ceiling Fan

I love punny jokes and costumes. This gem I found on pinterest is a very easy costume for a traveler to make, though it may not be punny if you aren’t in an English speaking country. I’d laugh, however. A lot.

Possibly the Easiest Medusa Ever

I love this costume so much. You may already be traveling with the perfect dress. Carrying around plastic snakes for awhile wouldn’t add too much weight to your luggage. However if you are flying, you will probably get your bag searched. If you choose this costume, please share your pictures with me!

It’s a cool costume.

A woman stands on a staircase in a homemade pirate costume, including brown knee high boots, and a Mexican belt that's flowery.

It took me less than 5 minutes to gather these items from my closet. Easy-peasy Pirate!


This list has so many DIY ideas for adults and kids. For the traveler or expat, it can be as easy as checking out your own closet. That’s what I did! Grab a shirt that flows (preferably in a solid color, like white, black, or brown), a pair of fitted pants, a belt, and a head band. Bonus points if you travel with knee-high boots that you can wear, too.

This no sew Turkish vest is also really awesome and would look great!

Pig in a Blanket

Grab your sweet little piggy accessories and a great throw and have yourself a warm and cozy Halloween. This is an awesome idea for colder climates, too. It would be really cute for a baby in a baby carrier, too!

Click here to purchase your piggy accessories.

Snapchat Filter

If you’re a make up whiz, why not create your own Snapchat filter? On your face, of course and not in the app. You could do both, of course. Don’t let me stand in your way. However, for the purpose of Halloween, you only need to do the costume.

Queen of Naps (or Everything)

Grab yourself a tiara and make a t-shirt that says Naps. Or be the Queen of Everything. Whichever interests you the most. Today, it would be naps for me.

A Cactus

This could be really easy or even really, really easy. Since green pants aren’t always that easy to find, you could wear brown pants, a green shirt, and a green hat. You can paint your face green and add balloons. Or you can buy a funny cactus hat.

You and your child can have matching costumes. Neat!

A Pineapple

I love this idea! Again, it is a DIY costume and the dress can be worn again. In fact, all you really need to make is the head piece. Or buy one.

Or buy the whole costume.

I’d definitely wear these dresses more than once!

Cookie Monster

I mean, it’s cookie monster. I can think of so many variations on this. Maybe you can dress up like a monster and wear a shirt that says “Naps” (nap monster). I do have a shirt that says “Coffee” (coffee monster).

A black and white pictures of a woman wearing a masquerade mask.

When in doubt, wear a masquerade mask!


Give a punny take on the old Zombie costume. Again, zombie make up can be simple or complex. Wear your homemade “Mom” shirt and you have a funny, punny costume that other moms will love. They may even attempt to high-five you in solidarity.


A pair of jeans, a plaid shirt, a bit of make up, and a floppy hat are all you need to create an awesome scarecrow costume.

Black & White Film Star

This one can be as complex or as simple as you’d like. Pack a black, white, or black and white outfit and bring along white and black make up. One of my friends did a similar concept a few years ago and I adored the results! If you are feeling really ambitious, you can create a cute sign that looks like it came right out of your favorite silent movie.


Black pants, a black and white striped shirt, and a cheap black mask from a costume store and you are ready to rumble! You can add accessories (such as a back hat or bag with a $ drawn on it), but they aren’t necessary.

Click here to purchase your robber costume

Sugar Skulls Make Up Inspiration

I’ve saved the best for last! Sugar skulls are so beautiful here in Mexico and these make up ideas celebrate that. Most of these are pretty involved, but even something easy and simple can have a big impact. Here is one tutorial and a wonderful kids’ version.

If you happen to be visiting Mexico anytime around mid-September until late October, you can find gems like the mask above and even sugar skulls masks! The picture above is one you can order from amazon. Neat, huh?

Still Need More Costume Ideas?

Check out more costumes that travel well in luggage and are also easy to make! Most can come together pretty easily (depending on where you are in the world when you start planning). If you’re heading to the US in October, you’ll be able to find everything you need quite easily.

What’s your favorite idea? Have you traveled with costumes before? Were they easy or more involved?


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